NPR News for Central and Northern Michigan
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Three Michigan cities will vote to change use of gendered pronouns

LA Johnson

Voters in at least three cities will decide whether to change the use of gendered pronouns in their city charger.

When many cities’ charters were first written, decades ago, they simply used he or him for all or most of the pronouns.

Some cities, like Detroit, then changed the charter to include both masculine and feminine pronounces, so they read “he or she” or “him and her.”

But Tuesday, voters in Grand Haven and Muskegon will decide if gendered pronouns should be eliminated completely in their charters. Instead of he or she, the charters will say “they.”

Auburn Hills also has gendered pronouns on the ballot. But the proposal there wouldn’t replace the pronouns in the charter. Instead, voters will decide whether to amend one section of the charter, and have it say that all gendered pronouns should be read as being gender neutral.

Dustin Dwyer is a reporter for a new project at Michigan Radio that will look at improving economic opportunities for low-income children. Previously, he worked as an online journalist for Changing Gears, as a freelance reporter and as Michigan Radio's West Michigan Reporter. Before he joined Michigan Radio, Dustin interned at NPR's Talk of the Nation, wrote freelance stories for The Jackson Citizen-Patriot and completed a Reporting & Writing Fellowship at the Poynter Institute.