By Spencer Landis
A Minnesota city mayor is pushing city council members to delete “chief” from job titles, citing how it promotes the marginalization of American Indians.
The City Council is planning to vote Monday on whether the title of Chief Administrative Officer and Chief Financial officer should be changed to city administrator and finance director, respectively, according to the Star Tribune.
Duluth Mayor Emily Larson said at a news conference Wednesday that such changes should occur “so that we have more inclusive leadership and less language that is rooted in hurt and offensive, intentional marginalization.”
Larson is reportedly also considering making the same change for the city’s police and fire chiefs, though there are concerns due to the widespread use of this title among public safety officials across the country. In addition, she is advocating for gender-neutral language for the position of mayor among the city’s legal foundation.
Other city leaders also weighed in. Duluth’s community relations officer told the Star Tribune that the title of chief “may put people down based off their race or culture” and that it is a “racial epithet” and “microaggression.”
Similar controversies surrounding American Indian culture have plagued the NFL and MLB for years among teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians, including renewed calls for changes amid current protests against racism.