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by Phil Monroe, Springfield
I have concerns as a resident of Springfield about Council Bill 2023-160 as presented. I applaud the Hatch Foundation for the monetary donation for a reusable “Christmas tree” to the city.
However, describing it as such divides our community rather than being inclusive to everyone. While those residents who identify as Protestant comprise 44.5 percent, those with “no religion” comprise 47.8 percent of the population, not to mention Catholics, Mormons, Jewish, Muslim, and others of different religious faiths.
If the intent is to draw more people to the winter solstice celebrations, using a more inclusive language of a “Holiday tree” instead of a “Christmas tree” would be more appropriate and successful.
Editor’s note: The actual title of the Council Bill is “Holiday tree donation,” although the text of the ordinance refers to it as a “Christmas tree.”