TRENTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on Friday signed a bill to eliminate the title “freeholder” for New Jersey public officials.
The bill also requires counties to update websites and letterheads and to accommodate the change.
The title dates back to a time when only white landholders could hold public office.
“It will officially end the title of freeholder in the state of New Jersey. Effective January 1, 2021, the title will be county commissioner. Incredibly proud of that,” Murphy said.
Today I signed legislation to eliminate the title “Freeholder” from county government – coined when people of color and women were excluded from public office.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) August 21, 2020
Murphy says the change comes during a national reckoning to re-examine vestiges of government that have roots in structural racism.
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