Tempe could nix ‘slum-like’ from city language

By Mike Sunnucks | Rose Law Group Reporter

The city of Tempe is looking to take the term “slum-like” out of its city code, worrying the term is offensive.

The Tempe City Council will hold a hearing and consider taking the term out of city codes related to nuisances and property enhancement.

The council held an initial hearing on the language change on May 27.

According to city documents: “The Code Compliance Division has determined the phrase “slum-like” in Chapter 21 of the City Code is unnecessary and may be interpreted as offensive. Staff has unanimously agreed the removal of the phrase from Chapter 21 will not inhibit the ability to enforce City Codes. Staff will continue to utilize “deterioration” or “deteriorated” in place of “slum-like.”

Tempe has a progressive mayor and city council. A number of progressive cities and regions — as well as the Biden administration — have made changes to language and names that are deemed offensive.

Nationally, that has ranged from renaming the names of streets and schools to terminology used in ordinances and government publications.

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