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The Importance of Language

Nevada City taking time to make sure that a historical landmark in the city has the correct historical information and is culturally appropriate and represents the truth about prejudice at the time. Wednesday evening, council member Daniela Fernandez pulled a consent agenda item that would have approved a plaque recognizing Hirschman’s Pond as landmark. The plaque is being proposed by the County Historical Landmarks Commission and would correct inaccuracies on existing signage and also honor the importance of the Jewish Community in Nevada City. Fernandez pulling the item because of language that was not necessarily accurate about social justice during the gold rush. She read the phrase.


She references the Nisenan, the Chinese, and enslaved and free black people, all victims of discrimination.
Fernandez is not against recognizing the importance of Hirschman’s Pond, but wanted language to be appropriate.


County Historic Landmarks Commissioner Bernie Zimmerman explained the wording refers to the Jewish people specifically.


He says the wording was not meant to slight any other race or culture of the way they were treated. Vice Mayor Duane Strauser said several community members had submitted revised language adding more specificity.

All council members also agreed the wording should be modifed.*


Following the discussion Zimmerman agreed to the suggested changes.

Zimmerman also pointed out he plaque identifies the correct owner of the pond as Leb Hirschman and not Moses Hirschman as the current signage states.

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