City of Madison, Wisconsin: Proclaiming Pluto as Madison's ninth planet

Status Report From: Madison Wisconsin
Posted: Thursday, September 7, 2006


City of Madison Legislative File Number 04419 (version 1) Proclaiming Pluto as Madison's ninth planet.


Proclaiming Pluto as Madison's ninth planet.


WHEREAS, the International Astronomical Union (IAU) has recently declared that Pluto is no longer a planet of our solar system and is instead part of a new category of planets that they intend to name "dwarf" planets; and

WHEREAS, one of the reasons for this demotion is that Pluto is small, which they call being a "dwarf," suggesting the IAU does not tolerate diversity; and

WHEREAS, Pluto's orbit intersects the orbit of Neptune and is somewhat elliptical, which also is being used as a reason for disqualifying it as a planet, suggesting that the IAU really does not tolerate planets pursuing different lifestyles; and

WHEREAS, there are two other astronomical bodies - UB313 and Ceres - that could also qualify for planetary status were we to be consistent with declaring Pluto a planet; and

WHEREAS, while UB313 has been nicknamed Xena after a noted television character very popular with the lesbian and gay community, the IAU has resisted making this name official, again suggesting a level of intolerance; and

WHEREAS, "plutocracy" means the reign of wealth or the wealthy; and

WHEREAS, the Mayor has expressed concerns that, should this resolution pass, Madison might be perceived as a plutocracy;

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the City of Madison declares that Pluto is its ninth planet.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City supports Pluto and values its dwarf status.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City supports planets that take a different path, such as Ceres and Xena.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City requests Neptune modify its orbit to assist Pluto in qualifying for planetary status and that Neptune declare this to be a reasonable astronomical accommodation.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the city urges the IAU to adopt an Inclusionary Astronomy rule giving planets that might be small, have elliptical orbits and exist with differences equal status to the other planets.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City declares it is not in any way favoring a plutocracy.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City believes that Inclusionary Astronomy is also a way to counter any suggestion that this resolution endorses plutocracy.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the City requests the International Astronomical Union to reconsider its decision, to grant Ceres and UB313 planetary status, and to give UB313 the name Xena as a gesture of inclusiveness.

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the City invites any representatives of Pluto (should any exist) to an upcoming Common Council meeting where they will receive the keys to the city, passes to the Goodman Pool, an honorary membership in the Chamber of Commerce (to ensure that the folks on Pluto realize how business-friendly Madison really, REALLY is) and, finally, an autographed CD from the Dixie Chicks.

Fiscal Note

No expenditure required.

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