In their first session of the new year, City Council members on Thursday introduced legislation to redraw their own district boundaries, eliminate gendered language from the city Home Rule Charter, and incentivize property owners to install fire escape ladders in response to the deadly Jan. 5 Fairmount fire.

Lawmakers are still meeting remotely, as they have been since the coronavirus took hold in Philadelphia in 2020. But they are working with one fewer colleague after the surprise resignation Thursday morning of Bobby Henon, who stepped down two months after a federal jury convicted him on bribery and honest services fraud charges but before he has been sentenced.

Council President Darrell L. Clarke’s redistricting proposal comes weeks before lawmakers’ Feb. 12 deadline to approve a new map based on 2020 census data. As expected, the map largely corresponds to the current districts, with tweaks for changes in population over the previous decade.

The proposal will get a public hearing Wednesday at 10 a.m. before the Committee of the Whole, the only such opportunity for members of the public to weigh in on the map.

To comment at the virtual hearing, residents must call 215-821-6625 or email Chris.Goy@Phila.gov by 3 p.m. Tuesday, and submit their full name, a phone number where they can be reached during the hearing, and the bill number, which for Clarke’s proposal is No. 220003.

The proposal to strip gendered language from the Home Rule Charter, the city’s governing document, and its education supplement, was introduced by Majority Leader Cherelle Parker on behalf of Mayor Jim Kenney’s administration.

Written in the early 1950s, the charter uses male pronouns, such as in the title of Article V, which governs the “Managing Director and Departments, Boards and Commissions under his Supervision.”

That position, the top nonelected official in city government, is currently occupied by Vanessa Garrett Harley, who is filling in for Managing Director Tumar Alexander while he is out on medical leave. After Alexander returns, Garrett Harley will become deputy mayor for children and families.

In 2019, voters approved a measure by Councilmember Derek S. Green to remove references to “councilman” and “councilmen” in the charter. It now refers to “councilmembers.”

Clarke introduced a proposal prompted by the deadly Fairmount fire, which occurred in his district and killed 12 members of a family living in an upper unit of a public housing apartment building that had no fire escapes.

The bill would give a business tax break to property owners and landlords who install fire escape rope ladders, which can be rolled out from a window. Permanent exterior fire escape staircases, common in older apartment buildings and made of metal or wood, have fallen out of favor due to their cost and the risks associated with people using them when there is no fire.

Clarke’s bill allows property owners to deduct installation expenses from their business privilege tax bills after submitting their plans to the Department of Licenses & Inspections and having an engineer or qualified professional provide a written analysis confirming that it will be “safe for the property in question.”

“This is one small step,” Clarke said in a statement, “but anything that induces property owners and landlords to add additional fire safety measures inside their properties is important and worth doing.”

Staff writer Francois Barrilleaux contributed to this report.