The Tennessean tells us the council is split on how to vote for Eric Crafton's bill on making English the official Metro Nashville language for business.
According to the Tennessean poll it's readership isn't split at all. Here's what it looked liked this morning at 6:59 a.m. , Tuesday 9/19/06 the morning of the first scheduled vote.
| Should Metro make English its official language? |
And, as I mentioned yesterday, Crafton understands that in order to properly serve the greater good of Nashville some of our employees will still be translating and he clarifies:
Crafton said he would exempt from the English-only requirement "anything that would be considered a safety issue or a health issue" within the government, while "routine business" such as applying for a building permit or applying for water service should be done in English only.I'll clarify. It is not xenophobia that causes me to encourage this legislation. It's knowing that the greatest freedom and safety for this immigrant population will only come when they are conversant in English. To continue to enable their dependence upon translation is an unnecessary burden on their host communities and will result in their being unable to advocate for themselves--and that's the real danger they (we) need to examine closely.
Yes, it's a hard thing to come to a new place and have to learn a new language, granted. But, as I understand it, life where many of these folks came from is no picnic either. But they've made it this far. They can learn English and throw the door open for real opportunity and success here.