Councilman Eric Crafton hasn't given up on English being the official language of the business of Metro Nashville. According to this morning's City Paper he's taking it to the people and it's very likely to be on the November ballot along with the presidental candidates.
The new ballot initiative comes just over a year after Crafton’s ordinance to accomplish the same thing was passed by Council with a 23-14 vote but subsequently vetoed by Mayor Bill Purcell.
I don't think Crafton will have a n y trouble getting the 10,103 signatures needed to get this on the November ballot.
To review my opinion on the matter:
1. It's foolish to take on the responsibility of ensuring that every language gets equal treatment in Metro business. The liability of not correctly translating could be enormous. The costs of providing materials in multitudes of languages shouldn't be overlooked. What language gets left out because of an arbitrary decision about 'the need' for that particular language?
2. For the safety and well-being of immigrants, as well as citizens, we need to encourage in every way possible their learning English. I'd rather spend money there than on printing things in who knows how many languages which is just a stop-gap measure. Haven't we seen enough stories about how immigrants are taken advantage of because they haven't learned English and haven't assimilated? Their inability to speak English handicaps them in every day life and encourages predators.
“No person shall have a right to government services in any other language. All meetings of the Metro Council, Boards and Commissions of the Metropolitan Government shall be conducted in English. Nothing in this measure shall be interpreted to conflict with federal or state law.”