Voters side with two mayors, new Council to defeat English Only
An English Only proposal was defeated Thursday night in Nashville after over 40,000 voters stood up in opposition to the measure. The rejection aligns Nashville’s voters with the current Metro Council, current Mayor Karl Dean, and Dean’s predecessor Bill Purcell.
Former Mayor Bill Purcell vetoed a similar measure when it came across his desk in 2007; current Mayor Karl Dean has vigorously opposed this year’s version; and the current Metro Council passed a resolution by a 3-1 margin urging Nashville voters not to sign the petition putting the measure on the ballot in the first place.
English Only was defeated tonight by a margin of 57-43%. Amendment #2 failed by an even larger margin. An unprecedented, citywide coalition formed in opposition to both measures.
Filed under About Nashville for All of Us, Action, Amendment #2, Faith, Freedom, Hospitality, Litigation, Safety, Stewardship, Terminology, Testimonials, The importance of learning English, Who brought this to Nashville?
NewsChannel5 reports here on two aspects of Amendment #2 that would likely lead to more ballot measures: a lower threshold and provisions allowing greater frequency. Here is an excerpt:
The second charter amendment would allow someone who wants an issue on the ballot to collect signatures of just 1 percent of Davidson County registered voters. Right now, signatures from 10 percent of voters who voted in the previous election are needed and those numbers vary.
If it passes, voters could potentially have a special election once a year.
The full story is here.
Councilman Jim Hodge
Councilman Jim Hodge sent out an e-mail urging a vote against both amendments in the upcoming special election. Michael Cass of the Tennessean has the full story here. Here is an excerpt:
The second charter amendment will, I fear, result in yearly special elections like this one in January, which is costing us about $300,000. Since we already have elections every two years, I can not justify such extra expenses in good conscience. It appears to me to be a bad and expensive policy, which is contrary to good government operations.
Chief Justice A.A. Birch
Former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice A.A. Birch has voted against English Only and Amendment #2, according to this article in the Nashville City Paper. This is an excerpt:
Among those who arrived to vote Friday were former Tennessee Supreme Court Chief Justice A.A. Birch…
Birch told The City Paper that he voted against both charter amendment proposals, but did not elaborate beyond that.
Hat tip: Kleinheider
Alan Valentine, President/CEO of the Nashville Symphony, urged board members to vote against both charter amendments, citing a threat to the Symphony itself. Michael Cass of the Tennessean has the whole story here. This is an excerpt:
“Amendment Two: This would make it much easier to make changes to the Metro Charter (like English Only) by drastically lowering the number of signatures required to bring such amendments onto a ballot. This would make our city’s governing charter subject to special interests, and this could be done as often as once a year. This amendment would reduce the effectiveness of our Metro Government and weaken our stable business environment. And, BTW, the City of Nashville is **required** by the terms of the City Charter to provide annual financial support to the Nashville Symphony (yes, we are mentioned by name in the Charter); if this measure succeeds, you can be sure that some group of people who do not value our city’s cultural institutions will seek to remove that requirement from the Charter, not long after this measure passes.
Mayor Karl Dean
Mayor Karl Dean is “strongly against” both charter amendments. The Tennessean‘s Michael Cass has the whole story here. Here are excerpts:
I am strongly against these charter amendments and I want you to join me in voting against English Only and Amendment No. 2.
First, let me explain what the English Only amendment is not. It is not a vote on immigration reform and it is not a harmless message to office holders. The proposed charter amendment will have absolutely no effect upon efforts to curtail illegal immigration or to reform current national policy. Rather than permitting voters to send a message to the government, the referendum alters our charter in a way that will create legal, political, social and even moral consequences for years to come.
To me, it is the antithesis of hospitality and an unnecessary drain on taxpayer resources. The issue is divisive and will distract us from doing those things that will help us realize our potential as not just a great American city, but a great international city.