Mayor Karl Dean
Mayor Karl Dean told the Nashville City Paper here what the defeat of English Only means to him:
“You always need to make sure people feel welcome in our city and our city celebrates diversity,” Dean said. “I would look at the English Only vote as the confirmation of that. I said at the time, we’re the only major American city that’s been tested in that way and we passed the test.
“So I’m pretty proud of the way our city responded.”
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?
Image by Alexandre Duret-Lutz. Licensed via Creative Commons.
Even with approximately 70 posts to date, this blog has not reproduced all of the written opposition to English Only in Nashville, nor could it ever. Because today is the day of the special election and the last day to vote, however, the best we can do with the “waiting list” of those comments, letters, columns, blog posts, other statements of support, and news that have so far gone unpublished here is to link to as much of them as we can in list form below.
Our apologies to those whose public statements and endorsements have not been included here – and there are many of you. We know that everyone who has spoken out against the charter amendments in any context is a part of this effort.
Thank you! Continue reading
Filed under About Nashville for All of Us, Action, Faith, Freedom, Hospitality, Litigation, Safety, Stewardship, Terminology, Testimonials, The importance of learning English, Who brought this to Nashville?
The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors (GNAR) raises the possibility of harm beyond Nashville if English Only passes. The statement, on GNAR letterhead, is here and is also reproduced below:
STATEMENT CONCERNING “ENGLISH ONLY”
The Greater Nashville Association of Realtors announces that it is encouraging its members who live in Davidson County and all Davidson County voters to defeat the “English Only” initiative.
“It is sad that these voices have had to be raised”
The Tennessean daily newspaper has taken a position against English Only. Here is an excerpt:
Many public officials and civic leaders have criticized the English-only campaign. But in the end, it is sad that these voices have had to be raised just to make the case that Nashville is a tolerant city.
Nashville should want the world to know it is a diverse, welcoming city. An English-only amendment does not send that signal. Voters should reject the proposals that appear on the ballot starting today.
Read the entire editorial here.
Educators at Belmont University have issued an open letter opposing English Only, with the list of the staff and faculty signing the letter running 10-1/2 pages long. Here are excerpts:
[W]e join our university’s president, Dr. Robert Fisher and the presidents of Nashville’s other universities, in standing against the English Only initiative. We oppose the measure because we believe the initiative will serve to diminish the opportunities for broadening our students’ perspective, which our community now offers in abundance. We believe that the measure and the message its adoption would send to the rest of the world will create a culturally impoverished environment in our city. We are concerned that it will damage our economy by making it much more challenging for our city to attract global investment and to welcome international visitors.
On this issue, we cannot help but be reminded of the admonition to welcome charitably the strangers and to treat them as our own native born (Leviticus 19:33-34) and to practice hospitality as Paul urged the early Christian communities to do (Romans 12:9-13). In our view, by placing barriers to the ability of our visitors to participate in our community, especially when they are first arrived and not yet proficient in our language, the English Only measure is both uncharitable and inhospitable.
Dr. Ming Wang
Speaking to the Nashville Chamber of Commerce about investment in China, Dr. Ming Wang of Nashville took the opportunity to voice his opposition to English Only, calling it “divisive, totally unnecessary,” and “ridiculous,” according to P.J. Tobia on the Nashville Scene blog. Here is an excerpt of Tobia’s report, in which Wang speaks with derision of the business effect of rules like English Only:
Wang also turned the table on the business types assembled and asked, “Would you still be motivated to invest and do business in China if tomorrow the Chinese government declared that all business could only be conducted in Chinese? Of course not. That would be stupid.”