Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen
Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen joined Nashville Mayor Karl Dean to vote against English Only on Monday.
Speaking to a group of reporters including NewsChannel5, Bredesen said that the measure would hurt business recruiting and tourism in Nashville.
Mayor Dean said Nashville’s future depends on international businesses and visitors.
In todays’ front-page NewYorkTimes.com article about English Only, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce President Ralph J. Schulz reports, “Businesses from outside Nashville have been calling and saying, ‘Is Nashville a xenophobic place?’”
Schulz had previously told the Tennessean in this editorial that English Only would “weaken Nashville’s business environment,” and Schulz was quoted in this earlier story describing English Only as “the antithesis of hospitality.”
Rev. Dennis J. Meaker
Rev. Dennis J. Meaker of the West Nashville United Methodist Church published this message regarding the significance of the English Only referendum from the perspective of the Christian scriptures. Here is an excerpt:
The biblical command to extend hospitality is not limited to those of our faith. It is particularly ironic, however, that self-professed Christians are so willing to exclude their brothers and sisters in Christ by reinforcing the barrier of language. As noted in 1 John 4:20-21:
“Those who say, ‘I love God,’ and hate their brothers or sisters, are liars; for those who do not love a brother or sister whom they have seen, cannot love God whom they have not seen. The commandment we have from him is this: those who love God must love their brothers and sisters also.”
By the time you read this article, early voting will be open in Davidson County. The English-only referendum is not a political issue that the church is supposed to avoid. It strikes at the heart of what we profess to believe. As you go to vote, and please do vote, remember Christ is present in every person around us, even those who do not speak English.
In this YouTube video published on the home page of Nashville for All of Us, a number of Nashvillians say why they are voting against English Only, including Mayor Karl Dean, Bishop David Choby, Anastasia Brown, Tom Oreck, Rev. Sonnye Dixon, and Buck Dozier.
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.
Former mayoral candidate David Briley stressed the importance of opposing English Only in an e-mail to his supporters, reproduced here by Michael Cass of the Tennessean. This is an excerpt:
I have not written you since the 2007 election but I am writing now to ask you to get involved in an issue that is important to me and our City. I am asking you to Vote Against the English Only ballot referendum that will be held on January 22. Personally, I oppose English Only for many reasons…
Evans Donnell has called English Only a “black eye” for Nashville:
[I]t will be costly to taxpayers (it already is if you consider spending six figures for a special election) and it will be a business and tourism “black eye” for Nashville.
The full post is here.
Hat tip: Kleinheider