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No 'English-Only' Policy for Nashville

Hispanic Business, Posted: Jan 25, 2009

Nashville voters this week rejected a proposal that would have made Nashville the largest U.S. city to require that all government business be conducted in English only. Local news reports indicated returns showed the proposition lost by 41,752 votes to 32,144.

"The results of this special election reaffirm Nashville's identity as a welcoming and friendly city, and our ability to come together as a community," Mayor Karl Dean said in a news release.

Supporters of the measure said the use of one language would be a unifying force for the city as well as a cost-saving measure (for example, the expense of translation services and other associated costs). However, opponents, including business leaders, academics and Mayor Dean, feared it would tarnish the city's image.

U.S. English Inc., which promotes and tracks such language proposals, states that 30 states have some form of English-only law.

The Nashville Tennessean newspaper had called the measure discriminatory, saying in an editorial that it excluded and marginalized non-English speakers.

It was the third time the proposal had been considered in the Tennessee capital.


Related Articles:

'Alleluias' Online at English-Only's Defeat in Nashville


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