Jan. 23, 2009
Contact: Phil Kent
Phone: (404) 226-3549
ARLINGTON, VA – “Nashville joins dozens of other cities across the country that have made English the official language of government operations, and we are pleased that ProEnglish played a role in giving Nashville voters the opportunity to make that choice,” ProEnglish Executive Director K.C. McAlpin said today. Nashville is the largest city to date with an official English law.
McAlpin spoke following yesterday’s citywide referendum in which voters approved a city charter amendment making English Nashville’s official language by a margin of ___ percent.
McAlpin called on Mayor Karl Dean to live up to his oath of office and aggressively defend the law if it’s challenged in court. “Now that Nashville citizens have made their choice, we will find out if Mayor Dean and Nashville’s political elite believe in democracy, or whether they favor an authoritarian approach,” McAlpin commented.
He praised Nashville Metro Councilman Eric Crafton for his leadership and the Nashville English First citizens’ group for its hard work in putting the measure on the ballot and getting it passed despite being outspent 5-1 and facing almost unanimous opposition from the city’s civic, business, and religious leaders.
“If ever there was a victory by ordinary people against the combined might of the establishment, the victory of Nashville’s official English charter amendment in yesterday’s election was it,” said McAlpin.
“ProEnglish supported the initiative to make English the city’s official language by contributing our legal expertise and providing financial, technical, and moral support,” McAlpin said.
He added, “Today’s immigrants speak hundreds of languages in cities all across our nation. Government’s responsibility is to help these legal immigrants learn English and assimilate so they can become self-sufficient and pursue the American dream, not to place barriers in their path. We are delighted Nashville’s voters reaffirmed this course.”