May 19, 2011
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Presented by ProEnglish
ARLINGTON, Va.—“The town of Jackson, N.Y. (pop. 1,718), has been conducting its government business in English for nearly 200 years. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is abusing his office by politically oppressing and threatening a small town which passed a reasonable official English ordinance,” says Dave Louden, executive director of ProEnglish, a national official English advocacy organization. The group provided assistance to Town Board member Roger Meyer before Jackson passed its ordinance last year.
“Polls indicate that over 87 percent of the American people— including a large majority of Democrats, Republicans and independents— support English as the official language of our government operations. Many localities and 31 states have adopted such laws. In fact, Jackson follows in the footsteps of Hazelton, Pa. — a city which with help from ProEnglish beat American Civil Liberties Union lawyers and preserved its official English-in-government ordinance,” Louden notes.
“Town Board member Meyer is right when he says Jackson should resist any future requirement that any language other than English be used in any documents, regulations, orders, transactions, proceedings, programs or publications. This addresses the confusion of multilingualism as well as what could be, as Meyer and other Jackson residents emphasize, mounting costs to taxpayers with regard to translators and printing documents in various languages,” Louden says.
“The attorney general wrongly claims the law is discriminatory, yet the ordinance does nothing to inhibit Jackson’s residents from speaking any language they desire. This ordinance is narrowly tailored so Jackson’s government body has just one language in order to avoid miscommunication among people,” Louden said. “We stand with the Town Board of Jackson against the state attorney general’s continued unwarranted threats and misinformation regarding this common sense statute.”