June 1, 2011
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Presented by ProEnglish
ARLINGTON, Va.—“The town of Jackson, N.Y., has been conducting its government business in English for nearly 200 years, so it is a sad day that the Town Council is being forced to rescind its English as the language-of-government ordinance today. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman is off- base with his lies about the town’s right to have 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 statute last year.
“Polls indicate that over 80 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 followed in the footsteps of Hazelton, Pa.— a city which beat American Civil Liberties Union lawyers and preserved its official English-in-government ordinance,” Louden notes.
“The Town Board got it right last year by voting to 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 Board Member Meyer and other Jackson residents noted, mounting costs to taxpayers with regard to translators and printing documents in various languages,” Louden says.
“The attorney general claims the law is discriminatory, yet the ordinance does nothing to inhibit Jackson’s residents from speaking any language they desire. This is narrowly tailored so Jackson’s government body has just one language in order to avoid miscommunication among people,” Louden said. “Jackson didn’t have the resources to fight the attorney general. But we hope other towns and cities will fight back and not have to cave in to bullies like Schneiderman and his left-wing ACLU allies.”