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A small New York State Town makes English a requirement for town business…..

Ok…here we go!……

My wife is always grumbling……

If you come to America….

You have to learn to speak English…..

You know what?

If you go to France you’re gonna have problems not speaking French…

In Spain you’re gonna be hard pressed to do anything without knowing some spanish….

In China…you won’t far without understanding some Chinese…..

Me ….I agree…

I have no problem with different languages…

I game examples of language usage in Europe…

But I know near the borders of those countries people know SEVERAL languages…

But should we legislate the language policy????

It’s about 2,500 miles from this green, rural town in the rolling hills near Vermont to the Mexican border atNogales, but that hasn’t stopped Jackson from making a bid to be New York’s small version of Arizona in the immigration wars.

Or that’s how it is beginning to feel two months after Jackson — which has 1,700 people, no village, no grocery store or place to buy gasoline, no church, no school, two restaurants and maybe a few Spanish-speaking farm workers — decided it needed a law requiring that all town business be conducted in English.

One nearby town, Argyle, has since passed a similar resolution. A third, Easton, is likely to consider one at its Town Board meeting in June. The law has already put Jackson at odds with the New York Civil Liberties Union, which says it violates state and federal law. But in the great American echo chamber, every mouse gets to roar, so Roger Meyer, who proposed the law, feels he is making progress toward protecting the English language from threats near and far.

“For too long, the federal government has shirked its duty by not passing English as the official language of the United States,” said Mr. Meyer, 76, a Town Council member and retiree who runs Chains Unlimited, a sawmill and chain saw and logging supply company. “So seeing as this law couldn’t be passed from the top down, I felt I’d start a grass-roots movement to try to get it passed from the bottom up.”

The law designates English as the town’s official written and spoken language, “to be used in all official meetings and business conducted by the elected officials and their appointees.”

The civil liberties union has asked the board to rescind the ordinance.

“The English language is not under attack in Jackson or anywhere else in the state or country,” said Melanie Trimble, director of the civil liberties union’s capital region chapter.

The group said the law prohibited constitutionally protected speech and discriminated against anyone with limited English skills who tried to conduct business with the town, whether they wished to report a crime or to testify in local court or to obtain a building permit. It contains no exceptions for medical emergencies and police investigations, in which public health and safety are at stake, the group said………


The question will probably be kicked up to the Federal Courts …who will hold that the issue of language IS a Federal issue…

The towns adopting this policy know that…..

The more basic question is…..

What’s right for a little town in  upstate New York ?…….  verses what should apply to New York City? ……

May 12, 2010 - Posted by | Blogs, Breaking News, Counterpoints, Education, Government, Law, Media, PoliticalDog Calls, Politics, Updates | , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by James Finley. James Finley said: A small New York State Town makes English a requirement for town business…..: http://wp.me/pAL4p-2OH […]

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