Tuesday, February 06, 2007

English Only Passed by 3 Votes

Eric Crafton and the Metro Council social conservatives--needing 21 votes for passage--got their English Only/First resolution approved 23-14 at tonight's Council Meeting. It was mentioned in the debate that Metro Legal has warned that because of the way the bill is written, some of the same problems that would have plagued Crafton's initial bill could also beset the revised bill that passed tonight. A Metro Legal official commented that her office had concerns about the language of the bill.

Before passage, Council Member Lynn Williams pointed out that the language "except when necessary to protect or promote public health, safety or welfare" could bind the city to extra responsibilities (and costs) like producing traffic signs in various languages to suit non-English speakers who might demand it in the name of their own health and safety. That would be karma for Crafton, wouldn't it? She also argued that the bill represents the violation of freedom of speech.

In his own comments before passage, Mr. Crafton answered Mike Jameson's question on which immigrant groups had requested his resolution. Mr. Crafton cited two surveys--one national and one by Marsha Blackburn--that stated that a majority of immigrants wanted English to be the official language. He added that his wife and brother-in-law asked for it. So, a majority of people in two surveys with total ignorance of Nashville's English Only Bill and two of Crafton's close relatives wanted it. That doesn't sound like a groundswell of local immigrant appeal for English Only to you?

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