RESOLUTION NO. RS2006-1650
A resolution requesting the Mayor to study the impact of "English Only" or "English First" legislation, to survey the agencies of Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County whose current programs would be affected, and to determine how restrictions on language accommodation services might impact the speed of English acquisition among immigrants and refugees who are linguistically isolated.
WHEREAS, English is the common and unifying language of the United States of America, and the official and legal language of Tennessee; and
WHEREAS, English acquisition among new immigrants and refugees is a critical factor in their ability to obtain gainful employment, participate fully in the community, integrate successfully into American society, and qualify for United States citizenship; and
the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County conducted an Immigrant
Community Assessment in 2003 (contract #14830) "to gauge the adjustment
of immigrants in the Nashville-Davidson county area," finding that roughly
one-third of Nashville's foreign-born residents are "linguistically isolated,"
and making several recommendations to improve integration including:
1. "Increase English-language instructional opportunities that are offered during non-working hours."
2. "Offer more English-language instruction at proficiency levels higher than the elementary level."
3. "Increase the supply of bilingual emergency-service receptionists and providers"; and
WHEREAS, "English Only" and "English First" legislation-notwithstanding exceptions for federal requirements, health, and safety-seeks to further reduce government services for limited English proficient (LEP) individuals, with a potentially detrimental impact on those who are already linguistically isolated; and
WHEREAS, increased linguistic isolation for LEP individuals may have the unintended consequence of slowing their rate of English acquisition.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE COUNCIL OF THE METROPOLITAN GOVERNMENT OF NASHVILLE AND DAVIDSON COUNTY:
Section 1. That the Metropolitan County Council hereby goes on record as requesting the Mayor to study the impact of "English Only" and "English First" legislation, to survey the agencies of Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County whose current programs would be affected, and to determine how restrictions on language accommodation services might impact the speed of English acquisition among immigrants and refugees who are linguistically isolated.
Section 2. That the Metropolitan Clerk is directed to send a copy of this Resolution to Mayor Bill Purcell.
Section 3. That the Mayor is further requested to respond to the Council as to the feasibility of and/or action taken in compliance with the request stated in Section 1 hereof not later than ninety (90) days from the date of adoption of this Resolution; and
Section 4. That this Resolution shall take effect from and after its adoption, the welfare of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County requiring it.
by: Diane Neighbors, Mike Jameson, Parker Toler, Jim Forkum, Lynn Williams,
Buck Dozier, Jim Hodge, Erik Cole, Greg Adkins
|Referred:||Rules & Confirmations Committee|
|Introduced:||November 21, 2006|
|Adopted:||November 21, 2006|
|Returned Unsigned by Mayor:||November 22, 2006|