Editorial: Forward thinking? Not Lino LakesThe Twin Cities suburb of Lino Lakes made big news earlier this week when it passed an ordinance that adopted English as its official language.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
The Twin Cities suburb of Lino Lakes made big news earlier this week when it passed an ordinance that adopted English as its official language.
No, the community’s city council didn’t go and ban the speaking of foreign languages when it passed the measure. That doesn’t mean, however, that the council didn’t send a negative message to the city’s current and prospective immigrant community with its action.
The new ordinance, passed Monday night by a 4-1 vote, keeps the city from spending money to translate official city actions and documents into other languages. Council members, according to a Minnesota Public Radio report, called it a tough but forward-thinking decision. But how can such a decision be called forward-thinking when one stops to look at changing population demographics across the country?
This is not to suggest that we don’t want members of the immigrant community learning English. By all means, we would hope that everyone coming to this country would make such an effort. But, learning a new language doesn’t happen overnight.
We feel municipalities owe it to all their residents to have equal access to city information. By doing so, they give each and every community resident the same opportunity to become a productive and contributing citizen. It’s simply the right thing to do.
Lino Lakes is the first city in Minnesota to adopt such a policy. We hope it’s the last.