Tag Archives: New York

New York politicians call for “more English”

As if “English only” cries for education weren’t enough, now politicians are calling for business signs in New York to have “60% or more” English on them.

“Republican City Councilmen Dan Halloran and Peter Koo are drafting legislation that would require store signs in the city to be mostly in English. They say police officers and firefighters need to be able to quickly identify stores.”

Well, you can almost bet that safety isn’t really the only reason politicians want more English signs.  The article explains that “the change also would protect consumers and allow local shops to expand outside their traditional customer base,” but do they realize that a whole new sign for small business owners is quite the burden, especially when it may take years for a purchase-base outside of the neighborhood of Flushing, Queens to develop?! And, of course, the article quotes Asian American politician Peter Koo in saying, “This is America, right? English is the main language” so he would change his signs and comply with the law that’s being proposed.  Easy to say when Koo doesn’t even own a small business!  According to the executive director of the Flushing Business Improvement District, most business signs already have English on them, but with this bill most owners would still have to get new ones because they don’t have “enough.”

I think enough is enough.  Go in and talk to the owners about what they have.  I can’t read Chinese or Korean, so does that make me incapable of walking into a store and looking around?  And what difference does it make if the Po-Po and firefighters can’t identify stores quickly?!  If a building’s on fire, I have faith that they’ll be smart enough to know which one it is.

Read the full article here: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/NY-pols-seek-to-make-business-apf-2256377013.html

Besides, isn’t it a bit weird that promotion of this “60% English” bill is coming not too long after this statement: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/24/nyregion/asian-new-yorkers-asian-new-yorkers-seek-power-to-match-surging-numbers.html ? Asians are here to stay, New York.