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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

SL diversity group fights English law

Thursday, March 8, 2001

'Official language' mandate, local senator's stance send wrong message about Iowa to its newcomers, vote says.

The Storm Lake Diversity Task Force has overwhelmingly passed a resolution expressing opposition to the controversial "Official English" bill being considered in the Iowa Legislature.

The resolution specifically asks State Senator Mary Lou Freeman, who represents this area in the Iowa Senate, to end her co-sponsorship of the bill.

The vote completed among among the Diversity Council members Tuesday was 17 in favor of the resolution, one opposed and two members abstaining.

"Several members of the task force have been informally discussing their dismay at the fact that such a piece of legislation is even being discussed by our legislature, and the concern only increased when our local senator Mary Lou Freeman signed on as a co-sponsor of the measure," said Diversity Council member Chuck Offenburger.

"We felt that our task force was well enough known for being progressive in our approach to diversity that it is important for it to sound off on this issue."

Hector Velez, chairman of the task force, said the group is opposing the bill because it feels it is not necessary.

"We question the way it is presented and the reasoning behind even pursuing the bill," Velez said. "It's already implied in Iowa code that all documents are to be in English and English only, so it's unnecessary."

He said the fact that the bill is being discussed now seems reactionary, adding that it may send out the wrong message.

Read the rest of this story in the 3/8 Pilot Tribune.

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