The Suburban Journal newspapers recently reported that Valley Park, MO has made English that small municipality’s “official language” as part of a wide-ranging municipal ordinance aimed at undocumented residents. The new law bans the use of any language other than English to make that muni’s official business, documents, signage, or forms comprehensible to non-English speakers or readers.
English-only laws like Valley Park’s are bad public policy because they punish the innocent, as well as their intended targets.
Here in the City of St. Louis, English is our common tongue and the language of our government. However, most City departments proudly — and correctly conduct our official business in the many languages of our diverse population.
I want us to do more, not less.