In a ballot referendum on November 2, more than two thirds of residents in Allentown, Pennsylvania voted to keep an Official English provision in the town charter that has been on the books since 1995.
The referendum ballot question presented to voters was “Shall paragraph B of Section 101 of the City of Allentown Home Rule Charter be removed from the Charter?” 6,472 Allentown voters voted against the measure and for Official English compared to “over 3,000” in favor, per reporting from The Morning Call.
The law’s language is simple, stating that “English shall be the official language of the City of Allentown and the language in which City business shall be conducted, unless otherwise required by applicable state and / or federal law or regulation.”
In short Allentown’s provision mirrors the common-sense Official English laws in 32 U.S. states and locally in assorted cities and counties, acknowledging the necessity of learning and speaking English as our country’s common and essential language while respecting all who live in our country.
The ballot referendum was sponsored by Allentown City Councilmember Ce-Ce Gerlach, who called Allentown an “international city” and questioned “…in an international city how does one have a language that is the official language?” As usual such sentiments against Official English overlook the simple reality of English as the most spoken language in the world and its settled status as the language of business, on top of overwhelming public support for Official English throughout the United States.