Bogota (NJ): English-only plan put on ballot

Stan and Sandy Anonby stan-sandy_anonby at
Tue Aug 29 22:35:55 UTC 2006

They'll need to start by changing the town's name.

Stan Anonby

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Harold F. Schiffman" <haroldfs at>
To: "Language Policy-List" <lgpolicy-list at>
Sent: Saturday, August 19, 2006 7:31 AM
Subject: Bogota (NJ): English-only plan put on ballot

> Posted on Sat, Aug. 19, 2006
> English-only plan put on Bogota ballot
> Associated Press
> BOGOTA, N.J. - Voters will get their say Nov. 7 on whether English should
> be Bogota's official language. The Borough Council approved the nonbinding
> referendum in a 4-2 vote Thursday. Mayor Steve Lonegan, who proposed the
> ballot question, said making English the official language would unify the
> town of about 8,250 and help people assimilate, the Record of Bergen
> County reported yesterday.
> "Ultimately, this is for our children," he said. "It's about what we're
> going to do for our culture." Others decried the question as
> anti-immigrant. "This is causing racism among people who speak English and
> those who don't," resident Martha Alvarez said. "It's tearing the town
> apart." A proposed ordinance would require conducting and writing borough
> business in English unless federal or state law requires otherwise.
> Federal law requires printing the ballot question in English and Spanish,
> the newspaper reported. No New Jersey town has an official language.
> Lonegan demanded last month that McDonald's change a Spanish billboard to
> English. The fast-food chain refused. An English-only ordinance would not
> apply to such advertisements. In the 2000 census, 21 percent of Bogota's
> residents were of Hispanic heritage, up from 10 percent in 1990. Whites,
> who can include Hispanics, constituted 76 percent of the 2000 population.
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