I had a few minutes last Friday to read the Gazette newspaper and the first article to catch my eye was English Proposed as Official Language”. After reading the article I am thoroughly convinced that Frederick County needs progressive leadership from its county commissioners to be viable in the 21st Century.

We live in a global, multicultural and multilingual economic environment. There are international companies that are looking for locations that have an excellent quality of life, easy access to Washington and a cost effective delivery service for their products. This plan to make English the official language of the county discourages international commerce and international companies from considering Frederick as a viable place to locate their business.

There are companies currently located in Frederick that are recruiting the best and the brightest in their fields many who are immigrants who decide to bring their families to the US. This proposal discourages these families from moving to the Frederick in favor of counties that embrace diversity and provide translation support services.

This proposal will discourage the families who get jobs in the Washington DC area from moving to Frederick. The Chinese doctor, El Salvadorian CPA, Burmese professor, Cuban professor and Angolan engineer that are home owners, tax payers and caring for their elderly parents who primarily speak their native language will be penalized because of an attempt to maintain a colonization style of top down leadership.

I have not experienced the commissioner in conversations with the minority communities, yet he seeks a solution to illegal immigrants. The majority of immigrants are legal and Frederick is in an excellent position to be the model multicultural community if we maintain the high quality of life, access to quality cultural activities and support services that are available to all residents of the county. I have not experienced the commissioner in conversations where the minority communities are addressing health disparities, education disparities and gang issues which are a threat to the quality of life infrastructure of our County. These are the areas where our county commissioners can find solutions, build coalitions and transform the county from a mid 20th Century homogeneous society mindset to a progressive 21st Century Leadership mindset.

The proposal to make English the official language of the county is not good leadership.