Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO, Calls on Legislators to Reject “Adios Amazon” Legislation

Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO, Calls on Legislators to Reject “Adios Amazon” Legislation

Georgia Senators introduced English-Only Georgia Constitutional Amendment

 

For Immediate Release
Media Contact:  Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO, jerry@galeo.org.
January 17, 2018  (Atlanta, GA) Georgia Senators introduced last week, SR587, calling for a Georgia Constitutional Amendment to declare English as the official language of Georgia.
Jerry Gonzalez, Executive Director of GALEO, responded with the following statement:
“Yesterday, Hall County Elections Board rescinded a policy to move the county forward to providing Spanish language elections materials despite there being a big need from Latino voters and despite overwhelming community and public comment support.  The vote was 3-2 along partisan lines.  Instead, the board voted to ‘study’ the issue despite years of data and information about costs, legal analysis and pressing need provided by GALEO, LatinoJustice and the ACLU of Georgia.
Today, we learned of Georgia State Senator Josh McKoon pushing for an English-only Georgia State Constitutional Amendment to be considered by the Georgia Legislature this session and then to be put on the 2018 ballot for Georgia voters.
All of this happening during a time of heightened racial tensions caused by President Trump’s racist ‘s***hole’ comments about immigrants during the recent debates on immigration.
Should the Georgia Legislature continue to move this issue forward, this legislation should be re-named the “Adios Amazon” bill.  Georgia Governor Nathan Deal made it clear that he wished to call a special session to ensure Amazon considers Georgia a right place for its second headquarters.  Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, is of Cuban descent and recently gave $33M for scholarships for DREAMers.  In that announcement, Bezos mentioned his father arrived in this country at 16 years of age and spoke no English.  Passing an English-only Constitutional Amendment would likely send a message to Amazon and to the world that Georgia is an unwelcoming state.
The legislation is a political ploy for the 2018 elections and a risky proposition of losing a potentially impactful economic development opportunity.  Georgia cannot have it both ways.
We do hope the Georgia General Assembly will gain insight and perspective and reject the “Adios Amazon’ legislation (SR587).”
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GALEO’s mission is to increase civic engagement and leadership development of the Latino/Hispanic community across Georgia.

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