“Bills would boost Asian voter help” by Michael Gannon, concerning state Assemblyman David Weprin along with state Senator Toby Stavisky supporting a bill to put Bengali, Punjabi and Hindi on ballots and election material, is disappointing.
Weprin’s grandparents or great-grandparents emigrated to America just like mine. They quickly learned to assimilate by learning English, became American citizens and began participating in our electoral process. This is what has previously united the various immigrant groups to make our nation great.
There are more than 150 immigrant groups in the gorgeous mosaic of New York City. Do Weprin and Stavisky propose that we discriminate against more than 140 of them by not providing them election materials in their native language as well? Can you imagine the chaos and cost to taxpayers for printing ballots — along with hiring language interpreters at all polling places — for every ethnic group? This proposal is nothing more than politics as usual, an attempt to curry favor.
Why don’t lawmakers promote English speaking classes for a new generation of immigrants? That is the best way to assist our new neighbors and help them participate in the election process, rather than continuing promoting tribal politics.