How many languages should your election ballot be in?


| lpenner@queenscourier.com |

New York State Assemblymember David Weprin along with State Senator Toby Ann 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. I’m sure Weprin’s Cuban mom followed this path as well.

There are over 150 immigrant groups in the gorgeous mosaic of New York City. Does Weprin propose that we discriminate against over 140 other ethnic groups and not provide them with ballots and 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 place for every ethnic group?

The Weprin political family dynasty was founded decades ago. Many Jewish voters along with Catholic, Irish and Italian Weprin supporters and their children have moved out of the neighborhood. Parents sold their homes or apartments. They have relocated elsewhere or succumbed to old age. Weprin’s new State Assembly District based upon the 2010 reapportionment now includes far more new voters who don’t know him. Many are of South Asian origin. Weprin’s proposal is nothing more than politics as usual. He is just attempting to curry favor with new potential ethnic voting block. Why doesn’t Weprin promote English speaking classes to a new generation of immigrants? This is the best way to assist our new neighbors and help them participat in the election process, rather than continuing promoting tribal politics.