County council rejects proposal for English as 'official'

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DATELINE: GREEN BAY, Wis., July 2, 2002, Tuesday

A proposal to make English the "official language" of Brown County government got a thumbs down from an advisory council to the County Board Tuesday night.

A Hmong community leader has been among those criticizing the proposal on grounds it would send the wrong message to recent immigrants.

The Diversity Affairs Council created by the County Board heard two hours of testimony before voting to oppose the proposal.

County Executive Nancy Nusbaum said the council planned to work on a resolution that would offer "a more positive approach" regarding issues of diversity.

She said the council was scheduled to meet July 10 and make its recommendation to the board July 17.

Nusbaum joined a variety of educators and community leaders who spoke in opposition to the proposal Tuesday night.