new york council members push for english sign requirement

This was bound to happen, but it's not going to happen quietly. In New York, Republican City Councilmen Dan Halloran and Peter Koo are drafting legislation that would require store signs in the city to be mostly in English: NY pols seek to make business signs mostly English.

The bill would require 60 percent of a business' exterior signs to be in English. They argue that the proliferation of non-English signs are a public safety hazard and keep merchants from attracting a larger customer base:
Two bills are pending in the council to change language on store signs. One, introduced in May, would authorize inspectors with the city Department of Consumer Affairs to enforce a little-known state law that requires businesses to display their names in English. The second bill, which will be introduced later this summer, would stipulate that the sign should be at least 60 percent English. Businesses would have four years to comply, after which they'd face fines starting at $150.

"This is designed for public safety, consumer protection and to start increasing the foot traffic into the stores," Halloran said.
I don't see anything wrong with encouraging businesses to include more English in their signage -- non-Chinese-reading residents and customers should have a clear idea of what kinds of businesses are in their neighborhood. Right?

But forced compliance, and 60 percent of signs in English? There's something in there that runs the danger of changing the character of the neighborhood. And how exactly would sixty percent be measured and enforced? More here: English Mandatory Store Sign Bill Sparks Controversy.

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