Neely Burks [Communications Coordinator, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce]: "On Monday, Feb. 12, Nashville Mayor Bill Purcell vetoed the "English first" bill, saying "this is not who we are." The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce applauds Mayor Purcell's decision to reaffirm Nashville as a welcoming and inclusive city that celebrates diversity. The Nashville Chamber, which remains for legal immigration and comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level, maintains this ordinance is an ill-conceived law that is both unnecessary and unfortunate. Everyone recognizes English as the official language of Nashville, the state of Tennessee and the United States. No on is challenging this.
Our leadership and community partners in fighting this law strongly believe such legislation would be costly to comply with and defend if challenged in court. Legal opinions by Metro's legal counsel confirm this.
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and others are working hard every day to stimulate economic growth for the Nashville region. And as we call on international companies with diverse workforces to invest in Middle Tennessee, whether it be a business relocation or expansion, we want to make the right first impression. "English First" is not a good conversation starter."