Doral: Multicultural? Maybe. Officially bilingual? Not yet.
By: Maria Alejandra Pulgar
The news has been circulating since February 11, when a public announcement was made about Resolution 12-454 to be discussed at the February 13th Council Meeting. Many other important issues were in the agenda; however it was the potential official declaration of the City of Doral as a Bilingual city, including Spanish as an official language what prompted mixed opinions in the community.
Several residents requested to talk about the issue during the Public Comments period of the meeting, one of them citing that the 11th amendment of the State of Florida Legislation establishes English as the official language of the state.
When it was the moment of discussing the resolution, Mayor Boria made his best effort to convince his fellow councilmembers on the need of setting this precedent and making official the use of Spanish in the city, mainly as a business tool, in the spirit of making Spanish speaking potential investors more attracted to come and do business in Doral. Even though the supporting information for his motion included references to the Hispanic origins in the history of the state of Florida, it was not enough to convince the councilwomen, who very respectfully explained their reasons for opposing the idea, given that Spanish is already broadly spoken in the city and there is no need to make that official, although all of them understood the ‘friendlier city spirit’ that prompted Mayor Boria to propose it.
City Manager Joe Carollo also intervened during the discussion to share with the council that the Miami-Dade County had many decades ago passed a similar resolution as have other municipalities like Hialeah. The City Attorney Mr. Jimmy Morales also explained, upon request of councilwoman Fraga, that no legal issues would arise from approving the resolution with the wording it was formulated.
Nevertheless, the resolution was voted 4:1 to be deferred for discussion on the next council meeting in March, when it is expected to be modified with a different approach, including only the Multicultural part of what was initially proposed.
The complete text of the discussed resolution can be read in the City of Doral website: www.cityofdoral.com