MIAMI (CBSMiami) – ¿Qué pasa Doral?
City officials would like to see Spanish made the official second language in hopes of attracting more foreign businesses.
On Wednesday, the city’s council was set to put the matter up for a vote but ultimately decided to table the issue until their March meeting.
If it passes, it will not impact the way business is conducted in Doral, and business owners will not be required to change their practices.
“At the end of the day, what I want is for people from all over the world to bring their dollars, to bring their money here,” Mayor Luigi Boria told CBS4’s Gary Nelson.
Nearly 63 percent of all businesses in the city, which is due West of Miami, are owned by Hispanics, according to the 2007 census. The city is also home to several Latin American companies.
Boria said when he came to the U.S. he had limited English language skills. He said he drafted the resolution based on his experiences.
“If they can come here without any shame or without any fear and they invest here, we are going to create more jobs,” Boria said. “It will be good for the economy.”
Vice-Mayor Sandra Ruiz said she will enthusiastically support the measure making Spanish official in Doral. Ruiz called it a “positive” move for the city.
Still to be determined is whether the city will conduct all of its business in English and Spanish, including to what extent official communications and documents will be bilingual.
Doral was ranked 51st in Top 100 places to live and launch a business in the U.S. by CNNMoney.com. The city is home to Spanish language media giant Univision, Goya Foods, Dole Flowers and Carnival Cruise Lines.
The issue of Spanish as a second language in South Florida, specifically Miami-Dade County, is not new.
In 1973, the county passed an ordinance making it bilingual and bicultural. Seven years later, voters approved a referendum which made the county English only. In 1993, the county’s commission overturned that ordinance.
In 1988, roughly 84 percent of Florida voters chose to make English the official language of the state – a law that remains on the books today.