U.S. English (organization)

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U.S. English
Us english logo.JPG
Formation 1983
Type Public Policy Think tank
Headquarters 2000 L Street NW, Suite 702
Location
Chairman/CEO Mauro E. Mujica
Website www.usenglish.org

U.S. English is the umbrella name for two American political advocacy groups founded in 1983 by Senator S. I. Hayakawa to advocate the adoption of English as the official language of the United States.

The group operates two separate nonprofit entities out of its headquarters in Washington, D.C.—U.S. English, Inc. and the U.S. English Foundation.[1]

Leadership[edit]

Mauro E. Mujica has been the Chair and CEO of U.S. English since 1993. He was educated at Columbia University and holds Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Architecture.[2] A naturalized citizen, Mujica was born in Antofagasta, Chile, and moved to the United States in 1964. An architect by trade, Mujica was the Chairman/CEO of the Pace Group, an international architecture and planning firm, from 1983 to 1987.[3] He is fluent in five languages.

Advisory board members[edit]

Early advisory board members included Alistair Cooke, Saul Bellow, Walter Cronkite, Norman Cousins, Gore Vidal, Norman Podhoretz, and Arnold Schwarzenegger. Some of them are no longer affiliated with the group. Schwarzenegger is still a board member. The gallerist André Emmerich (d. 2007), Charles Scripps, Togo Tanaka and the Nobel Prize laureate Rosalyn Yalow (d. 2007) were among the other past members of the advisory board.

Current members of the Advisory Board include: Jacques Barzun, Ph.D., Edward A. Capano, Denton Cooley, M.D., Midge Decter, Jorge Delgado, Dinesh Desai, Mrs. Richard DeVos, George Gilder, Nathan Glazer, Ph.D., Charles Gogolak, Lee Majors, Laura McKenzie, Harvey Meyerhoff, Barbara Mujica, Ph.D., Alex Olmedo, Arnold Palmer, Margie Petersen, Norman Podhoretz, Donald M. Ross, Randolph Rowland, James Schlesinger, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Norman D. Shumway, Rodney Smith, Alex Trebek, George W. Wilson, and Roger Wildermuth .[4] To date, the United States federal government has recognized no official language, even though nearly all federal, state and local government business is conducted in English. Some states and territories do have English as an official language; a few have passed laws embracing another language alongside English, such as Hawaiian in the state of Hawaii. In total, 30 states have English as their official language. The U.S. House of Representatives passed English as the official language in 1996, but the Senate did not act on the measure before the conclusion of the 104th Congress.

Position[edit]

For U.S. English, making English the official language of the United States means that all government business must be conducted in English "with commonsense exceptions" of necessity, such as disseminating public-health information to non-English speaking communities.

Opponents of the goals of the U.S. English organization or of English as the official language object that the practice would express a bias against immigrants who have yet to learn English. In response, U.S. English argues that this would encourage immigrants to learn English more quickly, thereby reaping greater economic and political benefits. Thus, in the view of many supporters of this approach—including members of other English-only advocacy groups—the move to make English the only official language can have benefits for non-English speakers, and is not a form of legalized discrimination.

Controversy[edit]

Walter Cronkite was once a board member of the organization, and Linda Chavez was once executive director. A leak by the Arizona Republic newspaper of a memo from John Tanton,[5] which many including Cronkite, who called the memo "embarassing", believed went too far in its characterization of Latinos, prompted Chavez and Cronkite to resign.[citation needed] John Tanton also severed his ties to the group in 1988 following the leak of the memo, and is no longer associated with it; he later went on to found his own group, ProEnglish.[citation needed]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Contact Us." U.S. English. Retrieved on December 15, 2009.
  2. ^ "Biography of Chairman of the Board/CEO Mauro E. Mujica". Retrieved October 8, 2010. 
  3. ^ "Mauro E. Mujica LinkedIn profile". 
  4. ^ "Advisory Board."
  5. ^ "Memo to WITAN IV Attendees from John Tanton." Southern Poverty Law Center. Retrieved on December 15, 2009.

References[edit]

External links[edit]