Doral Officials Reject Resolution to Make Spanish City's Official Second Language

The vote against the proposal was unanimous

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    NEWSLETTERS

    With 80 percent of residents speaking Spanish, Doral Mayor Luigi Boria wants to make Spanish the city's second official language. Community activist Felipe Madrigal disagrees. Doral resident Norberto Spangaro is also against the move.

    The Doral City Council voted unanimously against a proposal to make Spanish its official second language Wednesday.

    With 80 percent of residents speaking Spanish, Doral Mayor Luigi Boria said he wanted to make Spanish the city's second official language. He told NBC 6 before the vote that the title would help grow the local economy.

    "That will eliminate any doubt to come and invest in this country, and also in this city, and it will allow us to create more jobs," he said.

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    With Hugo Chavez's health and the political situation in Venezuela uncertain, will more Venezuelans be coming to Doral or South Florida? Perhaps, Elena Poleo said. "I have spoken to several friends and family members who have inquired about being able to move here if things get violent or uncertainty continues," she said. Doral Mayor Luigi Boria said he expects more Venezuelans will attempt to escape the country, especially because of Chavez's recent re-election victory. "Once they know that Chavez won, you know, now all the people who don't like that kind of regime, they want to come to this country," he said.

    Officials were hoping the resolution, which would designate the city as multicultural, would attract more foreign business owners, according to the Miami Herald.

    Councillors said the multicultural aspect of the resolution would be taken up again at a later date.

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    Joe Carollo was a polarizing, controversial figure during his time as Miami's mayor, and he did not mince words when addressing his past critics in an interview Thursday. Merrett Stierheim, who abruptly resigned as Doral's interim manager before Carollo was officially hired for the position, said that a professional manager should stay out of politics, but Carollo is "in it up to his ears."

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    Doral has several Latin American companies and Hispanics account for 62.7 percent of all business owners in the city, according to a 2007 census.

    But some residents disagree with the mayor – even Spanish-speaking ones like Felipe Madrigal from Costa Rica. He thinks it may scare people away it they don't speak Spanish and calls it "a political shenanigan."

    "We don't need this. We have subsisted for many years very well," the community activist said. "I was part of those who created the city of Doral 10 years ago, and so far we haven't had a problem, so let's unite. Let's not divide."

    If the resolution passes, business owner wouldn't be required to change any of their practices.

    The mayor says the change won't cost a dime – and besides helping the economy, he thinks it'll also encourage residents to learn another language.

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    Boria, who opened his own business shortly after coming to the United States from Venezuela, told the Herald he expects the resolution to pass.