“Retention is an important part of the process and such a program would facilitate a smoother transition for these individuals,” said Dr. Michael Laney, vice chairman of the commission. “This (mentoring program) would allow new employees to better understand some of the written and unwritten rules of an organization.”
Human Resources Director Jeffery Davis accepted the proposition for consideration and agreed, that for police officers in particular, only a Field Training Officer program was in place. The commission raised concerns about the hiring process in different departments. The focus was on the media used to inform people about job vacancies.
“We want to ensure that members of the minority groups have an equal opportunity to get jobs and therefore taking the routes of doing public advertisements and posting job vacancies must be done,” said Aubrey Ector, commission chairman.
Commission members requested that advertisements be posted for temporary summer employments, instead of the usual word of mouth practice.
A total of 23 persons from different minority groups are employed in the police, public works, recreation and administrative departments. This total includes four new police officers to commence in May.
“We are impressed with our accomplishments and want to continue moving in a positive direction,” said Ector. “Our efforts in this commission should be a token for other communities to parallel.”
Other members of the commission are Demetrius Ramsey, secretary; Rhodé Lastra-Kirkpatrick, management specialist; and Donald Humes. City Manager Janice Casteel and Human Resources Director Jeffery Davis represent city administration.
English-Only Driver License Test Bill (HB262/SB63)
- As originally proposed, prohibits all translations of the written driving exam, eliminating current translations of Spanish, Korean, Japanese, and German.
- As amended in the House and Senate, makes exceptions for select languages associated with “investing…or providing needed services to companies or businesses.” In other words, German may still be offered to a German business executive, but Korean would not be available to the Korean spouse of U.S. Army soldier in Iraq.
- Establishes arbitrary restrictions on the Department of Safety’s ability to accommodate Limited English Proficient (LEP) individuals, potentially violating Title VI of the Civil Rights Act and jeopardizing all federal funds received by the Department
- Promises to create longer lines at driver license testing centers, as LEP individuals are forced to take the test over and over again with a dictionary.
- Has nothing to do with safety. The TN Department of Safety has testified year after year that there are no statistics to substantiate the safety claims. And the amended bill allows wealthy investors to take translated tests. If it’s unsafe for individuals not fluent in English to drive, why does it matter if they’re rich?
Immigrants don’t need government bureaucrats to tell them that learning English is important. That is why English classes across the state are always filled beyond capacity, with long waiting lists of eager immigrant students. What immigrants need is a little time to learn, and a way to get to work, feed their families, and drive their kids to school in the meantime. This “English-only” bill promises instead to isolate immigrants, making it far less likely that they will learn English quickly. Please ask your representatives: If a newly-settled refugee cannot get a driver’s license, how is he or she going to drive to her English classes?