We live in a time when many U.S. residents harbor "English only" sentiments -- that is, to be considered a good citizen you have to speak English and also stop speaking anything else. Multilingual Chicago is a grassroots organization I belong to that seeks to counter such linguistic hegemony by promoting linguistic diversity in our city, both that brought by immigrants and their descendants as well as by English speakers studying other languages. In 2007, Mayor Daley signed a resolution brought forth by the efforts of this group.
On March 14, 2007, after months of hard work -- particularly by Janet Nolan, Maria Vargas, and 31st Ward Alderman Ray Suarez -- the group succeeded in having Chicago's Mayor Daley sign a resolution stating:
" That we urge all Chicagoans to celebrate, support and develop the great language resources of the City of Chicago in order to fully realize the rich assets they can be to the economy, the social fabric of Chicago and democratic participation in the community."
Read more about this initiative and other projects of the group at multilingualchicago.org. You can also sign up to become a member.