Residents debate Hispanic neighborhood changing street signs into Spanish

by FOXNews Latino  |  published on October 9, 2016

Hispanic NeighborhoodALLENTOWN, PA. – When Hispanic residents of downtown Allentown want to grab a bite, get their hair cut or shop for groceries, they often head to Seventh Street — but they don’t call it that. To them, it’s Calle Siete.

A councilman wants to honor the city’s growing Hispanic population by installing decorative Spanish-language street signs on one of its main commercial thoroughfares, where a profusion of Latino-owned restaurants, barbershops and corner stores reflects the rapidly changing demographics of the state’s third-largest city. Hispanics now represent nearly half the population of 120,000.

But where Democratic Councilman Julio Guridy and other residents and business owners on Seventh Street see the Calle Siete signs as a small but long overdue gesture of respect, others call the proposal unnecessary and divisive.

Critics also say the proposal for the signs is a distraction from issues of poverty, drugs, crime and lack of opportunity in Allentown’s urban core.

“With all the problems this community has, please don’t talk to me about signs,” said John Rosario, 54, who moved to the U.S. from the Dominican Republic about four decades ago and owns a Seventh Street insurance, tax and real estate business. “If you really want to help somebody, roll up your sleeves, come down here and let’s talk about it.”

  • SueT

    I agree with all of you. Why leave your country and come here for a better life if you just want to make here like where you come from. This is the USA learned to live like an American or leave.

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  • ChiefD

    If Hispanics come to America, they should assimilate into the USA culture. They can keep their own, but need to use English, write and read English, and speak English when in mixed company, like in a store.

  • Rodney Steward

    This is America, learn the language and ways, or go home! Give them a short time to a just, and if they don’t, cut off all free stuff that they don’t deserve anyway!! This country bows to everything but the real Americans!

  • chris berrian

    Send them back if they haven’t learned the american english language. That’s been the problem for to long now. It’s time to go Back and fined the people who allow this to happen and hangem high for all the next politicians to be reminded not to keep cheating the population that has died to keep their freedoms.

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