Council continues debating Legislation No. 0289-14: Relating to Law and Order, Naabik’iyati’, and the Navajo Nation Council; Amending Language Fluency Requirements of the Navajo Nation Election Code at 11 N.N.C. §8(A)(4) (Office of President/Vice President), §8(B)(8) 5 (Office of Council Delegate), §8(D)(2)(c) (Land Board) and §8(D)(3)(e) (Farm Board)
(Sponsor: Honorable Lorenzo Curley)
DELEGATE DWIGHT WITHERSPOON
When people challenge, it is not based on vote of people, it is challenged through the courts.
DELEGATE LEONARD TSOSIE
i believe whoever challenges law will lose because what we are doing is take a portion here and there. as leaders trying to correct something. if challenged then debate here will be used and court will say that Council has power to change law regarding president, who is only elected official elected at-large. we think that voters know if candidate does not speak navajo or speaks a little but understands. And that is not the fault of young people. this would promote healing. we are not discounting Navajoness and where we should fund immersion classes and cultural camps. we have heard the people and the people support this.
DELEGATE WITHERSPOON13 IN
if we approve this as amendment, my concern is that amendment allows people to decide and legislation would be effective retro-active.
i would make another amendment to remove retro-active language.
COUNCIL VOTE ON AMENDMENT 1, 13 IN FAVOR, 0 OPPOSED
it is now 9:01 pm
Amendment would only address president position and strike words, 2014 election and keep language that this effective for subsequent elections.
COUNCIL VOTE ON AMENDMENT 2, 13 in favor, 0 oposed
It is now 9:19 pm
DELEGATE ALTON SHEPHERD
Thank Delegate Tsosie for bringing legislation to forefront and my constituents’ greatest concerns were that the change regarding fluency would be retroactive. This is forward looking but i still think we need to look at and looking at findings it states that there are inequities and inconsistencies for possible violation of civil rights especially since fluency still requirement for Education Board.
There are only 13 of us here and only few standing out in debate. Thank Delegate Witherspoon too. I’m here to debate. And see that all votes are green.
COUNCIL VOTE ON O289-14, 13 IN FAVOR, 0 OPPOSED
It is now 9:27 pm