JoCasta Zamarripa
Press Release

Representative JoCasta Zamarripa on Leon’s Discriminatory English-Only Policy

Ron Schneider, owner of Leon’s Frozen Custard in Milwaukee, has been prohibiting his bilingual employees from speaking Spanish to Spanish-speaking customers.

By - May 19th, 2016 02:08 pm
Leon’s Frozen Custard. Photo by Brian Jacobson.

Leon’s Frozen Custard. Photo by Brian Jacobson.

Madison – State Representative JoCasta Zamarripa (D – Milwaukee) issued the following statement regarding the recent media reports that Ron Schneider, owner of Leon’s Frozen Custard in Milwaukee, has been prohibiting his bilingual employees from speaking Spanish to Spanish-speaking customers.

“It’s deeply disappointing to hear about a Milwaukee institution like Leon’s, potentially illegally, prohibiting their employees from speaking Spanish to assist customers in placing an order. Wisconsin has a rich immigrant heritage. Wisconsinites have spoken their native language while also embracing the English language for generations. From German to Polish, from Spanish to Hmong, these unique languages and cultures define Milwaukee. City notices were printed in English and German in local newspapers. Theaters showed English and Polish language movies. Churches held services in English and Spanish and, now, Hmong.

“As early as I can remember, Leon’s has been the place to go for custard on a warm Milwaukee day. For generations, it has been a staple of the community and a beloved hang out spot for Milwaukeeans throughout the city, but especially my south side neighbors, many of whom are Latinos, and some who are Spanish-speaking. Until Mr. Schneider honors this kind of loyal support from his customers instead of rejecting it with divisive rhetoric and policy, those customers will likely support other local vendors that embrace the community they serve.”

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