[lg policy] Long Beach (Calif.): Councilmember Andrews' Language Policy Unanimously Passed by City Council

Harold Schiffman hfsclpp at GMAIL.COM
Sat Nov 5 14:48:08 UTC 2011

Councilmember Andrews' Language Policy Unanimously Passed by City Council

by Long Beach Post | Staff Reports | 11.04.11 |

5:25am | Sixth District Councilman Dee Andrews, in conjunction with
Ninth District Councilman Steven Neal, put forth a City Council Agenda
Item Tuesday to create a policy to provide equal language access to
all City of Long Beach residents. The item passed unanimously.

Over 50 community members addressed the Long Beach Mayor and City
Councilmembers about the language barriers that they currently face.
Many members of the community expressed a desire to be involved in
Long Beach City government and City services; however their limited
proficiency of the English language acts as a barrier.

“Access to City Government and services are key for the continued
growth of our City and the language barrier is stunting our growth. It
is very important that all the residents that make up Long Beach are
equally invited, involved, and educated about our City’s practices,
especially vital services such as public safety, health, and general
welfare”, said Councilman Dee Andrews.

The item suggests that a policy be created so that all City
Departments, Board meetings, Commission meetings, City Council
meetings and City organized/hosted community meetings be accessible to
Limited English Proficiency (LEP) persons through the use of
interpreters.  Additionally, the item stipulates that vital City
documents be translated into the primary languages spoken by Long
Beach residents, and the City’s website be available in languages
other than English.

"Everyone deserves the right to have equal access to his/her
government. Each person has something of value to offer, and it would
be a shame to miss great opportunities because of language barriers”,
said Councilman Steven Neal.

"Language access is the #1 barrier to the success of immigrant
integration for the residents of Long Beach. The policy will lead to
the improvement of economic development, civic engagement and better
quality of life”, said Sara Pol-Lim, Executive Director United
Cambodian Community

The item requested that the City Manager work with the City Attorney
and community partners with expertise in this area, including the
Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles, the Long Beach Immigrant Rights
Coalition, Housing Long Beach, Centro C.H.A. and United Cambodian
Community, to draft a city-wide Language Access Policy with consistent
city-wide standards, and report back to the City Council within 90

For information, call the Office of Councilman Dee Andrews at (562) 570-6816.

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