Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez and Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr. introduced legislation to amend the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter in order to ensure that every Philadelphian has access to city services, regardless of language spoken. The proposed charter amendment would be a very useful charter change that bears on our fight to get translation and interpretation services in the schools.
Philadelphia is an increasingly diverse city, with significant Latino and Asian-American communities as well as a foreign-born population that has increased by more than 40,000 between the years 2000 and 2012. Under the proposed Charter amendment, all city agencies, offices, departments, boards and commissions would be required to promote access to city services for people with limited English proficiency.
“There absolutely should not be any barriers to equitable access to City services for any citizen of Philadelphia,” said Councilman Goode. The Charter amendment will apply to row offices such as the District Attorney, City commissioners, Sheriff, and Bureau of Revision of Taxes, as well as the Office of the Controller and City Council.
“Despite real progress, further steps are needed to ensure our local government truly represents and meets the needs of all its residents,” said Councilwoman Quiñones-Sánchez.