Garcetti Increases English Learners' Access to City Services

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LOS ANGELES (CNS) - With over half-a-million Los Angeles residents designated as English-language learners, Mayor Eric Garcetti today signed an executive directive aimed at improving their access to city information and services.

The directive, which is the 32nd that the mayor has signed since taking office in 2013, requires that every city department implement a plan to handle language access matters, including requests for services in different languages and ways to disseminate information to reach non-English speaking communities.

``Los Angeles is a place of belonging where everyone can, and should, feel comfortable engaging in our civic process,'' Garcetti said.

 ``This new directive will help to ensure that all Angelenos have equal access to what our city has to offer -- for example, providing non-English speaking immigrant business owners and parents with the ability to apply for grants from the city and enroll their children in one of our many youth programs.''

Under the directive, each city department is required to designate a liaison to participate in a Citywide Language Access Working Group, which will work to improve non-English speaker access to city information, programs and services. According to the mayor's office, English-language learners represent more than 37% of the city's immigrant population.

Garcetti's office said the nonprofit Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles will provide support as the program is launched.

``The Mayor's Fund partners with government, philanthropy, community-based non-profits and individual Angelenos to support initiatives that deliver true impact," said Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles president and CEO Deidre Lind.

``We are proud to support this initiative, which is a huge step toward ensuring City Hall equitably serves all Angelenos.''

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