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City of Seattle
Gregory J. Nickels (former Mayor)

SUBJECT: Mayor Expands City's Language Services

2/2/2007  10:30:00 AM
Haddis Tadesse, 684-8119

Mayor Expands City’s Language Services

SEATTLE - This week Mayor Greg Nickels signed an Executive Order adopting a new citywide translation and interpretation policy that will help immigrants, refugees and others with limited-English access city services.

The policy improves the city’s translation and interpretation services. For example, it calls for translating vital documents, such as an explanation of city services, consent and complaint forms, notices of rights, and notices of free language assistance into Spanish, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Mandarin, Somali, Tagalog and Korean. These are the primary languages spoken by a substantial number of Seattle residents.

The new policy will strengthen the city’s delivery of services to people with limited English proficiency.

“Seattle is a place of inclusion that welcomes residents from around the world,” Nickels said. “I’m committed to providing quality customer service to all of Seattle’s residents. By bridging language differences, we can dismantle many of the barriers to a building a better life for thousands of people.”

In addition, the mayor’s new initiative increases the number of available translation and interpretation services. The translation and interpretation services the city provides will be free of charge for Seattle residents.

Drawn to freedom and opportunity in the United States, tens of thousands of immigrants and refugees from around the world have made Seattle home. According to the 2000 U.S. Census, Seattle is home to nearly 100,000 foreign-born individuals from a host of different countries. If the population trends continue, there could be as many as 120,000 foreign-born individuals in Seattle by 2010, potentially 20 percent of Seattle’s 2010 total population projection. Recognizing the need for a comprehensive strategy to better serve Seattle residents with limited English proficiency, Nickels developed a far-reaching translation and interpretation policy.

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Read the Executive Order - Acrobat PDF

Press release in Vietnamese
- Acrobat PDF

Press release in Chinese
- Acrobat PDF

Press release in Korean
- Acrobat PDF

Press release in Somali
- Acrobat PDF

Press release in Spanish
- Acrobat PDF

Press release in Tagalog
- Acrobat PDF

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Office of the Mayor

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