Sánchez wants language access in all city agencies
“Every Philadelphian deserves equal access to their city government,” said Councilwoman María Quiñones-Sánchez, who introduced legislation to amend the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter to ensure language/equal access to all residents.
Under the proposed charter amendment, all city agencies, offices, departments, boards and commissions would be required to prepare plans to promote access to city services for people with limited English proficiency.
The amendment would also apply to offices of the District Attorney; City Commissioners; Sheriff; Bureau of Revision of Taxes, as well as the Office of the Controller and the City Council.
The proposal would mandate that such language-access plans be consistent with relevant directives or orders instituted by the mayor, and for all agencies to provide status reports. Quiñones-Sánchez presented the legislation in collaboration with Councilman Wilson Goode, Jr.
“There absolutely should not be any barriers to equitable access to city services for any citizen of Philadelphia,” Goode said. “Every demographic group, every neighborhood, and every language speaker deserves the same entitlements.”
If passed and signed into law, the proposed charter amendment will be placed on the ballot for voter approval.