For Immediate Release: March 3, 2023
LOS ANGELES CITY COUNCIL EXPANDS LIVE SPANISH INTERPRETATION TO COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETINGS PURSUANT TO MOTION FROM COUNCILMEMBER RAMAN
LOS ANGELES -- Today, the Los Angeles City Council unanimously voted to expand Spanish live interpretation services for both virtual and in-person City Council Committee meetings, pursuant to a motion from Councilmember Nithya Raman adopted in May 2022. Currently, the Los Angeles City Council provides live Spanish interpreting services for all City Council meetings, but does not provide these services for Committee meetings to monolingual residents who speak Spanish or any other language apart from English.
“Over half of LA’s nearly 4 million residents speak a language other than English at home,” said Councilmember Raman. “The City has taken great strides in recent years to remove the language barriers that exist in accessing City services — now we have finally taken a long-overdue step to ensure equitable participation in the democratic process.”
Following the adoption of Councilmember Raman’s motion, the Office of the City Clerk (City Clerk), with the assistance of the Information Technology Agency (ITA) submitted a report on November 10, 2022, relative to expanding live interpreting services to all City Council Committee meetings, including: the required software, technology, and hardware; contracting options; and, funding and resources necessary for the expansion of interpreting services. Today, Council voted to approve the recommendations and funding requests detailed in the report.
“Until now, the lack of interpretation available for Council Committee Meetings has left members of the public on their own to piece together discussions and votes that may have drastic impacts on their lives, while also impacting elected officials like myself, who are often deprived of the chance to hear and consider these opinions in weighing these decisions,” emphasized Councilmember Raman. “With the expansion of Spanish live interpretation services for Committee meetings, we are finally giving the estimated 35% of City of LA households that speak Spanish at home a more equal voice in their City government.”