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File #: 190584    Version: 0 Name:
Type: Resolution Status: ADOPTED
File created: 6/13/2019 In control: CITY COUNCIL
On agenda: Final action: 6/20/2019
Title: Urging the Office of the Philadelphia City Commissioners to maximize Language Access Services available through the City's new voting machines.
Sponsors: Councilmember Oh, Councilmember Taubenberger, Councilmember Green, Councilmember Quiñones Sánchez, Councilmember Blackwell, Councilmember Domb, Councilmember Jones, Councilmember Parker, Councilmember O'Neill, Councilmember Reynolds Brown, Councilmember Squilla, Councilmember Johnson, Councilmember Bass
Attachments: 1. Resolution No. 19058400, 2. Signature19058400
Title
Urging the Office of the Philadelphia City Commissioners to maximize Language Access Services available through the City's new voting machines.
Body

WHEREAS, All American citizens, regardless of their ethnicities and backgrounds, should be encouraged to exercise their right to vote; and

WHEREAS, According to The Pew Charitable Trusts, immigration is largely responsible for the population growth Philadelphia has experienced since 2006. Today, 14% of Philadelphians are foreign-born, and 23% of Philadelphia residents speak a foreign language at home. China, India, Vietnam, Haiti, Ukraine, Albania, and Korea are among the top 10 countries of origin of Philadelphians as of 2017; and

WHEREAS, The National Voting Rights Act requires that any language spoken by at least 5% of a county's population or 10,000 or more individuals in a county shall be included in voting information and services. In accordance with this law, Philadelphia is one of three counties in Pennsylvania to offer language support services in Spanish due to its sizable Hispanic population; and

WHEREAS, As of November 2016, more than 140,000 eligible voters in Pennsylvania, most of whom live in Philadelphia and the greater area, have limited proficiency in English and do not speak Spanish; and

WHEREAS, An anti-discrimination complaint filed with the Human Relations Commission in 2014 by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Boat People-SOS of the Delaware Valley, and the Asian Pacific American Bar Association of Pennsylvania stated that this voting demographic includes 57% of the City's foreign-born Asian American population; and

WHEREAS, The antidiscrimination complaint stated that by not providing adequate language access services to Koreans, Vietnamese, Chinese, and Cambodian voters, the City Commissioners violated the City's Fair Practices Ordinance; and

WHEREAS, Advocates say that the resources currently available to non-Spanish-speaking voters with limited...

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