About Councilmember Navarro

I serve as the Council Vice-President and the Montgomery County Councilmember representing District 4. I am the chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee and also serve on the Health and Human Services Committee.

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March 4, 2010

Councilmember Navarro Requests Strategy to Engage County’s Residents with Limited English Proficiency

March 2, 2010

Council President Nancy Floreen

Montgomery County Council

100 Maryland Avenue, 6th Floor

Rockville, MD 20850

Dear Council President Floreen:

Since taking office this June, I have made a commitment to engaging the increasingly diverse residents of Montgomery County in local government. As we are all aware, our community is on the cusp of becoming a majority-minority jurisdiction, with 47.7% of the residents being people of color as of 2008. As of 2000, 26.7% of our population was foreign born and 31.6% spoke a language other than English at home. These numbers are only growing.

For that reason, I respectfully request that the County Council take prompt action to develop a proactive strategy to engage the County’s limited English proficiency (LEP) population in opportunities to provide input to the Council. Some possibilities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Recording bilingual or multilingual messages for Council voicemail greetings.
  2. Distributing hearing and town hall notices translated into common languages spoken in Montgomery County and through networks that are likely to actually reach LEP residents.
  3. Making translation assistance available for LEP residents who choose to testify or attend County Council hearings and events.
  4. Working with the Executive branch on ensuring County agencies are able to provide translated notices and documents, such as code enforcement violation notices and rental application forms.

My hope is that over time, these practices can be established as part of an ongoing process to ensure that Montgomery County government remains open and accessible to all of our residents.

I look forward to working with you and the rest of our colleagues on making this a successful endeavor.


Nancy Navarro
County Councilmember District 4

cc: Councilmembers Phil Andrews, Roger Berliner, Marc Elrich, Valerie Ervin, Mike Knapp, George Leventhal, and Duchy Trachtenberg


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