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City Council Office
 Policy Order Resolution
  O-5
  IN CITY COUNCIL
  June 2, 2014
COUNCILLOR CARLONE
COUNCILLOR MAZEN
COUNCILLOR MCGOVERN
COUNCILLOR CHEUNG

WHEREAS: The City of Cambridge is working to respond to calls from residents who are seeking a more meaningful role in community planning and development decisions; and
    
WHEREAS: To build community, it is important to provide people of diverse backgrounds and cultures with opportunities to fully participate in civic life and offer input on civic affairs; and
    
WHEREAS: For families and individuals who do not speak English as their first language, there are many barriers to accessing services, obtaining information, and leveraging resources that are needed to engange with our city's institutions and programs; and 
    
WHEREAS:

Public housing advocates have noted that language is a major obstacle for engagement with many Cambridge Housing Authority tenants; and

    
WHEREAS:

The Liaison Interpreter Program of Somerville (LIPS) has been commended as a model for providing opportunities for bilingual high school students to learn language interpretation skills, to practice those skills at community meetings, and to develop professional skills; and 

    
WHEREAS: The LIPS program provides bilingual students with a pathway to future certification in medical or legal interpreting careers, where professional interpreters can earn a good living, and the training program and community practice is an important source of immediate income as well; and 
 
WHEREAS: The LIPS program provides a natural bridge between skill-building for career advancement and knowledge-building and leadership development for effective community engagement; now therefore be it 
    

ORDERED:

That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to confer with all relevant City Staff and Departments to explore the potential for creating a program to enable bilingual high school students to learn language interpretation skills and to practice those skills at community meetings and events throughout the city; and be it further
     

ORDERED:

That the City Manager be and hereby is requested to report back to the City Council on this matter. 

    

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