Germantown – an area of Montgomery County that has experienced the largest growth of foreign-born residents since 1990 – was the location selected by Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett to sign an Executive Order on Language Access that will ensure consistently high quality services for residents with limited English proficiency. Leggett was joined by County Council President Nancy Floreen, Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Alex Sanchez, Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the U.S. Office of Civil Rights Leon Rodriguez and community leaders.
“Ensuring effective communication and delivery of County services to all residents is essential to our work,” said Leggett. “Removing language barriers to services is a key element to a culturally competent government that can serve all residents well.”
The Executive Order will improve accountability for all Executive Branch departments and offices in an effort to ensure compliance with federal guidelines on language access, institutionalize effective practices and encourage cross-agency coordination with other public institutions in the County. The new Executive Order will build upon Montgomery County’s current Limited English Proficiency (LEP) policy developed in 2003. With the signing of this order, Leggett hopes to improve staff awareness and competency and ensure access to government services for all communities throughout Montgomery County.
Nearly half (45 percent) of Maryland’s immigrant population lives in Montgomery County and 30 percent of County residents are foreign-born. One in three speaks a language other than English at home and an estimated 14.5 percent are of limited English proficiency.
For more information about the Executive Order or the County's Limited English Proficiency policy, visit www.montgomerycountymd.gov/LEP or contact Lily Qi, Montgomery County's Language Access Coordinator, at 240-777-2524.
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