Language Access

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In Long Beach, 45.5% of residents speak another language other than English at home.

Nearly 1 in 4 residents speak English “less than” very well.

The most common languages spoken include: Spanish, Khmer, Tagalog, and Vietnamese.

Currently, there are

139,263 Spanish speakers in the City of Long Beach

15,520 Khmer speakers;

13,142 Tagalog speakers; and

4,670 Vietnamese speakers.

City governments are required by state and federal laws to ensure that residents are given meaningful access to city meetings, services, and vital documents.

Fact Sheet (Click Here to Download)
Last year in August 2013, community residents including the Filipino Migrant Center worked within the Language Access Coalition to successfully urge the City Council to pass a City-wide Language Access Policy that increased and improved translation and interpretation services for residents in Spanish, Khmer and Tagalog.

1174793_590321511011394_197563046_nWhat did we win as part of the Coalition?

  • 2014:  Funding of $250,000 for Fiscal Year 2015 Budget to fund the City of Long Beach’s Language Access Policy along with along with an additional $150,000 for a staff position to help with implementation and monitoring (i.e. translating City phone lines, phone trees, and voicemails; translating key City webpages; and training for staff on how to work with interpreters)
  • 2013:  The City of Long Beach adopted a Language Access Policy to make City services, meetings, and vital documents access to Limited English Proficiency (LEP) speakers (namely Spanish, Khmer, or Tagalog speakers)

While the Policy was not been funded in its entirety ($1.2 million as identified by City Staff), the Language Access Coalition identified this funding as a meaningful start to implementation.

(Source – Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach)


The Language Access Coalition is a collaborative group of organizations including East Yard Communities for Environmental Justice (EYCEJ), Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA), Housing Long Beach (HLB), the Long Beach Immigrant Rights Coalition (LBIRC), Aikona, Educated Men with Meaningful Messages (EM3), the Filipino Migrant Center (FMC), United Cambodian Community (UCC), Khmer Girls in Action (KGA), and Building Healthy Communities: Long Beach (BHCLB).

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