Steve Bellone, the Suffolk County executive, signed an executive order on Nov. 14 requiring county agencies to translate essential public documents and forms into six languages besides English and to provide translation services for residents who don’t speak English well.
The goal is to make government more accessible to residents, especially in emergencies, and could be especially valuable to residents in Suffolk County, which covers central and eastern Long Island and is far more diverse than its bedroom-community stereotype suggests. The county has 1.5 million residents, 20 percent of whom speak languages other than English at home. The order applies to the top six: Italian, Mandarin, Spanish, Polish, French Creole and Portuguese.
Mr. Bellone’s order is more than a common-sense... read more »