The City Council’s Finance and Management Committee just finished discussing the annual report on the Equal Access Ordinance (PDF). Equal access discussions always depress me. I find it incredible that we now have half as much bilingual staff as we did when the damn thing was passed in 2001.
As usual, Jean Quan and Ignacio De La Fuente were all over it, very upset about the failure to implement it, to get bilingual staff, and so on. Ignacio seems particularly upset (and with good reason!) about the Fire Department not doing bilingual hires, while Jean Quan is mostly focused on Parks and Rec (also with good reason).
Nancy Nadel spoke once for a minute and thirty two seconds during the entire forty-five minute long item. This is what she had to say:
I still take issue with the data for my district saying that the concentration of Spanish speaking folks is as high as it is cause I don’t think it is.
I’m sorry, but the suggestion that Latinos in Oakland are being overcounted is simply preposterous and in complete contradiction to everything everyone everywhere has ever experienced in efforts to collect demographic data about ethnic minorities ever.