San Francisco, CA – Today, the City and County of San Francisco proudly announces the final passage of critical amendments to the Language Access Ordinance, marking a significant step forward in ensuring equitable access to city services for non-English speaking residents. These amendments, approved unanimously by the Board of Supervisors, strengthen the city’s commitment to providing vital information and services in multiple languages, reflecting the diverse linguistic landscape of San Francisco. 

Key Highlights of the Amendments:

  • Lowering the City’s official language threshold from 10,000 to 6,000 Limited English Proficiency (LEP) people, making Vietnamese an official certified language for the first time.
  • Enshrining the universal right to be served in the language you are most comfortable with. 
  • Codifying the right to telephonic interpretation and written translation for all languages with reasonable turnaround times.
  • Encouraging departments to increase bilingual staffing levels and language services.
  • Improving accessibility through continued digital and telephonic language services.
  • Increasing language services planning and coordination for public health crises, disasters, and emergencies. 
  • Updating findings on language access in San Francisco.
  • Requiring city departments to maintain lists of bilingual employees and their languages.
  • Establishing a streamlined complaint process through the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs (OCEIA) for language access service difficulties while informing the public about complaint procedures and feedback mechanisms.
  • Creating a multilingual know-your-rights brochure.
  • Developing standardized vocabulary lists for required languages.
  • Prominently displaying language access for service availability in city buildings.
  • Clarifying interpretation vs. translation throughout the ordinance.
  • Strengthening OCEIA’s role in enforcing compliance, providing guidance, and helping build capacity for city departments.
  • Memorializing required languages: Chinese-Cantonese/Mandarin, Spanish, and Filipino.
  • Requiring quarterly publication of complaints and an annual Language Access Summary Report to be sent to the Board of Supervisors
  • Emphasizing departmental responsibility for language access budget and bilingual staff.

Statement from Supervisor Shamann Walton

“Our immigrant communities contribute to the cultural fabric and economy of San Francisco so we need to continue to expand and strengthen our language access services to ensure that everyone can participate in the city processes,” said District 10 Supervisor Shamann Walton. “These amendments to the Language Access Ordinance came from a collaborative process between our office, Supervisor Chan, the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs, the Immigrant Rights Commission, the Language Access Network, and community advocates.” CAA and the Language Access Network take this opportunity to acknowledge Supervisor Walton’s incredible leadership in ensuring equitable access for all San Francisco residents.

Statement from Jorge Rivas, Executive Director, Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs

“Nearly one in five San Francisco residents identifies as Limited English Proficient. This means that access to information and services for many depends on our ability to communicate in multiple languages,” said Jorge Rivas, director of the Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs. “With support, these amendments will help ensure equal access to City services and vital information for all San Franciscans, making our city safer, healthier, and more just for all.”

Statement from Celine Kennelly, Chair, Immigrant Rights Commission

“The Immigrant Rights Commision has fought for language justice since its founding over 25 years ago,” said Celine Kennelly, chair of the Immigrant Rights Commission. “We advocated for the first iteration of the Language Access Ordinance in 2001 to ensure equal access to City services for all San Franciscans. Today, the Immigrant Rights Commission is pleased to join with City leaders in taking another step forward in improving language access.”

Statement from members of the San Francisco Language Access Network

“Today’s passage of the language access amendments is a testament to our city’s unwavering dedication to equity and inclusion,” said Jose Ng, Chinese for Affirmative Action’s Immigrant Rights Program Manager. “By breaking down language barriers, we are fostering a more inclusive and participatory community where every resident, regardless of the language they speak, can access the services and information they need, and participate in public meetings where issues impacting their lives are discussed.” 

“CARACEN San Francisco has been a member of the Language Access Network since the beginning,” said Silvia Ramos, Senior Case Manager of CARECEN’s Family Wellness Program. “The Language Access Ordinance has impacted all of us. As community members, we know that we should be able to access the city’s services in our language, such as the Human Services Agency which offers MediCal enrollment. Although this ordinance is the law, we have observed that front-line city workers fail to offer the public the interpretation services required under the Language Access Ordinance.”

“The most important step is to have bilingual staff in all departments,” said Mouneissa Wangara, Community Engagement Specialist at the African Advocacy Network. “When our immigrant members first arrived in the U.S., they had to deal with the language barrier. They need their immigration statutes to be resolved. Most of the time they have had to run around looking for somebody to do the interpretation and translate for them. This is why we have to make sure that all city departments are aware that we need interpretation in a timely manner.”

About the Language Access Ordinance:

San Francisco’s Language Access Ordinance, first enacted in 2001, aimed to ensure that San Francisco residents, regardless of their primary language, have equal access to city services and information. It underwent amendments in 2009 and 2015 to strengthen and expand its provisions. In 2023, Supervisor Walton introduced the most recent version of amendments to the existing Language Access Ordinance to address gaps in delivering language access in city services. 

For more information on the Language Access Ordinance and the recent amendments, please contact Anisha Hingorani at

Chinese Translation


2024 年 6 月 11 日(週二)




2024 年 6 月 11 日(週二)



加州舊金山 – 今天,舊金山自豪地宣布最終通過了《語言使用條例》至關重要的修正案,這標誌著在確保使用非英語為主要溝通語言的居民公平獲得城市服務方面邁出了重要一步。這些修正案得到了市參事會的一致批准,加強了舊金山市以多種語言提供重要資訊和服務的承諾,反映了舊金山多樣化的語言環境。 


  • 將舊金山市的官方語言門檻從 10,000 名使用英語能力有限 (LEP) 人數降低至 6,000 名,使越南語首次成為將會獲得官方認證的語言。
  • 體現以您最熟悉的語言獲得服務的普遍權利。 
  • 在合理的周轉時間內將所有語言的電話口譯和書面筆譯的權利編入法典。
  • 鼓勵各部門提升雙語人員配置和語言服務水準。
  • 透過持續的電子數碼和電話語言服務, 改善獲取語言服務的普遍性。
  • 加強針對公共衛生危機、災難和緊急情況的語言服務規劃和協調。 
  • 更新舊金山語言使用的調查結果。
  • 要求城市部門保存雙語員工及其語言的名單。
  • 透過公民參與及移民事務辦公室(OCEIA)針對尋求語言服務遇到的障礙,建立簡化的投訴流程,同時向公眾通報投訴程序和回饋機制。
  • 創建多種語言“了解您的權利”小冊子。
  • 發展所需語言的標準化詞彙表。
  • 在市政府建築物中突出顯示可提出要求使用語言服務。
  • 澄清在整個條例中出现的口譯和筆譯的分别。
  • 加強公民參與及移民事務辦公室(OCEIA) 在執行合規性、提供指導和幫助城市部門建立能力方面的角色。
  • 熟記所要求的語言:中文(包括粵語及普通話)、西班牙語、菲律賓語。
  • 要求每季發布投訴報告,並向市參事會提交年度語言服務總結。
  • 強調各個市府部門對語言使用的財政預算,和雙語工作人員所付的責任。

華頌善(Shamann Walton)市參事的聲明

「我們的移民社區為舊金山的文化結構和經濟做出了貢獻,因此我們需要繼續擴大和加強我們的語言服務,以確保每個人都能參與城市進程,」第 10 區市參事華頌善(Shamann Walton) 說。 「對《語言使用條例》的這些修訂是我們辦公室、陳詩敏市參事、公民參與和移民事務辦公室、移民權利委員會、語言使用網絡和社區倡導者之間的合作過程。” 華促會和語言訪問網絡( Language Access Network)藉此機會感謝市參事 Walton 在確保所有舊金山居民享有公平機會方面所發揮不遗餘力的領導。

公民參與及移民事務辦公室主任 Jorge Rivas 的聲明

「每五位舊金山居民當中有一位被認定為英語能力有限人士。這意味著,許多人在獲取資訊和服務方面,依賴於我們能夠以多語言溝通的能力。」公民參與及移民事務辦公室主任 Jorge Rivas 說。「在支持下,這些修正案將幫助確保所有舊金山居民平等獲得市府的服務和重要資訊,將使我們的城市對所有人來說更安全、更健康、更公正。」

移民權益委員會主席 Celine Kennelly 的聲明

「移民權益委員會自成立超過25年以來,一直在為語言正義而奮鬥。」移民權益委員會主席Celine Kennelly 說。「我們在2001年倡導了《語言使用條例》的初版,以確保所有舊金山居民能平等地獲得城市服務。今天,移民權益委員會很高興與城市領袖們一同邁出改善語言服務的新一步。」


「今天語言修正案的通過證明了我們城市堅定不移地致力於公平和包容,」華人權益促進會移民權益項目經理吳雨泊(Jose Ng)說。 「透過打破語言障礙,我們正在培育一個更具包容性和參與性的社區,每個居民,無論使用哪種語言,都可以獲得他們所需的服務和資訊,並能夠參加討論將會影響他們生活問題的公共會議。」 

「中美洲資源中心 (CARECEN) 從一開始就是語言服務網路的成員,」中美洲資源中心 家庭健康計劃資深個案經理 Silvia Ramos 說。 「《語言使用條例》影響了我們所有人。作為社區成員,我們知道我們應該能夠用我們的語言獲得城市的服務,例如提供 MediCal 註冊的公共服務機構。雖然這項條例是法律,但我們觀察到,前線市府工作人員未能為公眾提供《語言使用條例》所要求的傳譯服務。」

「最重要的一步是在所有部門配備雙語工作人員,」非裔倡導網路 (African Advocacy Network)社群參與專員​​Mouneissa Wangara 說。 「當我們的移民成員第一次到達美國時,他們必須應對語言障礙。他們需要解決移民身份法規的問題。大多數時候,他們必須到處尋找人為他們做口譯和翻譯。這就是為什麼我們必須確保所有城市部門都知道我們需要及時的口譯服務。


舊金山的《語言使用條例》於 2001 年首次頒布,旨在確保舊金山居民,無論其其母語是什麼,都能平等地獲得市府的服務和資訊。於 2009 年和 2015 年再進行了兩次的修訂,以加強和擴大其規定。 2023 年,華頌善(Walton)市參事對現有《語言使用條例》提出了最新版本的修正案,以解決市府在提供語言服務中的落差。 

有關《語言使用條例》及最近修正案的更多資訊,請通過電郵聯繫華促會政策經理 Anisha Hingorani。