In the City of Chicago and collar counties, around 30% of all Asian Americans are classified by the U.S. Census Bureau as limited English proficient, also known as “LEP.” Along with Advancing Justice—Chicago’s Voting Rights Project, which works to improve language assistance available to LEP Asian American voters, Advancing Justice—Chicago also explores ways to help reduce language barriers to other government services and information.For example, as part of its Asian American State Agenda, Advancing Justice—Chicago and the PAVE coalition drafted and moved Illinois House Resolution 40, which was adopted in the Illinois General Assembly in 2013 and created the Language Access to Government Services Task Force to identify and propose changes in the law to reduce language barriers to government services and information for immigrant community members. Advancing Justice—Chicago’s language access advocacy will involve engaging the Task Force and offering them useful information as they conduct this important work.
In other instances, Advancing Justice—Chicago’s advocacy to improve language access includes working with other community-based organizations and public interest organizations. As part of its Legal Working Group, Advancing Justice-Chicago is working with other advocates from Korean American Women In Need (KAN-WIN), Apna Ghar, Inc., South Asian American Policy & Research Institute (SAAPRI), LAF, DePaul University College of Law Clinical Program and other organizations to advocate for improved language access in the legal court system for Asian language speakers, with a specific focus on Domestic Violence courts.
To learn more about these organizations:
- Apna Ghar
- DePaul University College of Law
- KAN-WIN (Korean American Women In Need)
- South Asian American Policy & Research Institute
In addition to this active project, Advancing Justice—Chicago will continue to research and explore other creative strategies to address the community’s language barrier challenges.