OXNARD ACCESS - For Gloria Roman, who regularly attends Oxnard City Council meetings - she is one of almost 80% of Oxnard residents who have a disability. That disabling trait is their primary use of Spanish as a living language.
Gloria came to Council first to address this issue in July. She came up to the Council podium and began to speak in Spanish to the City Council. Mayor Lopez, and Councilmen Hererra and Zaragoza understood her comments - as did the majority of Spanish TV viewers who watch the City Council Meetings on their Adelphia cable.
Oxnard's PIO, Christina Aerenlund came up behind Gloria to interpret and Gloria shooed her away. The PIO came back to re-attempt to translate Gloria's Spanish comments, and was again told to "back-off".
Gloria said her 'messaje' and then went in to translating her original Spanish thoughts into English dialogue.
Since that day, Gloria has said that more and more people come up to her and say, "You know, the only time I understand what is said at Council meetings is when you speak."
Sad, is it not, that Oxnard with a definite 75% Hispanic demographic can't even broadcast their public meetings in the Spanish language. City Council is the most important public meeting in Oxnard and should be open for all of Oxnard's citizens to understand and comprehend..
Thusly, anyone who speaks or understands Spanish only is disenfranchised from the most important city business -- that of their City Council.
Accessibility is the key word to people who are physically challenged in their daily walk. Accessibility is the key word to Oxnard Local Politics and with the recent Brown Act, the City seems to be doing a 180º turn away from what is really needed in Oxnard -- TOTAL OXNARD ACCESS (TOA) !!!!
The seeing-impaired, wheelchair-bound, and persons with mental limitations are but a smaller and catered too segment of our population thanks mainly to the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) .
¿ What can done for our Spanish residents who want and deserve TOTAL access to their municipal government ?
Here are some suggestions by INVIERNO para ALCALDE to soothe the problem and get a remedy -- Help Is On The Way !
SAP -- Spanish Closed Caption = would require a Spanish translator who can do court-transcription. The Transcription Device sends text to be encoded onto the bottom of the TV screen. A deal with Adelphia would have to worked out for their technical needs to provide closed circuit SAP---- but for 80% of Oxnard - Why Not.
RADIO -- A Spanish Simulcast on any local Radio Station would suffice well -- the announcer could do a play by play of the Council action in sports-style dialogue. It would help greatly, those who want to know what Oxnard City Council is doing.
COMPUTER SOFTWARE -- There is software available that translates spoken English into Spanish. The technology is there, but the quality has yet to catch up.
Oxnard City Manger Ed Sotelo is aware of this need to broadcast in Spanish -- but is this an Action Item on his list of things to do?
Come To City Council and Ask for Spanish Translation of Oxnard City Council Meetings.....
Next City Council Meeting is 7pm on September 14th ---