Is it time to swap “De Muchos, Uno” for “E Pluribus Unum”?
It’s not every day that a gringo from Virginia steps to the Senate floor to give a speech in Spanish, but that’s just what happened yesterday when Senator Tim Kaine delivered his remarks on immigration reform.
In addition to that small, but important piece of evidence, there are several other key data points signaling the rise of influence among Spanish speakers. For instance, a Pew report in November 2012 indicates that the Hispanic electorate will double by 2030. Another study from Pew found that 68 percent of Latinos “consider it very important for future generations to be able to speak Spanish” and that “third-generation Latinos are equally as likely as their second-generation counterparts to state that retaining the ability to use Spanish is very or somewhat important.” Moreover, a couple years ago I attended a presentation by a University of North Carolina statistician who had analyzed Census data and projected that 40% of America will be Hispanic by 2050. Here’s a study that uses 30% as their figure.
It’s highly unlikely that this trend will change, which means it’s increasingly important for government agencies to consider how they will deliver services and information in both English and Spanish. One way that the General Services Administration (GSA) is approaching this trend is by hosting GobiernoUSA.gov, a Spanish version of the government information clearinghouse at USA.gov that extends to a mobile version as well as a presence on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
Moreover, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently unveiled consumerfinance.gov/es, where citizens “can find answers, in plain-language Spanish, to consumers’ most common questions.” CFPB notes that, “It’s also our first responsive site – it works beautifully on mobile devices as well as on desktops – in response to research that shows two-thirds of Latinos who are online tend to access the Internet from a mobile device.”
As Spanish becomes more and more prominent, what is your agency planning or implementing as it delivers services and information to an increasingly Spanish-speaking population?
- GovLoop Communications Hub
- Spanish Speakers Group on GovLoop
- Does Your Agency Use Espanol on Social Media? If Not, Why Not?
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