Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller was joined by both city and state officials, as well as community leaders to sign two historic pieces of legislation passed by the city council in a virtual ceremony Monday.
The first is a language access bill, directing the city of Albuquerque to provide access to make information and services more accessible to all city residents, regardless of their ability or English proficiency.
According to the legislation’s final copy, out of the 845,849 people who live in Albuquerque, 5% of them report having a hearing disability and 67,357 speak little to no English at all.
Mayor Keller said institutional barriers previously kept those who didn’t speak English as a first language from accessing city services, and views this bill as the first step to correcting this inequity.
The second piece of legislation the Mayor signed was also directed at past and current injustices that have been carried out in Albuquerque. The hate, violence, and racism directed toward Asian Americans/Pacific Islanders
This bill denounces the xenophobia toward this group of indivduals and codems harmful rhetoric, racist acts, and hate crimes that target Asian-Pacific Americans. The violence and racism towards Asian-Pacific Americans rose throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Serval community activists and leaders spoke about the importance of passing both legislations and how it signaled a new era is the recognition of the minority groups within our community.