Public Information Access Equity
Up to 1.8 million constituent taxpayers do not have equitable access to essential public information in Houston, Texas. Conservative analyses estimate more than 550,000 International Houstonians, with up to 200 different languages spoken here. That estimate exceeds 1.8M in City population when Spanish-speakers are counted.
Access to essential public information is critical, both for economic development and constituent service efficiencies. Among an increasing plurality of the tax base, there is a great and growing unmet need for communication of basic public information, including, but not limited to:
Hurricane preparedness, emergency warnings, evacuation plans
- Homeland Security communication
- Business licensing, filings, permits, inspections, fire safety
- Public health, food inspection, childhood immunization, disease control
- Robbery prevention, personal safety, human trafficking
- Municipal courts information, police incident reporting
- Water conservation, neighborhood variance notification
Effective Engagement and Cost Efficient Communication
Only critical content information is addressed by this project. What is considered critical content is primarily determined by the public agency. Information content can then be edited, condensed to its essentials in English, facilitating both translation and formatting for bilingual page display.
As in-language content is posted on public agency websites, diverse constituents are driven to those sites and links via a targeted promotion campaign. Our project team negotiates partnership commitments between the public sector entity and diverse civic organizations.
The civic partners are local ethnic media, foreign consulates, chambers of commerce, community groups, faith-based entities, student and senior organizations and diverse service agencies that will contribute to critical content translation efforts.
These same partners have their own organization websites. Their sites will serve as the launch vehicles for the targeted promotion campaign to drive their diverse constituent networks to the new in-language public sector sites and hyperlinks. This information "forwarding" tactic produces a viral communication spiral that extends the information reach exponentially, expeditiously and cost efficiently.
Houston Language Bank's goal is comprehensive communications planning for effective reach to 90% of the diverse language constituents in the region.