When a caseworker in California Democrat Katie Porter’s House office answers the phone, the constituent on the other end of the line may speak one of a dozen languages.
Porter has had staff translate outreach and congressional materials into Mandarin, Farsi, Korean and Vietnamese, among others. She said her staff draws from the diverse community and speaks several languages, but that’s not always enough.
“My staff people, first and foremost, are people who are experts in government services; they are not trained for translation,” she said.
Over the past decade, Porter’s Irvine-area 45th District in Southern California grew to the largest by population in the state and was 45 percent non-Hispanic white in 2020, down from 55 percent in 2010. The district is more than one quarter Asian, which has shaped how Porter reaches out to her constituents. For example, she often contacts local community groups and ethnic churches in efforts to share more information about federal programs.
Results from the 2020 census show the country had less than 60 percent non-Hispanic white residents for the first time. The Census Bureau changed how it asks race and ethnicity questions, as well as its data processing behind the scenes, making it difficult to say how much the country diversified exactly since the 2010 count. READ MORE
By Michael Macagnone | Roll Call
(Image credit: Mark Rightmire/MediaNews Group/Orange County Register via Getty Images file photo | Image/article Link: Here)