The Brookhaven City Council voted Nov. 13 to approve a $46,500 contract with the Latin American Association to provide outreach services to the Latino and Hispanic populations in the city. The city did have a full-time bilingual employee providing that service, but she resigned earlier this year.
The contracted person will be an employee of LAA and gives the city access to resources to reach the city’s Spanish-speaking community that the city currently does not have, such as translation services, City Manager Christian Sigman explained to the City Council. Communication Director Burke Brennan will be the supervisor. The city’s population of nearly 54,000 people includes 24.2 percent who identify as Hispanic, according to 2017 U.S. Census data.
The Latin American Association, founded in 1972, has an office located on Buford Highway in Brookhaven. The organization provides assistance to some 50,000 people annually in focus areas that include education, economic empowerment, immigration, family well-being, and culture and engagement. David Schaefer, LAA’s managing director of advocacy, chaired the city’s Affordable Housing Task Force.
The city’s 1-year contract with LAA is open to renewal at the end of next year. Services the LAA will provide to reach the city’s Spanish-speaking residents include: develop and implement city procedures designed to engage Hispanic and Latino residents’ input on city programs and initiatives; oversee development of community engagement plan; attend committee meetings and public gatherings to obtain information for and provide concerning the city; write and provide technical assistance for news releases, audio/video scripts and brochures; respond orally or in writing to inquiries and provide information on the city’s resources; establish and maintain relationships with community leaders, city officials, the media and public; assist with strategies and programs to help facilitate community involvement in city programs.
The contracted employee from LAA will be required to be at Brookhaven City Hall during a regular schedule for 24 hours a week.