Bilingual Warning Sign Speaks to Highly Diverse Stapleton

Bilingual SignCrime warning signs are not new to Stapleton, but the highly diverse neighborhood has had challenges with the linguistics on previous signs. “Not everyone who lives in Stapleton speaks fluent English,” said resident and activist Kyle Weber. “So, when the city has posted these warning signs, at least 20% of our population is unable to understand what they are saying.” Stapleton resident Marcos Hernandez told the Stapletonion through a translator that, “seeing the signs is very frustrating. I can read some English, but I can never read the signs quickly enough. The large Spanish speaking community in Stapleton deserves to have the same urgent information as the English speaking population.” Emilio Garcia agrees (also through a translator). “The information they are sending out should be for everyone,” says Garcia. “Not just English speaking or Spanish speaking residents, but all of us. We are one community. One big, incredibly diverse, beautiful community.”

It’s too early to tell if adding Spanish will help reduce petty theft in Stapleton, but residents feel more comfortable knowing everyone is being included. “I always thought that was an issue,” said resident Troy Ford. “But, not a Spanish speaking person myself, I wasn’t sure how to ask any of my Hispanic neighbors if they were able to read the signs. Glad this is at least partially resolved.” Residents are now wondering if the addition of Spanish is enough. “I am a little concerned for our large African-American community,” said Weber. “Should we add Ebonics to the translation? That’s something that we will have to discuss with the 35% of our residents who are African American.” Overall, Kyle is pleased that the city and community have made an effort to better include the non-English speaking residents in Stapleton. “It’s great that our efforts were able to help all of our Spanish speaking neighbors and let them know they are just as entitled to neighborhood information as anyone.”

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