Philly311 Releases Language Assistance Widget

Philly311 has released a new widget, called Language Assistance, which will help non-English speaking residents learn about language services and community resources through the Philly311 Mobile App. In addition to English, information on language assistance is now available in the five most requested languages: Spanish, Korean, Russian, Chinese (Traditional) and Vietnamese. Citizens can also request information in other languages through the widget.

“Philadelphia’s population is increasing for the first time in decades, largely due to a growing international population,” said Richard Negrin, Deputy Mayor for Administration and Coordination and Managing Director.  “Government is adapting accordingly. The Language Assistance Widget will help new Philadelphians connect with supporting organizations in ways they never could before.”

The Language Assistance widget provides:

  • Frequently asked questions about 311 and interacting with City agencies;
  • Information about language services provided by the City such as interpretation and document translation;
  • Access to community resources such as the Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians and the Pennsylvania Immigrant and Citizenship Coalition;
  • Information about the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs;
  • A language access card to display to City employees; and,
  • A message from Mayor Michael A. Nutter.

Chief Innovation Officer Adel Ebeid said, “We’ve already taken steps to expand the reach of the Philly311 Mobile App by translating it into 16 languages. This new widget allows us to deliver important information to our new audiences in an easy, cost-effective way so that no one gets left behind.”

The City of Philadelphia has introduced several resources to assist immigrants and Limited English Proficient (LEP) residents. The City has a comprehensive language access program. Philly311 offers on-the-phone customer service no matter a citizen’s language. The Philly311 mobile app is also available in 16 languages, and the City’s AVI calculator is available the five most requested languages in addition to English.

Chief Customer Service Officer Rosetta Carrington Lue said, “This language assistance widget is another example of the Philly311 mobile app’s ability to serve every citizen in our diverse city. Residents of all languages should download the app to connect with city government.”

Mayor Nutter recently established the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs (MOIMA), which seeks to promote the well-being of immigrant communities by lowering access barriers to city resources and services as well as encouraging civic participation among LEP communities.  Through MOIMA, the City has a Language Access Program that enables City departments and agencies to offer services in more than 120 languages. The program also includes a comprehensive planning process in which MOIMA and specific agencies develop plans to improve the quality of services provided to immigrants and LEP communities.

“We know that immigrants use smart phone technology at a high rate and I am pleased that the language access widget is now available, making important information readily accessible in the most popular languages,” said Jennifer Rodriguez, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multicultural Affairs.

The Philly311 Mobile App is available for download in the iPhone, Android, or Blackberry App Stores.

Hagley Car Show to Bring 500 Antiques to Annual Event

Wilmington, Delaware – September 2013 –The Hagley Car Show returns on Sunday, September 15, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Visitors may browse more than 500 antique and restored cars, trucks, and motorcycles. This year’s special feature is American manufacturers’ high performance cars.  Parking for the Car Show is at Hagley. Advance wristbands at a discount may be purchased in the Hagley Store or beginning August 15. Wristbands may also be purchased at the Car Show. Please check our web site for updated information.

High performance automobiles had additions done to them over their base models to improve their performance and enhance styling characteristics. Changes and options included engine, chassis, suspension, wheels, and body components. High performance cars that will be on display include a 1957 Chevrolet Corvette,  1965 Pontiac GTO, 1967 Oldsmobile 442 Convertible , 1970 Ford Mustang Boss 302, and a 1970 Plymouth Hemi Cuda.

In addition to perusing the antique trucks and cars on display, visitors can also try pedal-powered go-kart racing and NASCAR simulator, watch vehicle parades, enjoy motoring music and festival food, and delight in walking around a room full of fabulous operating vintage jukeboxes.

Admission and Parking Details

Parking for Hagley’s Car Show will be on site at Hagley. Visitors can enter through Hagley’s main entrance off of Route 141. Wristbands to the show will be offered in advance at the Hagley Store or from August 15 through September 12 (online) or September 13 (store). Pre-event wristbands are $8 adults and $4 children six through fourteen. Wristbands purchased at the Car Show will be $10 adults and $5 children six through fourteen. Admission is free for Hagley members and children five and under. The event will be held rain or shine.


The Hagley Car Show is sponsored, in part, by Delaware Cadillac-Saab-Subaru and the support of the following car clubs: Brandywine Region Antique Automobile Club of America, Chester County Antique Car Club, Historical Car Club of Pennsylvania, Historical Vintage Car Club of Delaware, First State Corvair Club, and First State Mustang Ford Club. The display of antique juke boxes is made possible by the American Historic Jukebox Society.

At Hagley, we invite people of all ages to investigate and experience the unfolding history of American business, technology, and innovation, and its impact on the world, from our home at the historic DuPont powder yards on the banks of the Brandywine.

For more information, call (302) 658-2400 weekdays or visit

New Course Will Help Immigrant Professionals Prepare to Work in Healthcare

[PHILADELPHIA, PA — JULY 11]  A new course will help immigrant doctors, nurses, and other health professionals to prepare to work in the American healthcare system. The 14-week course is being offered by the nonprofit Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians in Philadelphia.

“Many immigrants have experience working as health professionals in their home countries,” says Peter Gonzales, President and CEO of the Welcoming Center. “Often they have strong English skills too. But working in the United States requires understanding a whole new professional culture. Our class helps explain that American culture.”

One example, Gonzales says, is patient privacy. In some countries, it is common for the patient not to be told his or her diagnosis, especially if it is terminal. A family member will be told instead, and will then make decisions about treatment.

“But in the US, we tend to assume that the patient makes the decisions,” explains Gonzales. “Privacy laws may even forbid doctors and nurses from sharing information about a patient with family members.”

Other topics to be covered in the course include:

●     Communicating with co-workers on the healthcare team

●     Special issues in caring for children

●     Talking with patients and family

The course was developed in collaboration with Dr. Gerald Whelan, who previously served as the Director of the Acculturation Program at the Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates. (Dr. Whelan retired in 2012 and ECFMG is not affiliated with this course.)

Dr. Whelan will be co-teaching the course, which will launch in September 2013. It will meet twice a week for 3 hours per class. The course costs $395 and is open to immigrants who have intermediate-level English speaking and reading skills.

For more information or to register, contact Antoinette Thomas at 215-557-2626 or

Pennsylvania Non-discrimination Act must pass General Assembly

Dear Editor,

The year is 2013, and in the commonwealth of Pennsylvania we have an uncommon situation. A citizen can be fired or refused housing or a public accommodation such as a library based on his or her sexual orientation or gender identity. In Pennsylvania, we are protected against discrimination based on age, gender, race, cultural background and religious affiliation – but are not protected if lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.

I find that many of my constituents are not aware that you can be legally discriminated against in Pennsylvania for those reasons only. We need to fix this and fix it now. Pennsylvania is the only remaining state in the Northeast that permits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Interestingly, I have found confusion among my colleagues in the Pennsylvania House that this proposed legislation is about marriage equality or civil unions. The proposed legislation is not about either of those things.

House Bill 300 and its companion bill, Senate Bill 300, are antidiscrimination bills to add sexual orientation and gender identity and expression to the categories that are protected in the state. I believe that we all know folks – friends, neighbors, colleagues, sons, daughters – who would be protected by this legislation. I have four adult cousins, all successful in their respective careers, who would benefit by this protection, and it is terrible to think that they could be fired or denied housing simply based on their sexual orientation.

The Pennsylvania Non-discrimination Act, to be introduced as H.B. 300 and S.B. 300 has a total of 115 sponsors from both sides of the aisle, including myself. These bills would protect all gay and transgender Pennsylvanians from discrimination in employment, housing, and public accommodations such as hotels, libraries and hospitals.

Without such a statewide act, advocates are left to lobby each of Pennsylvania’s 2,562 municipalities to create laws locally protecting gay and transgender Pennsylvanians from being denied housing and local services due to discrimination.

We can and must do a much more efficient job of it at the state level.

Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly embrace the fact that no one should be discriminated against based on their sexual orientation or gender identity.

A Susquehanna Polling and Research survey done in March showed that 72 percent of Pennsylvanians — including 67 percent of Republicans, 73 percent of Democrats, and 85 percent of Independents — support protecting gay and transgender people from discrimination.

The challenges ahead include having the legislation assigned to a House committee that will commit to calling the legislation for a vote and then have that same legislation, if successfully voted out of committee, scheduled for a vote by the full House.

You can help by contacting your state legislators and asking them to support H.B. and S.B. 300, if they haven’t already. You can also contact the governor’s office to ask that he publically support this Non-discrimination Act. We are off to a good start, but make no mistake – we are a long way from the finish!

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