Travelers arriving at Cleveland Hopkins Airport will soon not only hear a recorded greeting in English from Mayor Justin Bibb but a greeting in Spanish from Ward 14 Councilwoman Jasmin Santana, the first Latina elected to Cleveland City Council.
Prior to council's final meeting before its summer recess Monday, Santana told the media that she'd recorded the message Friday after years of agitating for a bilingual message at Hopkins.
She characterized the accomplishment as indicative of the Bibb administration's willingness to work with council on both bold policy initiatives and more modest, individual goals.
"For me, this is a huge win," she said. "I'd been asking to translate that message for two years. Under the previous administration, nothing happened. But Bibb said, go ahead. We have people from all different cultures traveling to Cleveland, so this is exciting. I anticipate that we'll have other cultures represented soon."
The administration agreed.
"As a welcoming city with a large and diverse international population, we want to be representative of the community we serve," Bibb's communications director, Sarah Johnson, said in a statement to Scene. "All visitors and residents should feel a sense of belonging, and recording airport messages in various languages is just a step toward a more inclusive community. We were thrilled that Councilwoman Santana volunteered her voice to greet our Spanish speaking guests. There will be more languages represented in the near future."
Santana told Scene Monday evening that the city's new planning director, Joyce Huang, had been asked by Bibb to record a message for travelers in Chinese.
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