[This is the full text of the Multnomah County press release.
It doesn't appear to be available
anywhere else on the net, and only snippets have been reported in the
press. The following was mailed to me directly. I've also archived it at
MULTNOMAH COUNTY OREGON
May 12, 2003
Contact: Becca Uherbelau, Multnomah County Chair's Office 503-988-5273
Klingon Interpreter Services Removed From List
Recent media attention on Multnomah County RFPQ (Request for
Programmatic Qualifications) RO37745 for translator and interpreter
services requires clarification.
There is no cost to the county and no contractors are selected or paid
through this RFPQ. "Not a penny of public money has been or will be
spent on Klingon translation. I have issued an addendum to the RFPQ
that officially removes it from the list of languages for county
translation services effective immediately," states Multnomah
County Chair Diane Linn.
"Certainly, the idea that Klingon is on a list of languages that
our safety net services might have to translate sounds absurd and
about as far out as you can get. It was a mistake and a result of an
overzealous attempt to ensure that our safety net systems can respond
to all customers and clients," states Diane Linn, Multnomah County
The county deals with a wide range of clients with severe mental
health issues including manic depression, schizophrenia, multiple
personalities, and delusions. It is our legal responsibility to
respond with all resources and means necessary to communicate with
The intent of the RFPQ is to standardize rates and the rules of
service delivery for language services across the county.
Additionally, the target of the RFPQ process is to develop a
more comprehensive, cost effective approach to providing required and
valuable translation services to clients in need. The end result is a
list of qualified providers available to all county agencies,
including languages spoken by a small number of potential clients.
Over 50 languages are included in the RFPQ. The county's
responsibility is to provide the best possible care to the people who
seek our help, particularly in the midst of a mental health or health
crisis, whatever the language they speak.
"While this may sound like a quirky, peripheral issue, I would like
people to take a moment to think about the kinds of things we are
confronted with when we must help those who are mentally ill. The
problems faced by those with mental illness are no joke, especially
when they pose a threat to themselves or others. And what I hope
people understand is that thanks to state budget cuts, we have little
ability to help the severely mentally ill in any language. That is
why we are working so hard to pass Measure 26-48," added Linn.
# # #
Public Affairs Office
501 SE Hawthorne Blvd., #600
Portland, Oregon 97214
-- Seth Finkelstein