The International City/County Management Association (ICMA) recently presented Sugar Land with the 2011 Community Sustainability Award for the City’s multi-cultural outreach and education efforts.
Community Sustainability Awards recognize the innovative local government programs or processes that demonstrate innovation, excellence and success in balancing that community’s social, economic, environmental and cultural needs. Sugar Land’s multi-cultural program:
• enhances the ability for the City to meet the needs of residents of all cultures and ethnic backgrounds;
• promotes an understanding of all cultures among all of our residents; and
• builds opportunities for residents of all backgrounds to share in and be a part of Sugar Land and American traditions.
As part of Sugar Land’s commitment to diversity, the city manager works with the City Manager’s Multi-Cultural Advisory Team and an Employee Multi-Cultural Task Force to implement city-wide initiatives and programs ensuring employees are able to communicate with and serve Sugar Land’s diverse population.
These efforts have included “101” sessions for key staff to learn more about the Chinese, Asian Indian and South Asian/Pakistani communities. As a result, there has been more diverse participation on City task forces, boards and commissions and in community education programs such as the Police Department’s Community Assistance Support Team and the Fire Department’s Community Emergency Response Team.
Other examples of the City’s focus on diversity include:
• City sponsorship of events such as the Fort Bend Education Foundation’s International Festival;
• staff participation in the Texas Dragon Boat Association’s Regatta;
• the Sugar Land’s Cultural Kite Festival;
• the Police Department’s Chinese Hotline;
• Arab/Muslim Police Cultural training for police officers;
• safety brochures printed in Asian languages; and
• expanded publications and other communications tools, including emergency communications and a translation tool for the City’s website.
“The City is very proud of the recognition this program has received from ICMA, as well as the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which also recognized the program with an award in 2011,” said City Manager Allen Bogard.
The International City/County Management Association develops and advances professional local government management to create sustainable communities that improve lives worldwide. The association provides member support; publications; data and information; peer and results-oriented assistance; and training and professional development to nearly 9,000 city, town and county experts and other individuals and organizations throughout the world.