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Off Leash: Many Tongues, One Message

Living in a city where 20 percent of adults don’t speak English at home, Christine Titus of the Seattle Animal Shelter always wanted to be able to relate to other cultures in languages they’d understand. But it took the clout of the mayor’s office to get the conversation started.

Recognizing the city’s increasing diversity—and responding to surveys revealing that minorities weren’t feeling as welcome or comfortable in Seattle as they wished—mayor Greg Nickels started his Race and Social Justice initiative in 2003. He asked all city departments to try to do business with more women and minorities and to engage more citizens in civic life.

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