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Tigard holding festival geared toward Spanish-speaking residents next Wednesday

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Information about city services, police and immigration will be available at the event.

TIMES PHOTO: MARK MILLER - Tigard is holding an information festival for its Latino community next Wednesday, March 22, at the Tigard Public Library. Non-Spanish-speakers are also welcome.Tigard's Latino Information Festival next Wednesday has "a little bit of everything," according to an organizer.

Betsy Rodriguez Ruef, Tigard's community engagement assistant, described the festival as both a way to connect the Latino community in Tigard with local resources and provide them with information and a fun, family-friendly event with free food and activities.

"All the city departments will be there representing themselves," she said. "They all will have a booth."

Ruef and other organizers are mindful of a national political situation that has many Latino residents and immigrants, particularly those who do not have legal documentation to live in the United States, on edge. To that end, Ruef said, the Tigard Police Department will receive particular emphasis among city departments at the event; the agency released a statement earlier this year affirming that it does not enforce federal immigration law and saying it is committed to equal treatment of citizens.

"They want to clarify and address fears and concerns," Ruef said.

The Mexican Consulate in Portland has also been invited to have representation at the festival, Ruef said, and an immigration attorney is expected to attend as well.

Tualatin Valley Fire & Rescue is also participating.

The City of Tigard has been promoting the event in both Spanish and English, as well as in media of both languages.

"Since I'm bilingual, I'm able to translate a lot of our pamphlets and information," Ruef said.

The event itself will be presented in both Spanish and English, and Ruef said people who do not speak Spanish are welcome.

The event takes place in the community room at the Tigard Public Library, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Editor's note: This story has been updated with the time and location of the event.

By Mark Miller
Assistant Editor, The Times
503-906-7901
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