Naperville has a growing Asian population and the mayor recently named two volunteers as leaders of outreach efforts from the city to Chinese and Indian residents:
Pradel this week announced the creation of the outreach positions to be filled by Bill Liu, who will work with Chinese residents, and Krishna Bansal, who will reach out to the city’s Indian community.
“We have such a diversified city that I’ve been wanting to kind of get on the cutting edge of bringing all our groups together,” Pradel said.
The outreach managers mainly will work to answer questions for Chinese and Indian residents and help them become more comfortable with the processes and procedures of city government, Pradel said. Liu and Bansal also will connect city leadership to important groups in the Chinese and Indian communities and stand in for Pradel if he’s unavailable for their meetings and events…
Pradel said he chose to begin outreach efforts among Chinese and Indian residents because they are two of the city’s largest minority groups. According to 2010 census data, 7.4 percent of Naperville residents are Indian and 3.9 percent are Chinese.
Appointing a similar leader to begin Hispanic outreach could be next, Pradel said. Hispanics and Latinos from all countries make up 5.3 percent of Naperville’s population, according to 2010 census figures. The rest of the city’s roughly 142,000 population is made up of 76.5 percent white people and 4.7 percent blacks.
Interesting move within the diversification of the suburbs more broadly but also within Naperville. It sounds like this is primarily about business opportunities, cultural events, and transmitting information from City Hall. The business part doesn’t surprise me – Naperville is known for its high-tech and white-collar jobs as well as growth – and suburbs are always looking for ways to improve communication with residents. The cultural events side could be interesting: could there be Chinese or Indian events in downtown Naperville in the near future? It also bears watching how outreach to Chinese, Indian, and Latino residents might differ in the future as issues of race/ethnicity, social class, and cultural practices intersect.