San Francisco city officials are calling on California to be the first state in the nation to officially recognize Stuttering Awareness Week.
At Tuesday’s San Francisco Board of Supervisors meeting, supervisors unanimously approved a resolution that asks the state to approve Assembly Resolution 59, which would dedicate the second week of May to people who stutter.
Held from May 8 to May 13, the awareness week nationally recognized in 1988 is intended to showcase and uplift the stuttering community.
San Francisco — which reportedly has 8,000 residents who stutter — was the first city in the state to declare Stuttering Awareness Week last year.
“I am honored to recognize and uplift the stuttering community in San Francisco,” said Supervisor Dean Preston, sponsor of the local resolution. His office said that adults who stutter may run into obstacles communicating with others, and can affect their quality of life, relationships, employment and professional growth.
“It’s important we spread awareness about this speech disability, and my hope is that other cities in California and in other states pass resolutions to help shed light on stuttering,” he added.
Johnnie Pina, an advocate and person who stutters, said ACR 59 is “long overdue.” “ACR 59 says that people who stutter are not only welcome in California Communities, but their voices are needed in the State Capitol and city halls throughout California,” Pina said.
Proud Stutter, a San Francisco-based podcast about changing the way we talk about stuttering, is hosting numerous festivities around the Bay Area in honor of National Stuttering Awareness Week. Preston thanked Proud Stutter Executive Director and Host Maya Chupkov for their advocacy at Tuesday’s meeting.
“Changing how we understand and talk about stuttering is critical if we are going to finally overcome the harmful and traumatizing stereotypes we see in popular culture,” said Chupkov. “Spreading more awareness through advocacy, educational campaigns, and storytelling can allow people who stutter to realize they are not alone and there is a community for them.”