'Elgin Today' will have Spanish programming starting this month
For the first time, Elgin's municipal cable TV programming will have a Spanish-language segment as part of its long-standing "Elgin Today" show.
The city council approved a one-year $40,980 contract with One Source Productions LLC, owned by resident Jeremy Hayes, to continue providing the monthly 30-minute program, also posted on the city's YouTube channel, that features interviews with a variety of people and highlights a multitude of events throughout Elgin.
Under the new contract, longtime host Jeff Myers will have a 10-minute segment of interviews with guests and a 10-minute segment with Mayor David Kaptain. The new element is Spanish-language host Elisa Lara, who also will have a 10-minute segment with guests.
"I think it's a big step forward," Lara said. "It's important to include our community, the non-English-speaking community that are Spanish-speaking only, in the events that are happening.
"I love Elgin and I feel that is one of the wonderful things, that we are diverse and we love to share and embrace that."
"Elgin Today" has been airing since 2005, at first twice a month and monthly since 2010. It typically airs the first of the month, unless that falls on a weekend. The upcoming edition includes segments in English and Spanish on the 2020 Census and more.
Host Myers said he is "delighted" to work with Lara.
"She knows everyone," he said. "She's delightful. She has a good personality, has a good energy level and knowledge."
Hayes, One Source Productions' owner, said he became involved with "Elgin Today" as a camera operator as part of a different production company, BTE Video Inc. When the owner of that company died in 2016, Hayes took over the work and eventually formed his company about 18 months ago.
Lara works as Elgin nurse outreach coordinator for VNA Health Care. She and Hayes have collaborated for the last two years on a Facebook-based video segment called "Al Dia con Elisa," which features interviews in Spanish with local police officers, firefighters, city officials and more.
The idea for that show came from Hayes, who said he is bilingual and kept hearing from Spanish speakers that they weren't aware of various happenings in Elgin. After he interviewed Lara at a city function, he asked her to collaborate for the venture, which he produced at a loss because he was passionate about it, he said.
It's great the city decided to provide official content in Spanish, Hayes said.
"I do love it," he said of the "Elgin Today" show. "If I was making nothing, I'd still be making video about Elgin."
The city's municipal cable channel is on channel 17 on Comcast and WOW, and channel 99 on AT&T. For more information visit cityofelgin.org/DocumentCenter/View/1372/Ch-1799-Programming-Schedule.