NEW YORK, Sept. 17, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On September 17th, Cities for Citizenship, the national initiative aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible legal permanent residents (LPRs), celebrates its 1 year anniversary.
Since its launch, nearly 20 cities have joined and more than 6,000 individuals nationwide were assisted in their pursuit of citizenship.
Spearheaded by Mayors Rahm Emanuel of Chicago, Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, and Bill de Blasio of New York, member cities now also include Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chattanooga, Denver, Jersey City, Nashville, Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Reading, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, and Washington, DC.
The Center for Popular Democracy and the National Partnership for New Americans coordinate the program in local communities with our partners from NALEO Educational Fund, the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, Welcoming America, AFL-CIO, and 32 BJ SEIU. Citi Community Development is the founding corporate partner.
"Immigrants have been a vital part of Chicago's history and will continue to be a vital part of its future," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel. "Through Cities for Citizenship, we have been able to ensure that our residents have the resources they need in their communities, so they can continue to contribute to our social, cultural, and economic fabric, while fulfilling their American Dream."
"In just one year, Cities for Citizenship has made an extraordinary difference in the lives of people all over the United States by helping them realize dreams of becoming Americans — and reaffirming just how valuable naturalized citizens are to the fabric of our country," said Cities for Citizenship Co-Chair L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti. "Los Angeles is all in, and we are expanding our efforts to help eligible Angelenos complete the naturalization process and connect them with resources that put them on the path to citizenship."
"Cities for Citizenship's tremendous growth makes clear: cities are central to protecting and promoting the inclusion and diversity that make our country so great," said Cities for Citizenship Co-Chair NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio. "Here in New York, we're coordinating a Citizenship Week of Action with our labor, faith and community-based partners to celebrate the contributions new Americans make to our city and our nation – and ensure all eligible residents can unlock vital civic and economic opportunities. We'll continue to partner with cities around the country through Cities for Citizenship."
"Through this partnership we're able to leverage powerful leadership from local organizations and municipal government that helps build long-term strategic infrastructure for citizenship work that delivers essential support to New Americans and enhances local collaborations. These collaborations are critical in reaching dense populations of the 8.5 million aspiring Americans who reside in our member's cities," said Nicole Melaku, Director of Programs at the National Partnership for New Americans.
"We are proud of Cities for Citizenship's impact over the past year and feel honored to be able to work side by side with our participating cities to promote naturalization and ultimately build welcoming and inclusive cities across the country," said Shena Elrington, Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice Policy at the Center for Popular Democracy.
"Citizenship is a major economic asset, for individuals, cities and our economy, and access to naturalization resources for those who qualify is a powerful tool for financial inclusion and inclusive economic growth," said Bob Annibale, Global Director, Citi Community Development.
Research shows that legal permanent residents who secure U.S. citizenship have on average an eleven percent boost in their personal incomes due to better access to jobs, benefits and educational opportunities. Citizenship benefits not only immigrants but the cities where they live.
If all the legal permanent residents in the country became citizens, they would provide a $50 billion boost to the national economy over the next ten years including a $4 billion increase in New York City, $3 billion in Los Angeles economy, and $1.5 billion in Chicago. Despite the benefits, there are still 8.8 million legal permanent residents in America (52 percent of whom are low-income) who are eligible for citizenship, but for financial, legal and language barriers, have not yet become citizens.
Cities for Citizenship connects mayors and municipalities with immigrant organizations and the business, faith and labor communities in public-private partnerships. The initiatives enables cities to expand naturalization and financial capability programs, as well as access to legal assistance, microloans and financial counseling, boosting economic opportunity for immigrants and communities nationwide.
Over the last year, major accomplishments of the Initiative have included:
- Nearly 6,500 people have pursued citizenship as a result of participating cities' efforts.
- Eleven participating cities have or are in the initial stages of developing U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) "Citizenship Corners" in over 110 libraries to provide resources and assistance to LPRs interested in becoming U.S. citizens.
- In support of Citizenship Day, participating cities and partners are leading over 85 citizenship related events and activities, including oath ceremonies and citizenship workshops with community-based partners.
Join our campaign on Twitter with #Cities4Citizenship and access resources online at CitiesforCitizenship.org.
About Center for Popular Democracy (CPD)
The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD) promotes equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. CPD builds the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda. Visit www.populardemocracy.org and www.twitter.com/popdemoc.
About National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA)
The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) harnesses the collective power and resources of the country's 37 largest regional immigrant rights organizations in 30 states. Our aim is to achieve a vibrant, just and welcoming democracy for all. Immigrants are the soul of our organization, and immigrant communities inspire, implement and champion our work. NPNA sponsors the annual National Immigrant Integration Conference and, in the past two years, NPNA partners have assisted over 50,000 immigrants to become U.S. citizens and pursue legal status. Additional information may be found at www.partnershipfornewamericans.org | NIIC: integrationconference.org Facebook: www.facebook.com/newamericanspartnership | Twitter: @npnewamericans
Citi, the leading global bank has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.
Additional information may be found at www.citigroup.com | Twitter: @Citi | YouTube: www.youtube.com/citi | Blog: http://blog.citigroup.com | Facebook: www.facebook.com/citi | LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/citi
Center for Popular Democracy
SOURCE Cities for Citizenship