Engaging Immigrant Communities – California Stories
Cupertino – Citizenship Classes at Senior
Victor Wong – an exemplary volunteer – teaches citizenship classes at the City of Cupertino’s Senior Center. Since 2002, 1,078 of Wong’s students have successfully taken the citizenship exam. According to city staff these classes help seniors feel less isolated, more independent and integrated in their community, which in turn reduces the burden on city services.
Santa Clara County: Multimedia Tools and Community
Dialogues Support Immigrant Integration
The Silicon Valley Asian American Voices project launched in 2010 by Asian Americans for Community Involvement (AACI) uses multimedia tools to tell the stories of Asian American immigrants and to educate and engage people on related community issues. The Voices project has worked in partnership with local officials and community partners to host community dialogues that have helped to deepen understanding of the immigrant experience, build trust between diverse communities, and empower people with the resources to promote immigrant integration.
San Mateo County: Community Dialogues Help Immigrants
And Longer-Term Residents Bridge The Cultural
Through its new Immigrant Engagement Project, the Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center (PCRC) is creating opportunities for dialogue that allow recent immigrants and long-term residents of San Mateo County to get to know each other better. These dialogues will also help identify shared interests and community concerns about public services including education, community development, health and safety. After a series of intra- and inter- community dialogue sessions PCRC plans to convene a countywide summit to bring together dialogue participants and local officials to discuss the outcomes.
San Mateo County: C.A.R.O.N. – Community Alliance to
Revitalize Our Neighborhood: Violence Prevention by Engaging
Youth and Immigrant Families
C.A.R.O.N. (Community Alliance to Revitalize Our Neighborhood), an initiative of the San Mateo County Sheriff’s Office, works to create strong and healthy immigrant families that are integrated into their community. C.A.R.O.N. works in partnership with schools, the faith community, youth groups, and parents. Family engagement and outreach programs offered through C.A.R.O.N. encourage civic participation by educating community members about their rights and responsibilities and help prevent youth violence by supporting ongoing positive connections between law enforcement and community members.
Santa Clara County: Supporting Coordinated Immigrant
Integration and Engagement Efforts
Santa Clara County established IRIS – Immigrant Relations and Integration Services. Housed in the County Office of Human Relations, IRIS staff members work on projects that promote positive immigrant relations and integration.
Rancho Cordova: Cooking Up New Ways to Reach
Council Member Ken Cooley discusses how community workshops helped the diverse community of Rancho Cordova deal with the home mortgage crisis.
Lodi: Reaching out to the Pakistani-American
The City of Lodi is home to a diverse population of 65,000 people, including many Latino and Pakistani immigrants and their families. Reaching out to these communities is an ongoing practice of the city.
Fremont: Fremont’s Community Ambassadors Program Reaches Out to
Starting in 2000, the City of Fremont partnered with local ethnic community organizations to engage their diverse residents in focus groups. One goal that surfaced from these conversations was to improve the capacity of the community to serve older adults and to make services accessible to older adults. The City of Fremont’s Community Ambassador Program was developed by the city and ethnic community leaders to address this goal.
City and Oakley – California Communities Launch Initiatives to
Strengthen Relationships between Immigrants and Longer-Term
Two California cities are implementing welcoming initiatives to improve understanding and strengthen relationships between immigrant community members and longer term residents. Redwood City and the City of Oakley have undertaken multi-sector planning efforts with a substantial partnership role for local officials. The Four Freedoms Fund, Silicon Valley Community Foundation and Y&H Soda Foundation funded the planning phase and the latter two have recently approved grants for the implementation in Redwood City and the City of Oakley.