City Managers Learn about Immigrant Welcoming Initiatives in California
City managers from throughout California participated in the session, Strengthening Communities: Building Relationships between Immigrants and Longer-Term Residents, at the February 2012 League of California Cities’ City Managers Department Annual Meeting.
City managers from Redwood City and the City of Oakley led a discussion with their peers about the first two immigrant welcoming efforts launched in California. Robert Bell, city manager of Redwood City, and Bryan Montgomery, city manager for the City of Oakley, described the purposes of their city-wide efforts, the components of each city’s “welcoming” strategy, their approaches to multi-sector planning and implementation, and ideas on developing the required financial resources. Nancy Marquez, a steering committee member of Oakley’s welcoming initiative and until recently a community organizer for Contra Costa Interfaith Supporting Organization (CCISCO), a regional PICO affiliate, spoke about the ways in which partnerships with community-based organizations can support program success. Marquez noted that partnerships with community-based organizations can provide cities with greater access to information and individuals who can support these and other community engagement and community building activities.
The Institute partnered with Welcoming America, (www.welcomingamerica.org) a national grassroots organization, to support the launch of these first two immigrant welcoming efforts in California.