PITTSBURGH, PA (Aug. 15, 2014) - Mayor William Peduto today announced the members of the city’s Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council, whose work will shape the initiative over the next three years.
Launched on May 28, Welcoming Pittsburgh is a citywide initiative designed to celebrate the city’s immigrant past and build a more welcoming future. The first step in its implementation is a 40-member advisory council that will determine Welcoming Pittsburgh’s work over the coming years.
“We are a stronger city, enriched with greater cultural and economic opportunity, when we create avenues that are accessible and welcoming to all of our residents -- whether they have lived here for generations or are migrating to Pittsburgh for the very first time,” says Mayor William Peduto. “The Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council will lay the groundwork for greater immigrant integration.”
The council’s main task over the next six months will be working with a facilitator to write a long-term and sustainable Welcoming Pittsburgh implementation plan. That plan will include efforts to engage both existing Pittsburgh residents and new ones, and synthesize welcoming practices into city government and its partners in local business, nonprofit and community groups.
The roadmap will seek to improve efficiencies by identifying overlapping practices offered by different stakeholders in the community, and highlight opportunities for the Mayor’s Bureau of Neighborhood Empowerment to build a model for creating a more welcoming experience for immigrants in Pittsburgh.
“Communities that successfully encourage welcoming practices for immigrants foster welcoming environments for all residents,” said Nonprofit & Faith-Based Manager Betty Cruz. “When we spoke with cities across the country to learn from their lessons it was clear that an important first step is to form a guiding council that will develop recommendations that make sense for our city.”
The council was selected out of more than 100 candidates who applied through a public online process. Those invited to participate share a wide range of perspectives including both direct and indirect experience with the diverse needs immigrants face. The council also represents a variety of skillsets ranging from executives in finance, law, and academia to individuals working on the frontlines on issues such as labor, human services, and community development.
The grant will also fund community conversations across the city and the production of marketing materials that the Bureau will use to build awareness for Welcoming Pittsburgh and the impact of immigrants in the city for its first three years.
The city has issued a Request For Proposals to hire a facilitator. The RFP is available here: http://apps.pittsburghpa.gov/omb/RFP_WelcomingPGH.pdf
Terms on the voluntary council will end upon delivery of the implementation plan in roughly six months. After that period those interested will be asked to serve as Welcoming Pittsburgh ambassadors who will help implement plans for the initiative. The hiring of the facilitator and awareness-building materials for the first year of the initiative is underwritten with a $50,000 grant from the Hillman Family Foundations.
The 40 person council is comprised of:
Ana Maria Mieles, Cohen & Grigsby
Andrea Horton-Mericli, Greater Pittsburgh Literacy Council
Andrew Pugh, University of Pittsburgh, GSPIA
Aryeh Sherman, Jewish Family & Children's Service
Barbara Johnson, Carlow University
Barbara Murock, Department of Human Services
Bonnie McCloskey, Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh
Brandon Mendoza, Allegheny Conference for Community Development
Brent Rondon, Duquesne University Small Business Development Center
Brian Kovak, Carnegie Mellon University, Heinz School
Carol White Mohamed, University of Pittsburgh, Office of Affirmative Action, Diversity & Inclusion
Carrie Ann Quintana, PNC Bank
Christopher Amar, Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney
Elizabeth Heidenreich, South Hills Interfaith Ministry, Prospect Park Family Center
Ellen Freeman, K&L Gates
George Hazimanolis, WQED
Gretchen Mullin-Sawicki, Community College of Allegheny County
Guillermo Perez, United Steel Workers
Janis Burley Wilson, The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust
Jesus Torres, ParenteBeard
Josephine Olson, University of Pittsburgh, Katz School of Business
Joanna Bernstein, Casa San Jose
Kamana Mathur, MathurLaw
Kanak Iyer, Kanakadhara Financial Enterprise
Kannu Sahni, University of Pittsburgh
Kelsey Russell,Univ of Pitt
Kevin McKeegan, Meyer, Unkovic & Scott
Kheir Mugwaneza, Northern Area Multi-Service Center
Lou Fineberg, Dero Bike Racks & Co-founder Bike Pittsburgh
Matt Pavlosky, Southwestern PA Commission
Melanie Harrington, Vibrant Pittsburgh
Michael Hogel, Mt. Lebanon School District
Nathan Darity, Amizade
Patricia Cain, Latino Family Center
Robert Bartle, AIReS
Sandhya Krishnan, Highmark, Inc.
Seth Hufford, The People Group
Sheila Wells Rathke, University of Pittsburgh (retired)
Susan Friedberg Kalson, Squirrel Hill Health Center
Susan Rauscher, Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Pittsburgh
Thomas Buell Jr., GlobalPittsburgh
Friday, August 15, 2014
City of Pittsburgh
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