PITTSBURGH, PA (November 9, 2021) Mayor William Peduto has proposed creating a permanent city office to support immigrant, refugee and new American communities with the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. The office will continue the work started by Mayor Peduto’s Welcoming Pittsburgh initiative to create an advocacy support network to improve the quality of life and improve city services for immigrants and refugees.
As the city’s immigrant population grows, with a 67% increase in the Hispanic, Latinx and multi-racial population in Allegheny County, the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs will continue the implementation of the Welcoming Pittsburgh Roadmap, a comprehensive citywide plan for immigrant, refugee and New American advocacy compiled by 40 leaders from diverse sectors and over 3,000 community members.
Some of the work accomplished from the Roadmap includes establishing a citywide language interpretation and translation service so all residents can access city information for free and the development of a multi-cultural training for public safety to effectively engage with immigrant communities. Welcoming Pittsburgh has already established a large network of immigrant community leaders, groups, members and advocacy groups that meets regularly to share resources.
Additional work that the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs would build off of include:
The new office will continue to advise departments on immigrant and refugee engagement strategies, welcoming new residents, work with partner organizations and agencies, advocate for policy reform and celebrate the diversity of civic, cultural and economic life that immigrants and refugees bring to the city.
The legislation was presented to City Council yesterday.