New programs to support city-wide visioning process for immigrant integration
July 15, 2014
In the last week, Mayor Martin J. Walsh announced a series of programs and initiatives to support immigrant integration in the City of Boston: the launch of the New Bostonians Fellowship Program; the City’s participation in the Welcoming Cities Project; and his support of An Act Relative to the Preparation of Certain Bilingual Ballots in the City of Boston.
"Having a diverse, welcoming city will attract the top talent from around the world to drive our economy forward." said Mayor Walsh. "That talent includes people with special skills in technology, engineering, and science. But it also includes people with a special understanding of how community works—people who take the time to look out for neighbors, who join religious and civic organizations, who gather people together."
The New Bostonians Fellowship Program is a part of a new initiative to select and dedicate a staff member to expand and promote successful welcoming and empowering initiatives within Boston’s municipal and residential communities. The program seeks entrepreneurial self-starters with at least five years of professional experience in public policy, public administration or immigrant affairs, and is modeled after the Boston Urban Mechanic Fellowship Program that has brought many talented young professionals to work for the city.
The New Bostonians Fellowship will act as a welcoming champion by helping develop a detailed and innovative action plan and generate awareness and support for the city's efforts to empower immigrants to fully participate in the social, economic and civic life of the City. The Fellowship will help research and implement successful immigration integration best practices, develop a campaign to help change the rhetoric about immigrants and increase engagement and partner with organizations to facilitate workshops that offer leadership training for achieving more active roles in decision-making bodies.
Applications for the fellowship are being accepted until August 11. The New Bostonians Fellowship program is supported by a grant from the Barr Foundation.
"This is a great opportunity for highly motivated leaders who are looking to play an active role and contribute significantly to the fabric of Boston,” said Alejandra St. Guillen, Director of the Mayor’s Office of New Bostonians. “We are looking for dynamic, creative people who understand the need for action and are passionate about addressing immigrant integration challenges.”
Mayor Walsh also announced that Boston is joining the Welcoming Cities Project, a national, grassroots-driven collaborative that promotes a welcoming atmosphere and cooperation community by community. As part of this newly-established partnership with Welcoming America, the City of Boston and his Office of New Bostonians will work to identify opportunities to engage Boston’s immigrant communities and further their roles in the social, economic, and civic life of the City.
And today, Mayor Walsh joined Governor Deval Patrick as he signed An Act Relative to the Preparation of Certain Bilingual Ballots in the City of Boston, which allows the City to provide ballots for state and federal elections transliterated (substitution of characters for sounds) into Chinese and translated into Vietnamese. The City of Boston first began using transliterated ballots in the 2007 municipal election and has continued to do so for every municipal election since then.
“Securing bilingual ballots is a great victory for this community, and a great victory for civic engagement in Boston,” said Mayor Walsh. “By fighting for this access and by voting this fall, Americans of Chinese and Vietnamese origin prove that diversity and democracy go hand in hand.”