March 7, 2013– Mayor Michael A. Nutter signed an Executive Order establishing the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant and Multi-Cultural Affairs, which will work to promote the well-being of the immigrant community in Philadelphia by improving access to city services, engaging community-based organizations, developing economic resources and assisting with educational opportunities.
“The 2010 census showed that Philadelphia’s population grew for the first time in decades, and that growth was driven in large part by immigrants,” said Mayor Nutter. “They are our neighbors, friends, co-workers and employees. They are running small businesses and revitalizing neighborhoods. Our government must foster their integration into the social, civic and economic culture of our City and at the same time, celebrate the rich diversity of the communities from which they come. Philadelphia finds strength in its diversity.”
The Office of Immigrant and Multi-Cultural Affairs will provide guidance to all City departments, agencies, boards and commissions regarding access to City programs and activities for individuals with limited English proficiency. The Office will promote the full participation of Philadelphia’s diverse cultural and linguistic communities in the economic, civic, social and cultural life of the City by strengthening the relationship between those communities and the City. The Office will work with the Philadelphia Police Department and the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Public Safety to promote police-community relations, and it will also work with the Philadelphia School District and the Mayor’s Office of Education to promote cultural understanding in classrooms and develop resources for students with limited English proficiency.
Mayor Nutter announced that Jennifer Rodriguez will be the Executive Director of the new office. “As Executive Director of the newly-formed Office of Immigrant and Multi-Cultural Affairs, I look forward to contributing to the Mayor’s vision for Philadelphia which recognizes immigrants as a vital element of the city’s growth,” said Ms. Rodriguez. “I will work within the administration and with stakeholder groups to elevate our profile as an immigrant-friendly city, develop a strategy that harnesses the potential of immigrant communities, and ensure that government infrastructure is welcoming and effective in helping foreign-born individuals succeed.”
Prior to joining the Administration, Ms. Rodriquez served as Deputy Vice President for Program Services and Sustainable Communities with the Asociación Puertorriqueños en Marcha (APM), in which she developed community engagement strategies with the 24th and 26th Police Districts and directed the Sustainable Community Initiative – a neighborhood development strategy in Eastern North Philadelphia. Ms. Rodriguez also previously served as the Vice President of Financial Services at the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation (PIDC) and was involved with PIDC’s Minority Enterprise Program.
Mayor Nutter also announced that Fernando Treviño-Martínez will serve as the Deputy Director of the Office of Immigrant and Multi-Cultural Affairs. Mr. Treviño-Martínez said, “As an immigrant, I recognize Mayor Nutter’s leadership on this issue and welcome his decision to create this office. We have a lot of work to do to engage and include immigrants and other constituency groups in the day-to-day life of our great city, from educational and economic opportunities, to the City’s relationship with federal immigration authorities. I’m honored to continue my work with immigrants now on behalf of the great City of Philadelphia.”
Most recently Mr. Treviño-Martínez was the Pennsylvania State Director of Operation Vote with Organizing for America, formerly the Obama for America campaign. He coordinated campaign outreach events with an array of constituencies including: African-American, Latino, Women, Youth, Asian-American, Jewish, LGBT, and Veteran & Military families. Previously, Mr. Treviño-Martínez worked at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and its affiliate, Democracia USA. Mr. Treviño-Martínez is an attorney and practiced with the law offices of Oficina de Abogados in Philadelphia. He also served the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Affairs consulates in Philadelphia, New Orleans, and Eagle Pass, TX.
The Executive Order also transferred all functions, projects, contracts and personnel of the Global Philadelphia program to the Office of Immigrant and Multi-Cultural Affairs.