Thursday, February 10, 2005

Kenney, Ramos call for referendum on Philly Immigration Director

One of the first times that I really became impressed with Councilman Jim Kenney was a few years ago, when he tried to get city officials on board with luring immigrants to Philly. His idea was not embraced by Street, or by any other Council members, but it was smart. Immigrants coming to the U.S. considering a move to Philly would be an extremely positive thing, especially in a city that is shrinking like ours, but has the infrastructure for an additional million people.

And today, Kenney and Councilman Ramos are trying again.

From The Inquirer:
The bill sponsored by Councilmen Jim Kenney and Juan Ramos calls for a city-wide referendum on creating the position of director of immigrant affairs, whose job it would be to promote the interests of the city's immigrant community, provide services to new immigrants, educate the public on immigration policies and develop a marketing plan to promote Philadelphia as a destination for immigrants.


Last year, the Street administration announced an initiative dubbed Global Philadelphia, under which the city opened bidding on a contract for on-call interpreting and translations. Global Philadelphia provides interpretation and translation services to residents who do not speak English, or do not speak it well.

"This is going to be a strategic, overall effort to put Philadelphia on the map internationally," Kenney said of his proposal, "and you need an office that deals with nothing but this issue."

As I said, we have the infrastructure. An infusion of New Philadelphians, who are simply looking for a shot at a better life would help them and help Philly. It is refreshing to see a Councilman thinking outside the box, and not held to any ideology.

So, it looks like in the end, if this passes, it will be up to you and I. I will certainly be behind if it comes up.


At 1:21 AM, Blogger marjo moore said...

With an East Coast location so close to NYC, it's a surprise it hasn't happened already.

Do you think Rendell's proposed 'Job Ready Pennsylvania' will be a help or a hindrance to that effort, eventually?

At 6:51 PM, Blogger DanielUA said...

I actually have not heard a lot about Job Ready PA. What have you heard about it?

At 5:11 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a good idea and I will support it at the polls, but I have my doubts that it would pass. Up here in Northeast Philadelphia, there's a large Russian immigrant and growing Indian/Pakistani community. Both have caused a lot of angst and anger among the native locals.

OTOH, having Kenney's sponsorship is a big plus as the conservative Dems in the Northeast are some of his biggest supporters.


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