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Identity & Community
A city rebuilds itself with new industry, new energy and new people after a generation of decline. But what happens to those who endured the tough times? Are they lifted up, or pushed out? How can newcomers and established residents build a common vision of progress? Or is creative tension part of what pushes a city to a better future? Here are some of the reports from 90.5 WESA about some of the questions and challenges our city is encountering along the revival road.For more coverage of recovery and revival throughout Pennsylvania, visit our partner, Keystone Crossroads.

Peduto Joins With Mayors to Push Immigration Reforms

Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto said he will “not let congressional gridlock get in the way of progress” as he and more than 20 other mayors from across the country launched Cities United for Immigration Action (CUIA) Monday. 

The coalition is working “to ensure the successful implementation of the president’s immigration reform plan,” according to Peduto, who is preparing for a two-day event in New York City next week aimed at finding ways to implement the ideas behind President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration while at the same time building support for congressional action on immigration reform. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio called for the gathering.

“We need to make sure that we are doing right by these individuals and integrating them and making them feel welcome and making sure they have the tools to be successful,” said Pittsburgh Non-Profit and Faith-Based Manager Betty Cruz.

Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles, Kasim Reed of Atlanta, Michael Nutter of Philadelphia and Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio are among the other mayors expected to attend the summit.

“If you are looking to grow and have a thriving economy you need to look at all your residents and that includes every member of the community, whether you have a large immigrant community or a small immigrant community,” said Cruz.

Peduto recently named a 40-member Welcoming Pittsburgh Advisory Council that is tasked with listening to ideas, implementing changes and make new residents feel at home.

Cruz said one issue that has come up often is the complex and sometimes costly nature of becoming a U.S citizen.

“Our issues and our opportunities here may not exactly mirror other cities but there are certainly lessons to be learned and things we can take advantage of,” said Cruz.

According to a release form the New York City Mayor’s office the goals of the summit are:

  • Creating fertile ground at the municipal level for implementation of the presidential order through diverse and thorough outreach to immigrant communities and local authorities, among other initiatives. 
  • Creating consensus on the need for a permanent solution to the nation’s broken immigration system through congressional action on comprehensive reform.

It goes on to read “The summit’s agenda offers opportunities for mayors to present on particular developments in their cities as well as get advice from legal experts. As a takeaway, each mayor in attendance will be challenged to meet a five-point strategy to achieve successful implementation.”

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