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Data, technical support provided to Office of Community Affairs’ Immigrant Services

Redwood City — The Office of Community Affairs’ Immigrant Services will receive research and technical assistance to better tailor local initiatives and outreach that promote immigrant inclusion thanks to a competitive Gateways for Growth (G4G) award given by New American Economy (NAE) and Welcoming America.

The County was one of 19 jurisdictions nationwide selected.to build build the infrastructure for economic, civic and social inclusion at the local level. The County is among the fourth cohort of G4G awardees.

G4G awardees will receive a combination of:

  • Customized quantitative research reports from NAE on the demographic and economic contributions immigrants make in their communities; and/or
  • Tailored technical assistance from NAE and Welcoming America to help communities draft, execute, and communicate a multi-sector immigrant inclusion strategy.

In light of the scale and severity of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gateways for Growth Challenge this year prioritized localities that demonstrated a public-private commitment to better integrating immigrants into recovery efforts and emergency management systems.

The wide distribution of public health and safety information remains crucial to protecting the whole community. Knowing that almost half of San Mateo County’s population speak a language other than English at home, the County ensured that health orders, changing guidance, and resources were made available in multiple languages. The County also focused efforts on connecting with residents in hard to reach communities and areas with a digital divide by canvassing door -to-door with bilingual information on COVID-19 resources and testing that carried no cost to the participant. The County’s “Community Crew” also distributed nearly 14,000 face coverings throughout the county to aid low-income residents who may not have access to or can afford protective gear.

“We are thrilled to see the Gateways for Growth Challenge expand to another set of localities that reflect the diversity of our nation,” said Christina Pope, senior network director at Welcoming America. “With each cohort, there is an opportunity to support and connect local leaders making their communities more welcoming and resilient places where everyone, including immigrants, can prosper and belong.”

“The Gateways for Growth program helps communities quantify what many people already know -- that immigrants play a key role in driving growth,” said Mo Kantner, director of state and local initiatives at New American Economy. “We’re excited to see how these communities can use data and technical assistance to support their work to ensure that all residents are welcome and have pathways to success.”

Learn more about how the County is using its award at https://cmo.smcgov.org/g4g-challenge

About New American Economy
New American Economy (NAE) is a bipartisan research and advocacy organization founded to educate, empower and support policymakers, influencers, and citizens across the country that see the economic and social benefits of a smart approach to immigration reform. NAE has created a coalition of civic, business, and cultural leaders who span the political spectrum and represent all 50 states. NAE makes the case for smart immigration reform in four ways:

  1. Generate and use powerful research to demonstrate how immigration impacts our economy;
  2. Organize champions at the grassroots and influencer levels to build support for immigration;
  3. Partner with state and local leaders to advocate for policies that recognize the value immigrants add locally; and
  4. Show immigrant contributions to American culture through film, food, art, sports, comedy, and more.

Visit NewAmericanEconomy.org to learn more.

About Welcoming America
Welcoming America leads a movement of inclusive communities from across the world in becoming more prosperous by making everyone feel like they belong. Through a membership network of 200+ local governments and nonprofits, Welcoming America connects and supports place-based initiatives that work to reduce divisions and support greater civic, social, and economic participation among new and longtime residents alike. Through the Welcoming Network, participating members access peer learning opportunities, technical assistance, tools, and training to help transform their communities into more welcoming places.

Visit WelcomingAmerica.org to learn more.