Cities for Citizenship Celebrates 5 Years!

 

Over the past five years, Cities for Citizenship (C4C) has made tremendous strides in building a network of U.S. mayors promoting and expanding citizenship. Read more about this progress below.

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to newly naturalized citizens at a local citizenship ceremony

New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio speaks to newly naturalized citizens at a local citizenship ceremony

Cities for Citizenship: 2014

Cities for Citizenship (C4C) officially launches in September of 2014 together with the founding cities of New York City, Chicago and Los Angeles; the national organizations of National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) and Center for Popular Democracy (CPD); and, the founding corporate partner, Citi Community Development.

Cities for Citizenship establishes itself as a major national initiative aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible lawful permanent residents and encouraging cities across the country to invest in citizenship programs.

The first C4C report, Citizenship: A Wise Investment for Cities, is released.

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti promotes citizenship at a children’s naturalization ceremony

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti promotes citizenship at a children’s naturalization ceremony

Chicago’s former Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks at an oath ceremony in Chicago’s City Hall

Chicago’s former Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks at an oath ceremony in Chicago’s City Hall

Naturalized citizens from across the world take their oath at a local oath ceremony

Naturalized citizens from across the world take their oath at a local oath ceremony


Citizen applicants in San Francisco receive free assistance at a local citizenship workshop in June of 2015

Citizen applicants in San Francisco receive free assistance at a local citizenship workshop in June of 2015

CITIES FOR CITIZENSHIP: 2015

Cities for Citizenship (C4C) quickly grows to a network of 21 cities and counties!

Cities and counties lead efforts to stand up “citizenship corners” in local libraries, host oath ceremonies, provide financial empowerment services, create “Offices of New Americans” and/or “Offices of Immigrant Affairs”, and partner with community-based organizations to provide support at local citizenship workshops.

The Urban Institute together with the Citi Community Development and the NYC’s Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs releases the report, The Economic Impact of Naturalization on Immigrants and Cities.

The City of Baltimore hosts a naturalization ceremony with former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in 2015

The City of Baltimore hosts a naturalization ceremony with former Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake in 2015

The City of Atlanta establishes citizenship resource center in their local library

The City of Atlanta establishes citizenship resource center in their local library

NYCitizenship provides free legal and financial literacy assistance to citizenship applicants

NYCitizenship provides free legal and financial literacy assistance to citizenship applicants


Boston Mayor Walsh launches Immigrant Information Corners at the Boston Public Library's Central Library in Copley Square and 24 neighborhoods

Boston Mayor Walsh launches Immigrant Information Corners at the Boston Public Library's Central Library in Copley Square and 24 neighborhoods

CITIES FOR CITIZENSHIP: 2016

Cities for Citizenship (C4C) expands to a network of 27 cities and counties, and hosts the 1st Annual Cities for Citizenship Municipal Gathering in Nashville, Tennessee with over 75 participants from over 40 cities and counties, prior to NPNA’s National Immigrant Integration Conference.

C4C releases the 2016 C4C Impact Report which highlights the C4C member survey conducted to assess impact, discovering that over 14,000 individuals pursued citizenship and/or initiated the citizenship process; 10,500+ received legal assistance or referrals; 8,500+ individuals attended financial empowerment classes; 1,400+ individuals participated in one-on-one financial coaching sessions; and 19,500+ individuals received information on the fee waiver, financial counseling, and/or citizenship micro-loan assistance through the C4C network. Over 970,000 people applied for citizenship in 2016 which represented a 24 percent increase in citizenship applications compared to the previous year.

C4C releases the C4C Toolkit: 10 Strategies to Launch & Strengthen Citizenship Initiatives to share members’ best practices and to support the network in launching new citizenship efforts.

Bob Annibale, the Global Director of Community Development and Inclusive Finance, and Nisha Argarwal, former NYC Commissioner for the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs, co-author the op-ed, Why Cities Should Invest in Citizenship: Helping Immigrants Achieve Citizenship Yields Major Returns - and It’s the Right Thing to Do.

Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs’ (OIRA) New Citizen Program welcomed 19 new Americans at a Flag Day Naturalization Ceremony at Seattle City Hall. (Photo credit: Alabastro Photography)

Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs’ (OIRA) New Citizen Program welcomed 19 new Americans at a Flag Day Naturalization Ceremony at Seattle City Hall. (Photo credit: Alabastro Photography)

The City of Philadelphia hosted an oath ceremony at a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game

The City of Philadelphia hosted an oath ceremony at a Philadelphia Phillies baseball game


C4C cities and counties host and support large-scale citizenship workshops across the country, together with local organizations. (Photo credit: Alabastro Photography)

C4C cities and counties host and support large-scale citizenship workshops across the country, together with local organizations. (Photo credit: Alabastro Photography)

CIties for citizenship: 2017

Cities for Citizenship (C4C) continues to expand, reaching 41 cities and counties by the end of the year!

C4C hosts the 2nd Annual Cities for Citizenship Municipal Gathering in Phoenix, Arizona with nearly 100 participants from over 50 cities and counties.

C4C releases the report, the Naturalization Policy & Program Menu 2017-2018, sharing citizenship strategies and practices from across the network. Also, C4C is featured in the article, The Heartland Wants New Americans; and in the op-ed, Why U.S. Cities Are Fighting to Attract Immigrants.

A South Asian woman holds an American flag during a naturalization ceremony in Indianapolis. (Michael Conroy/AP)

A South Asian woman holds an American flag during a naturalization ceremony in Indianapolis. (Michael Conroy/AP)

Fatoumata Jangana, center, stands for the National Anthem as her daughter fixes a miniature flag onto her hijab, during U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services ceremony for new citizens. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

Fatoumata Jangana, center, stands for the National Anthem as her daughter fixes a miniature flag onto her hijab, during U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services ceremony for new citizens. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)


In June 2018, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles announces the C4C America is Home Initiative at the US Conference of Mayors in Boston, Massachusetts

In June 2018, Mayor Eric Garcetti of Los Angeles announces the C4C America is Home Initiative at the US Conference of Mayors in Boston, Massachusetts

cities for citizenship: 2018

Cities for Citizenship (C4C) has a dynamic year, nearly doubling in size, expanding to 74 cities and counties, and hosts the 3rd Annual C4C Annual Municipal Gathering in Arlington, Virginia.

C4C launches the C4C America is Home Initiative, a four-year, $5 million challenge grant program to help municipalities and community partners encourage U.S. citizenship among eligible immigrants and increase naturalization application rates. The first C4C America is Home cohort consists of 14 organizations working across 16 cities and counties. Learn more about the C4C America is Home Program here.

C4C releases the report, America is Home: How Individuals, Families, Cities & Counties Benefit by Investing In Citizenship.

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller participates in a local citizenship workshop together with local organization and C4C America is Home partner, El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos

Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller participates in a local citizenship workshop together with local organization and C4C America is Home partner, El Centro de Igualdad y Derechos

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett speaks at the 2nd Annual Citizenship Ceremony together with local organization and C4C America is Home partner, Voces de la Frontera

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett speaks at the 2nd Annual Citizenship Ceremony together with local organization and C4C America is Home partner, Voces de la Frontera

Chair of Arlington County Board, Christian Dorsey, welcomes attendees at the Cities for Citizenship (C4C) Municipal Gathering, and announces that Arlington County will join the C4C network

Chair of Arlington County Board, Christian Dorsey, welcomes attendees at the Cities for Citizenship (C4C) Municipal Gathering, and announces that Arlington County will join the C4C network


Nashville Mayor Briley assists an applicant with her citizenship application at a local citizenship workshop hosted by the with the C4C America is Home partner, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC)

Nashville Mayor Briley assists an applicant with her citizenship application at a local citizenship workshop hosted by the with the C4C America is Home partner, Tennessee Immigrant and Refugee Rights Coalition (TIRRC)

cities for Citizenship: 2019

Cities for Citizenship (C4C) celebrates its 5th year anniversary, and grows to a network of 86 cities and counties!

Throughout September, C4C celebrates 5 years with over 30 local citizenship events across the country and elevating the impact of the C4C over five years.

Since 2014, C4C network has reached 1,788,778 people who attended citizenship-related programming; 48,283 people who initiated the citizenship process / applied for citizenship; 42,463 people who received financial information (waiver, counseling, micro-loan assistance); and 30,079 assisted with financial empowerment services. In 2019, C4C will host the 4th Annual C4C Municipal Gathering in Detroit, Michigan. C4C looks ahead to 2020 with a goal of expanding to 100 cities and counties!

Clairmene, a native of Haiti, arrived with her daughter at a local citizenship workshop in Indianapolis. Through the assistance of pro-bono immigration attorneys with the C4C America is Home partner, Immigrant Welcome Center, Clairmene was able to complete the N-400 application.    “I am the only non-US citizen in my family. Today that’s going to change,” said Clairmene

Clairmene, a native of Haiti, arrived with her daughter at a local citizenship workshop in Indianapolis. Through the assistance of pro-bono immigration attorneys with the C4C America is Home partner, Immigrant Welcome Center, Clairmene was able to complete the N-400 application.

“I am the only non-US citizen in my family. Today that’s going to change,” said Clairmene

Maria had been a resident for over 20 years and felt that now, more than ever, it was time for her to become a U.S. citizen. C4C America is Home partner, the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), assisted her through the whole process which took approximately 9 months.    “Becoming a U.S. citizen has changed my life in so many ways and I am so grateful for HICA helping me through the process. I finally feel empowered! I am more than excited and committed to voting in the next presidential elections in 2020”

Maria had been a resident for over 20 years and felt that now, more than ever, it was time for her to become a U.S. citizen. C4C America is Home partner, the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (HICA), assisted her through the whole process which took approximately 9 months.

“Becoming a U.S. citizen has changed my life in so many ways and I am so grateful for HICA helping me through the process. I finally feel empowered! I am more than excited and committed to voting in the next presidential elections in 2020”

Dhia, client of C4C America is Home partner, Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM), was born in Iraq but is of Palestinian descent and does not have Iraqi citizenship. He explained that his father, who lives in Iraq, is still without nationality. His brother died without having any citizenship.    “This is important to me because I want to be an American, I want to have a passport, I want to have a country wherever I go,” Dhia said.

Dhia, client of C4C America is Home partner, Kentucky Refugee Ministries (KRM), was born in Iraq but is of Palestinian descent and does not have Iraqi citizenship. He explained that his father, who lives in Iraq, is still without nationality. His brother died without having any citizenship.

“This is important to me because I want to be an American, I want to have a passport, I want to have a country wherever I go,” Dhia said.