Cities for Citizenship Hosts National Municipal Gathering in Nashville, Tennessee

On Sunday, December 11th, 2016, the Cities for Citizenship (C4C) initiative hosted a powerful C4C Municipal Gathering in Nashville, Tennessee that brought together 75 municipal and national leaders representing 42 cities and counties ranging geographically from Anchorage, Alaska to Atlanta, Georgia.

The C4C Municipal Gathering, scheduled immediately prior to the kick-off of NPNA’s National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC), focused on the topics of naturalization, financial empowerment and immigrant integration. Cities and counties left the gathering feeling energized by new relationships built, grateful for the space to share ideas, and eager for 2017.

The C4C Municipal Gathering included the following breakout discussions and speakers:

Breakout 1: “Integrating Financial Inclusion and Empowerment in Naturalization”


Pablo DeFilippi, Vice President of Membership and Business Development, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions

Jessica Caloza, Policy Analyst, Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs

Eileen Auld, Citi Community Development

Madeline Cruz, Senior Financial Coach, The Resurrection Project

Breakout 2: “Naturalization and Immigrant Integration Practice and Policy at the Municipal and State Level”


Nisha Agarwal, Commissioner, New York City Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs

Andrew Friedman, Co-Executive Director, Center for Popular Democracy

Mette Brogden, Deputy Director, Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs

Rich Stolz, Executive Director, OneAmerica, Seattle

Break Out 3: “Scaling Up: Strategies for Ramping Up Your City or County Naturalization Efforts”


Carol Leon, Outreach and Engagement Coordinator, Boston Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement

Richard Whipple, Deputy Director, San Francisco Mayor’s Office of Civic Engagement and Immigrant Affairs

Liza Ryan, Director of Organizing, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)

Monica Fuentes, Director of Washington, D.C. Office, Welcoming America

Break Out 4: “Building Capacity: Training of Community Navigators and Partnerships with Legal Services”


Eréndira Rendón, Director of National Partnerships, The Resurrection Project

Richard André, NYCitizenship Program Manager, NYC Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs

Diego Bonesatti, Director of Legal Services, Michigan United

Laura Tuell, Firmwide Pro Bono Counsel, Jones Day

C4C Municipal Gathering Lunch Plenary


Laura Patching, Chief of the Office of Citizenship, U.S. Citizenship and Immigrant Services (USCIS)

Alejandro Celorio Alcántara, Head of Section – Hispanic and Migration Affairs, Embassy of Mexico

Rich Stolz, Executive Director, OneAmerica

Thank you to our sponsors and partners!

The C4C Municipal Gathering was made possible by generous support from Citi Community Development and Jones Day. The funding support allowed 40 participants to receive the C4C Municipal Scholarship valued at $800. The scholarship provided much needed support to participants who would not have been able to attend if it was not for the scholarship.

Additionally, the C4C Municipal Gathering was successful due to the work of the C4C Executive Committee and the C4C Municipal Gathering Planning Committee which includes the offices of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Welcoming America, Local Progress, Cities for Action, National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA), and Citi Community Development.