National League of cities details efforts in immigrant integration; first report in series examines Indianapolis

WASHINGTON, DC – The National League of Cities’ (NLC) Municipal Action for Immigrant Integration project released the first in a series of reports identifying the experiences and practices of cities in integrating new immigrant populations.  Municipal Innovations in Immigrant Integration: American Cities Series highlights model programs and projects which cities can implement to build more cohesive communities.

The first report focuses on Indianapolis’ experiences from 2000-2007, responding to the challenges posed by a nearly 300 percent increase in the city’s Latino population.  It examines the city’s strategies used to increase access and availability to city services.  The report highlights the city’s development of the Mayor’s Commission on Latino Affairs to examine immigrants’ needs in public safety, business and community development and recreation, arts and culture.

Also discussed is how the city was able to use the media to communicate effectively with the immigrant community, including a weekly television program airing on a local Spanish language network, as well as public service announcements created to educate citizens on city services.

The insights offered by the report will allow cities across the country to mimic Indianapolis’ successes in engaging the immigrant population by opening the lines of communication, strengthening public safety, engaging the ethnic media and providing opportunities for community activities.

“Many communities, Indianapolis included, recognize the importance of engaging the local immigrant population to improve the quality of life for all citizens,” said Ricardo Gambetta, Manager, NLC’s Immigrant Integration, Inclusive Communities Programs. “This report provides cities with a successful model in immigrant integration by demonstrating how to improve the relationship between immigrants and the community, open city services, encourage the growth of immigrant businesses and expand citizen access to City Hall.”

To see a copy of the report, visit http://nlc.staging.10floor.com/ASSETS/2480CFC94CAB423AA6234B9735ADA148/MAIIAme ricanCities_Indianapolis.pdf