21 Cities Announce their Commitment to Assisting A Million People in 2017 in the Citizenship Process



July 4, 2017


Anna Castro | annac@mifamiliavota.org | 619.228.5332

21 Cities Announce their Commitment to Assisting A Million People in 2017 in the Citizenship Process

In current political climate, Fourth of July takes on new meaning for elected officials and community leaders across the country

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Naturalize NOW! campaign, which includes community-based organizations, labor unions, municipal governments and members of Congress, commends the leadership and vision of the 21 mayors who have pledged their support in reaching the goal of assisting 1,000,000 people in the naturalization process in the fiscal year 2017.

“We celebrate our independence on July 4, and honor the values of freedom, justice, unity, and equality that make us who we are,” said Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti. “Los Angeles joined the Naturalize NOW campaign because those principles are still worth fighting for — and to encourage eligible Angelenos and people across the country to seek a path toward citizenship and join the American family.”

The cities that have joined the campaign are: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Cleveland, OH; Charlotte, NC; Chicago, IL; Dallas, TX; Dayton, OH; Jersey City, NJ; Knoxville, TN; Los Angeles, CA; Miami, FL; Miami-Dade County, FL; Montgomery County, MD; Paterson, NJ; Pittsburgh, PA; New York City, NY; Salt Lake County, UT; San Francisco, CA; Seattle, CA; South Gate, CA & Tucson, AZ.

Encouraging community members to participate in our democracy and permanently protect themselves and their families constitutes the central mission of the Naturalize NOW! campaign. Campaign partners have organized 164 workshops and trainings throughout the country since the campaign launched in May and more events are being organized every day.

The campaign announced on Flag Day that a record-breaking number of aspiring Americans have submitted citizenship applications in 2017, making the second quarter of this year busier than 2016, a federal election year. The Naturalize NOW! campaign is halfway through accomplishing the target goal, with over half a million people submitting applications through the first half of this year.

“There are different paths to becoming a U.S. citizen,” said Luis Guerra, operations director for the UFW Foundation. “I have derived citizenship, which means I became a U.S. citizen because of my parents. I have taken their actions and values to heart by embracing my own civic responsibility to fuel community transformation through the naturalization process. This 4th of July, I celebrate my parents and countless other parents who have shown their love to their children and this country by taking the step to becoming U.S. citizens.”

Community leaders like Guerra exist throughout the Naturalize NOW! coalition, which includes the National Partnership for New Americans and its state-based member coalitions, Mi Familia Vota, Cities for Citizenship, National Council of La Raza (NCLR), iAmerica, Center for Popular Democracy, SEIU, Unite Here, UFCW, and UFW Foundation.

For Jaime Tadeo, a citizenship coordinator with Mi Familia Vota in Tucson, Ariz., the 4th of July has taken on new meaning.

“I’m always really excited when the 4th of July comes around because I get to acknowledge the history of my new home,” Tadeo said. “As a DACA recipient and citizenship coordinator, the first thought that comes to my mind when I’m helping people who want to become U.S. citizens is that I’m going to connect with them in a way that no one has connected with them before. I can see that they enjoy and really like being part of the process of becoming a U.S. citizen. They’re doing their part and really feel like patriots.”

You can see the list of upcoming events and www.NaturalizeNOW.us.