In an effort to make Pittsburgh more welcoming, a 40-member-council has been formed to listen to ideas, implement changes and make new residents feel at home.
“It’s part of what’s called ‘Welcoming America,’ which is a national movement to bring on cities and counties across the country to get them to commit to become more welcoming in their practices to their foreign born residents and really to encourage immigrant integration,” said Betty Cruz, nonprofit and faith-based manager for the mayor’s office.
The council is requesting ideas until next Aug. 27 to be submitted via email. The members will also be holding community at a later date to be announced later where anyone can talk about ideas for making the city more welcoming.
The council will prioritize the suggestions to make a “roadmap” for the next three years.
Some ideas the council are considering dealing with language access throughout the city and hosting an event for National Welcome Week, the third week in September. Cruz said that most ideas will not be implemented for six to seven months.
“It’s about really celebrating the assets that are coming with many foreign born residents and how that diversity enhances our neighborhoods, as does the contributions of our native born residents and what they know and our Pittsburgh ways, and ways that this together creates for a more rich community,” Cruz said.
The council was chosen from online applications where more than 100 people applied. Not all council members are required to be city residents as to diversify the group.