Friday, December 12, 2014

Pittsburgh Joins 10 Other U.S. Cities in Citizenship Initiative Supporting Obama's Action on Immigration

On Dec. 15, Pittsburgh and 10 other cities were scheduled to formally join Cities for Citizenship, an initiative launched by Los Angeles, New York City and Chicago in partnership with Citi, the founding corporate partner, which aims to increase citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents to forge more inclusive and economically robust cities.

Leading officials from Pittsburgh, Atlanta, Baltimore, Boston, Chattanooga, Denver, Milwaukee, Nashville, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Washington, D.C. will announce their active participation in this growing initiative at a special event during the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC 2014).

Pittsburgh's growing immigrant community has made significant contributions to the city and take pride in actively participating in the communities where they live. Taking a cue from cities that have been active on this front, the Peduto administration plans to work in partnership with city schools, nonprofits, and libraries to create citizenship corners in targeted areas across the city and support immigrants on their path towards citizenship.

Mayor William Peduto launched the Welcoming Pittsburgh Initiative in May to celebrate the city’s immigrant past and build a more welcoming future. An advisory council was formed in August to work on a long-term implementation plan to engage both existing Pittsburgh residents and new ones, and synthesize welcoming practices into city government and its partners in local business, nonprofit and community groups. Facilitation of the initiative is underwritten by a grant from the Hillman Family Foundations.

Additionally, next year the administration plans to host naturalization ceremonies at the City-County Building.

A recent report, Citizenship: A Wise Investment for Cities, by the Center for Popular Democracy, National Partnership for New Americans and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII) at USC Dornsife, found profound economic benefits to naturalization.

Monday’s conference will feature a welcome from Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, a keynote address by Leon Rodriguez, director of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), and Cities for Citizenship leaders, including Bob Annibale, Global Director of Citi Community Development and Microfinance.

Pittsburgh’s nonprofit and faith-based manager Betty Cruz is attending the conference on behalf of the city.

About National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA)
NPNA harnesses the collective power and resources of the country’s 20 largest regional immigrant advocacy organizations, aiming to advance the integration and active citizenship of immigrants to achieve a vibrant, just, and welcoming democracy for all. NPNA sponsors the annual National Immigrant Integration Conference and, in the past two years, NPNA partners have assisted over 50,000 immigrants to become U.S. citizens and pursue legal status.

Additional information may be found at | NIIC: | Facebook: | Twitter: @npnewamericans

About The Center for Popular Democracy (CPD)
CPD promotes equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. CPD builds the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial and economic justice agenda.

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About Citi
Citi, the leading global bank, has approximately 200 million customer accounts and does business in more than 160 countries and jurisdictions. Citi provides consumers, corporations, governments and institutions with a broad range of financial products and services, including consumer banking and credit, corporate and investment banking, securities brokerage, transaction services, and wealth management.


Pittsburgh-Based Brother’s Brother Foundation Again Top-Ranked by Forbes; Responds to Requests for Medical Assistance in 6 Countries Including Ebola-Stricken Sierra Leone.

Pittsburgh-based Brother’s Brother Foundation is one of only two American charities with a 100 percent rating for fundraising efficiency and for charitable commitment of the 50 largest U.S. charities reviewed by Forbes in December 2014.

This week BBF is sending major medical shipments to hospitals and clinics in Argentina, The Philippines, Dominican Republic and Guatemala. These shipments contain over 60,000 bottles of medicines including antibiotics, antivirals and other requested medical supplies and equipment.

On Dec. 15, two containers were scheduled to be loaded for Haiti with 65,000 bottles of requested medicines and other medical supplies in two sea container shipments.  A third container of medical equipment supplies was scheduled to be loaded for Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone the following day. The Sierra Leone shipment was to include personal protection equipment for medical staff among 12 hospitals and 40 clinics supported by BBF in that country.

BBF is a 56-year old Pittsburgh-based international charity with a newly-opened warehouse in the Washington, D.C., area. BBF has provided over 100,000 tons of medical supplies, textbooks, food, seeds, and other humanitarian supplies to people around the world in over 140 countries. With the help of gifts from the general public, corporations and foundations, in 2014 BBF sent product contributions to those in need in 60 countries. These shipments are the equivalent of more than 320 tractor trailer loads. Also in 2014, BBF provided supplies for over 250 medical and humanitarian hand-carry mission trips.

The Better Business Bureau continues to give BBF its “Wise Giving Alliance Standards” seal of approval. BBF achieved a 4-star rating for sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency from Charity Navigator.

Donations to assist with shipping costs are always accepted. Credit card donations can be made at or by calling BBF at 412-321-3160. Checks should be made to the Brother's Brother Foundation and sent to:
Brother's Brother Foundation
1200 Galveston Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15233