Friday, March 10, 2017

Pittsburgh’s leaders pledge support for newcomers

GlobalPittsburgh Immigrant Entrepreneur 2016 Awardees
 By Monte Bohna, GlobalPittsburgh's Study Pittsburgh Initiative Coordinator

In two forums recently, Mayor Bill Peduto of Pittsburgh has made it clear that the city welcomes newcomers from other countries: “we wanted to let them know the city has their back”. 

At a Feb. 21 gathering at the home of Gisele and John Fetterman, mayor of Braddock, Mayor Peduto signed a “shared commitment” which included a pledge to welcome to the region “all nationalities, faiths, and cultures” not only for reasons of morality and justice, but also because “our economy, our institutions, our culture, our vibrancy…are all strengthened when we uphold the rights of all of our neighbors”.  In addition to the two Mayors Fetterman and Peduto, the declaration is signed by The Most Rev. David Zubick, Roman Catholic bishop of Pittsburgh, The Rt. Rev. Dorsey McConnell, Episcopal bishop of Pittsburgh, Rabbi Aaron Benjamin Bisno of Rodef Shalom, Imam Abdu’Semih Tádéşe of the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, United States Senator Bob Casey, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, and others.  

The Braddock meeting was followed on March 10 with a meeting between Mayor Peduto, Pittsburgh police chief Scott Schubert, and other city officials with representatives of local Latino, Muslim, Turkish and Sudanese and refugee organizations.  Mr. Peduto acknowledged the anxiety and “concern coming from the Latino community and the Muslim community”, drawing attention to the efforts of the city’s Welcoming Pittsburgh initiative to create an hospitable environment for newcomers.  

GlobalPittsburgh will hold the Second Annual Immigrant Entrepreneur Celebration in December 2017, building on the success of 2016’s event where, with Mila Sanina of Public Source and Susanne Cook of Cohen & Grigsby presiding, awards were presented in six categories to immigrants who have made a notable contribution to the city’s economic and cultural life: Dorit Brauer, Masa Uzicanin, Edgar Alvarez, Viviana Altieri, Dr. Jacques Chelly, Anne Flynn Schlicht, Luis von Ahn and Mikhail Khalil.