NUTTER LAUNCHES “PHILLY COUNTS!” CAMPAIGN TO BOOST PARTICIPATION IN 2010 CENSUS

Tuesday, November 10, 2009                             FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

PHILADELPHIA, November 10 – Today, Mayor Michael A. Nutter announced the kick-off of “Philly Counts!,” the City of Philadelphia’s campaign to raise awareness of and boost participation in the 2010 Census, particularly among the city’s hardest to count residents. Nutter was joined by United States Census officials, Members of Congress, several of the campaign’s Honorary Co-Chairs, City Council members, City officials and community leaders from across Philadelphia for the event which was held in the Mayor’s Reception Room.

“The 2010 Census is our opportunity to show the rest of the country what we already know to be true -Philadelphia is growing,” said Mayor Nutter. “I urge all Philadelphians, regardless of your background, to stand up and be counted. This Census count will have an impact on our city for years to come so fill out that form…do it for Philly!”

Every ten years, as required by the United States Constitution, the country undertakes a complete count of all the people residing in the United States and its Territories. Population totals taken from the Census are used to determine Congressional representation and inform redistricting decisions. Census data determines how hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds are distributed to state and local governments each year. The results are also used by businesses and city planners to determine where to open new grocery stores, schools, shops, hospitals and other facilities.

Fernando E. Armstrong, United States Census Bureau Philadelphia Regional Director, said: “We are proud to partner with the City of Philadelphia. The ‘Philly Counts!’ campaign brings together a cross-section of the community, who will assist the Census Bureau in conducting the most efficient, complete, and representative decennial census.”

Nutter, who will serve as Chair of the Philly Counts campaign, was joined by several Philadelphia leaders who will serve as Honorary Co-Chairs, lending their expertise and trusted voices to ensure every resident understands why it is so important to be counted.

Honorary Co-Chairs include: U.S. Representative Robert Brady, U.S. Representative Chaka Fattah, U.S. Representative Allyson Schwartz, State Senator Shirley M. Kitchen, State Representative Jewell Williams, City Council President Anna Verna, School District of Philadelphia Superintendent Dr. Arlene Ackerman, Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs Chair Dr. Nina Ahmad, Black Clergy of Philadelphia and the Vicinity President Bishop Audrey F. Bronson, Esperanza USA President & CEO Rev. Luis Cortes, Jr., Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO President Patrick Eiding, Philadelphia Housing Authority Executive Director Carl Greene, Lydia Hernandez-Velez, Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition President & CEO Sharmain Matlock-Turner, Project H.O.M.E. Executive Director Sister Mary Scullion, and Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce President & CEO Robert Wonderling.

“As a student of American history, I know full well what it means to be counted and what it means to be less than-counted,” said United States Congressman Chaka Fattah. “This is about one person, one vote. The census also means assuring that the underserved and overlooked and most vulnerable of Philadelphians will be counted in for our fair share of federal programs and appropriations.”

United States Congressman Bob Brady added: “A lot of my neighbors ask me why they should take the time to fill out the Census form. Well, if you drive on public roads, you should care about the census. If you have kids or grandkids in public or charter schools, you should care about the census. If you are on Medicaid, or know someone who is, you should care about the census. The areas with the greatest numbers and the greatest need will get the most federal funds,” he said. “So, we need to help the federal government to get this count right.”

Recently, Nutter tapped Tricia Enright to serve as Executive Director of the “Philly Counts!” campaign. She will work with the US Census Bureau Regional Office to plan, promote, and implement its action plan to obtain a complete and accurate count of the City of Philadelphia’s resident population. She will also spearhead the effort by municipal agencies and departments to use the full range of resources available to promote the census across the city.

The campaign will be supported by volunteer-led Complete Count Committees (CCC) consisting of a network of top leaders and neighborhood stakeholders whose goal is to develop and execute census awareness and outreach strategies that best target their communities. Members will work with other local and grassroots organizations to increase the response rate for residents and will recruit neighborhood residents for full and part time jobs as census takers and other positions. Enright will also oversee and coordinate their work, ensuring resources are deployed as efficiently as possible.

The following committees have been formed so far: African American, African and Caribbean, Asian American, Civic Engagement, Corporations and Philanthropy, Education, Elected Officials, Homeless/Public Housing, Immigrant, Interfaith, Labor, Latino, LGBT, Municipal Agencies, Neighborhood Businesses, and Young Professionals.

“As a representative of the Hispanic faith community in our city, I am glad to join Mayor Michael Nutter in promoting a complete and accurate count in the 2010 Census, and to urge all Latinos in the city of Philadelphia to take part in the upcoming census count,” said Reverend Luis Cortés, Jr., President of Esperanza. “We understand that the Census will shape our city’s landscape in terms of political representation and funding for public services for the coming decade. As Latinos, we cannot afford to allow our communities to be underrepresented politically, or lacking in funding and resources to meet their most basic needs. As such, all

Philadelphians should proactively support the Census mission by encouraging their families and communities to participate, and by dispelling misunderstandings and misinformation about the purpose of the Census count.  Esperanza and the Hispanic church in Philadelphia join with Mayor Nutter, the Census Bureau, and many other supporters around the country in calling on Latinos to participate in the 2010 Census for the benefit of their families and communities.”

During the event, Nutter emphasized that every resident should feel safe and secure when interacting with city government and returning their census forms. To underscore that sentiment, Nutter signed an Executive Order stating that no municipal employee—including the police—may ask anyone their immigration status. Nutter also announced his intention to form a regional advisory body focused on immigrant integration issues that will advise the Mayor and other leaders from time to time on issues of import to the region’s immigrant and ethnic communities.

“Regardless of how you came to this city, we want you to be counted in the Census,” Nutter said. “When that form comes to your home, fill it out. If you see a Census worker on your street, open your door. You have nothing to fear. You should feel proud to be a Philadelphian and comfortable standing up and being counted next spring.”

Additional Statements from Philly Counts Honorary Co-Chairs

 Dr. Arlene Ackerman, Superintendent, School District of Philadelphia: “The School District of Philadelphia is proud to participate in the Census 2010 program, ‘It’s about us’ …. With lesson plans, maps, teaching guides, and all kinds of informational materials provided by the Census Bureau, students will have so many opportunities to learn about the importance of the Census and how the system works if everyone is counted.”

Dr. Nina Ahmad, Chair, Mayor’s Commission on Asian American Affairs: “I am honored to participate as one of the Honorary Co-Chairs of the “Philly Counts” Campaign. Being passionate about the well-being of Philadelphia and all who live in our city, I want to be effective in communicating the utmost importance of a complete 2010 census count. I want to especially appeal to the diverse community of Asian Americans in Philadelphia to complete the census forms to ensure that their neighborhood receive benefits, funding and services as well as feel empowered as a community to ensure that their needs are being met.”

Bishop Audrey Bronson, President, Black Clergy of Philadelphia and the Vicinity: “The most significant civic duty and moral responsibility facing the citizens of Philadelphia is to participate in the 2010 Census…it is imperative that we as a city understand that …if we aren’t counted…we won’t count when critical decisions are made regarding federal revenues needed for maintaining viable schools and essential public services required for the quality of life that we work so hard for. If we as a city fail to fulfill this civic duty…there will be no justification for complaints later on.”

Pat Eiding, President, Philadelphia Council AFL-CIO: “We in the labor movement are accustomed to mobilizing our members to get out the vote and we will mimic these efforts for the 2010 Census. We need to relay the message that our representation in Congress, some federal funding, and other vital services to Philadelphia rely on an accurate Census count.”

Carl Greene, Executive Director, Philadelphia Housing Authority: “I am honored to be part of this impressive group of public and private-sector leaders and eager to get started on the critically important work ahead. I plan to focus my efforts on better communication with hard to reach audiences, who are often undercounted and thus underserved.”

Lydia Hernandez Velez: “I am honored to be asked to be a part of this effort. I am proud to be a resident of the city that grew recognizing and valuing the differences that made it a vibrant commercial and cultural center. The census is an important tool for clarifying our vision for the future.”

The Honorable Shirley M. Kitchen, Senator, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Senate: “Filling out the census is an easy and safe way to make sure all of our communities are counted. Whether it’s opening a new school, shoe store or senior center, being counted in the census helps ensure all of our neighborhoods get their fair share of critical resources.”

Sharmain Matlock-Turner, President & CEO, Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition: “As President and CEO of the Greater Philadelphia Urban Affairs Coalition, I am pleased to serve as an Honorary Co-Chair for the City of Philadelphia’s Philly Counts Campaign and to stand with Mayor Nutter and other concerned Philadelphians to make sure that every resident is counted in the 2010 Census. At GPUAC we fight every day for resources to bring about change in our communities. Yet too often we forget that government resources, which are critical to low income communities, are often determined by the census. We as a city need to insure that we have an accurate count so that we can continue to build wealth in our poorest communities and insure that young people have the opportunity for a successful life.”

 The Honorable Allyson Schwartz, Congresswoman, United States House of Representatives: “An accurate and full accounting of southeastern Pennsylvania’s population via Census 2010 is vital to both ensuring representative government and to ensuring that the City and the region’s needs are understood by the federal government.”

Sister Mary Scullion, Executive Director & President, Project H.O.M.E.: “With Philly Counts, we have a meaningful intergovernmental and cross-sector effort to ensure that all Philadelphians — even those most vulnerable or at-risk — are counted. And this is critical because unless we count every single Philadelphia resident, we will not receive all of the resources we deserve to meet residents’ needs.”

The Honorable Anna C. Verna, President, Philadelphia City Council: “I am pleased to serve as the honorary cochair for the Philly Counts campaign. An accurate census count is critical to Philadelphia’s future as it impacts everything from council redistricting to formulas for state and federal funding.”

The Honorable Jewell Williams, Representative, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania House of Representatives: “The census helps elected officials like me fight for our fair share of government resources that can be put to work on the things that matter in our neighborhoods. That’s why we must do all we can to make sure everyone is counted.”

 Rob Wonderling, President & CEO, Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce: “I am honored that Mayor Nutter asked me to serve the city and join this extremely important effort to raise awareness of the 2010 Census. As the premier advocate for free enterprise in Greater Philadelphia, we at the Chamber understand just how important accurate census figures are. The census is a major source of federal funding for vital regional services and I look forward to helping mobilize business community leaders to the cause.”

 

“Philly Counts!” Committees

 African American Committee

This committee will promote census participation within the Philadelphia African American communities – and especially among younger African Americans.

African & Caribbean Committee

This committee will promote census participation within the City’s diverse African and Caribbean communities by creating partnerships with neighborhood businesses and community organizations, and building trust and understanding that the census is safe and confidential.

 Asian American Committee

This committee will promote census participation within the City’s Asian American communities. The committee will ensure all materials are provided in appropriate languages and that all residents understand why Census participation is important to them and their neighborhoods.

Civic Engagement Committee

This committee will help organize volunteers as needed by other committees to help distribute information about the census in targeted neighborhoods.

 Corporations & Philanthropy Committee

This committee will be responsible for providing advice and outreach on fundraising efforts to ensure Philly Counts has the resources it needs. Members of the committee will work to ensure large corporations are talking to their employees on the importance of completing their census forms.

 Elected Officials Committee

This committee will be made up of liaisons to all of the City’s elected officials at the Federal, State and local level. It will coordinate awareness activities aimed at the hardest to reach populations in each district and leverage opportunities to build census awareness into all speeches, events and communications by our elected representatives.

 Education Committee

This committee will facilitate census awareness in local schools encouraging school administrators, teachers, and students–particularly those in targeted neighborhoods–to use Census In Schools materials. The committee will also work with local colleges and universities, reminding students that they must be counted here in Philadelphia and not in their home communities.

 Homeless and Public Housing Committee

This committee will help inform the city’s homeless population, letting them know that they too will be counted. It will also work with the regional Census Bureau to coordinate an accurate street and shelter population count, as well as residents living in public housing.

 Immigrant & Limited English Proficient Committee

This committee will create and coordinate activities and materials that can be used by any local immigrant serving institutions in the promotion of the 2010 Census awareness and participation. It will specifically work to educate residents about the purpose of the Census, its importance to them and the confidentiality of their information.

 Interfaith Committee

This committee has been meeting since the summer, and will continue to create and coordinate activities and materials that can be used by any local faith-based institution in the promotion of the 2010 Census awareness and participation.

 Labor Committee

This committee will create and coordinate activities by the members of the City’s myriad labor unions to promote 2010 Census awareness and participation, especially in hard to reach neighborhoods.

Latino Committee

This committee will promote census participation within the Latino community by ensuring census information is distributed in both English and Spanish, creating partnerships with neighborhood businesses and community organizations, and building trust and understanding that the census is safe and confidential.

 LGBT Committee

This committee is already promoting census participation within the LGBT community by hosting educational seminars, creating and distributing promotional materials and coordinating activities throughout the City.

 Municipal Departments Committee

This committee will facilitate Census outreach and publicity activities to be performed by the City of Philadelphia’s departments and agencies.

 Neighborhood Businesses Committee

This committee will work with small business owners located in neighborhood business corridors and ask them to help communicate the importance of participating in the 2010 Census to their customers.

 Young Professionals Committee

This committee will be responsible for ensuring that young professionals are educated about the importance of the census especially those segments of the population living in roommate situations, recent housing conversions and those who are transient.

  

Mayor Nutter Signed the Following Executive Order

 POLICY CONCERNING ACCESS OF IMMIGRANTS TO CITY SERVICES

 WHEREAS, immigrants make significant contributions to every facet of The City of Philadelphia’s economic, educational and cultural life;

WHEREAS, immigrants are critical to the economic, cultural and social fabric of not only The City of Philadelphia, but also the greater Philadelphia region;

 WHEREAS, the City’s policy is to promote the utilization of its services by all City residents and visitors who are entitled to and in need of them, including immigrants;

WHEREAS, all individuals should know that they may seek and obtain the assistance of City departments and agencies regardless of their personal status, without negative consequences to their personal lives;

WHEREAS, meeting the needs of the City’s immigrant population is important to maintaining public trust and confidence in City government; and

WHEREAS, the City’s ability to obtain pertinent information, which may be essential to the performance of governmental functions, is sometimes made difficult or even impossible if some expectation of confidentiality is not preserved;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Michael A. Nutter, Mayor of The City of Philadelphia, by the powers vested in me by the Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, do hereby order as follows:

Section 1.   Access to City Services.

 All City services, including but not limited to the following listed services, shall be made available to all City of Philadelphia residents, consistent with applicable law, regardless of the person’s citizenship or legal immigration status:

  • Police and Fire services;
  • Medical services, such as emergency medical services, general medical care at Community Health Centers and immunization, testing and treatment with respect to communicable diseases;
  • Mental health services; 
  • Children’s protective services; and
  • Access to City facilities, such as libraries and recreation centers.

  Section 2.        Inquiries Regarding Immigration Status     

 A.        No City officer or employee, other than law enforcement officers, shall inquire about a person’s immigration status unless:

(1)       documentation of such person’s immigration status is legally required for the determination of program, service or benefit eligibility or the provision of services; or

(2)       such officer or employee is required by law to inquire about such person’s immigration status.

B.        Law enforcement officers shall not:

(1)       stop, question, arrest or detain an individual solely because of the individual’s ethnicity, national origin, or perceived immigration status;

(2)       inquire about a person’s immigration status, unless the status itself is a necessary predicate of a crime the officer is investigating or unless the status is relevant to identification of a person who is suspected of committing a crime (other than mere status as an undocumented alien);

(3)       inquire about the immigration status of crime victims, witnesses, or others who call or approach the police seeking help; or

(4)       inquire regarding immigration status for the purpose of enforcing immigration laws.

C.        Law enforcement officers shall continue to cooperate with state and federal authorities in investigating and apprehending individuals who are suspected of criminal activity.

 Section 3.  Confidentiality of Information

 A.        As used herein, “confidential information” means any information obtained and maintained by a City agency relating to an individual’s immigration status.

B.        No City officer or employee shall disclose confidential information unless:

(1)       such disclosure has been authorized in writing by the individual to whom such information pertains, in a language that he or she understands or, if such individual is a minor or is otherwise not legally competent, by such individual’s parent or legal guardian;

(2)              such disclosure is required by law; or

(3)       the individual to whom such information pertains is suspected by such officer or employee or such officer’s or employee’s agency of engaging in criminal activity (other than mere status as an undocumented alien).

Section 4.      EFFECTIVE DATE

This Order shall take effect immediately.

Advertisements
Explore posts in the same categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: