Philadelphia is home to approximately 232,000 immigrants, making up 15 percent of the city’s population. Immigrants contribute to our economy and enrich our city with their culture and traditions. The Office of Immigrant Affairs promotes the well-being of Philadelphia’s immigrants and works towards their inclusion in the civic, economic, social, and cultural life of the city.
On May 21, Philadelphians have the opportunity to make the Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) a permanent part of City government by voting “Yes” on Ballot Question No. 2.
Ballot Question No. 2 will appear as follows:
“Shall The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter be amended to establish and define the functions of the Office of Immigrant Affairs, headed by a Director of Immigrant Affairs?”
Voting “Yes” on the ballot question means that you want to amend the City Home Rule Charter so that the Office of Immigrant Affairs will be permanent. The City’s Home Rule Charter is like the City’s constitution. It sets up the rules for City government.
The City has an Office of Immigrant Affairs now, but it was created by a Mayor’s Executive Order. The Office currently only exists because a mayor wants it to.
Given growing uncertainty around immigration policy on a national level, it is more important than ever that cities and other municipalities take the lead on making their own commitments and setting their own priorities for their local immigrant communities.
Voting “Yes” on this ballot question means you want to make the Office of Immigrant Affairs a formal and permanent part of City government, regardless of who is in leadership.
As Philadelphia’s immigrant population continues to increase, support of our immigrant community will be critical to building a stronger Philadelphia.
We encourage you to vote “Yes” to ensure that our immigrant communities always have a voice, champion, and supporter in City government through the Office of Immigrant Affairs.