On April 30, 2012, Huerto de la Familia joined local non-profits, government agencies, and community members in the lobby of the Springfield public library to support the Lane County Network for Immigrant Integration at their first official press conference. The Lane County Network for Immigrant Integration formed fifteen months ago under the guise of Bob Bussell, Director of the Labor Education Research Center at the University of Oregon, in an effort to create a more welcoming environment for our immigrant neighbors and to promote a more thoughtful public dialogue about immigration. The network’s main principles include committing to inclusion and integration, recognizing the contributions of all immigrants to our society, supporting immigrant families, promoting respect and non-discrimination, affirming a common sense approach to public safety and community partnerships, and advancing humane and just national comprehensive immigration reform.

Huerto is one of approximately thirty member organizations that work with the Lane County Network for Immigrant Integration. Member organizations and individuals represent local businesses, educational institutions, local governments, law enforcement, social service organizations, faith-based institutions, and non-profits. Huerto is extremely proud be working with other community partners that also view the successful integration of immigrants into the greater society as imperative to our community’s prosperity, integrity, health, and overall well-being.

At the press conference, representatives from the University of Oregon, LTD (Lane Transit District), Food for Lane County, the Latino Business Network, the Lane Central Labor Council, and the First Congregational United Church of Christ spoke about their involvement with the network and their reasons for supporting it. Other key supporters of the network that were in attendance included Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy, Lane County Commissioner Rob Handy, and Springfield’s City Manager Gino Grimaldi. Huerto looks forward to continuing to work with the Lane County Network for Immigrant Integration to help create plans and initiatives at the local level to better integrate immigrants into our community.

In the fall of 2011, Dayton, Ohio became the first municipality in the United States to draft and then have its city council unanimously pass the ‘Welcome Dayton Plan: an Immigrant Friendly City Initiative.’ The Welcome Dayton Plan provides an excellent framework or ‘road map’ for integrating immigrants into receiving communities. Huerto looks forward to sharing this plan with the network and to integrating some of its principles into our work here in Lane County. To view the Welcome Dayton plan, visit  http://www.daytonohio.gov/welcomedaytonreport

For more information on the Lane County Network for Immigrant Integration, contact Bob Bussel at bussel@uoregon.edu

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