Target: Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake
Goal: Commend the Baltimore Mayor for growing her city by integrating immigrant families and supporting immigrant-owned businesses
Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake has initiated an innovative plan to help her city grow. She plans to bring in 10,000 immigrant families over the next decade to help boost income and property tax revenue and help reignite the city’s failing economy. The theory is that immigrant will bring the skills, entrepreneurship, and tax base needed to revitalize struggling neighborhoods.
The Partnership for a New American Economy released a report in August which found that “immigrant-owned firms now generate more than $775 billion in revenue, $125 billion in payroll, and $100 billion in income, employing one out of every 10 workers along the way.”
Rawlings-Blake is hoping to court immigrant families who are often struggling in the shadows, and strengthen programs designed for their integration into civic society. Her administration has prohibited police and city officials from ever asking residents about their immigration status, a far cry from draconian policies like the “Show Me Your Papers” law in Arizona. “I don’t really think of people as legal or illegal,” says Ralwings-Blake.
Non-profit organizations are starting programs to foster growth by offering nutrition and exercise classes, Spanish story time at the library, and even cultural training for law enforcement. This model of immigration policy has already been proven to work in other struggling U.S. cities. Philadelphia recently implemented new programs to help immigrants find jobs and put down roots in the city. According to the recent Census Bureau statistics, their population–and their economy–is growing again.
Supporting immigrant families is good city policy that will help all people in Baltimore thrive. Thank Mayor Rawlings-Blake for her commitment to integration.
Dear Ms. Rawlings-Blake,
During a time where immigrants are often scapegoated and policy makers are looking to cut important human services, your bold action shows that integrative policies and smart government investment can be a helpful solution for urban renewal.
Your support of immigrant families should be a model for the rest of the nation. We would be much better off if we worked to help New Americans establish roots in our country so their families can become fully contributing members of society. We hope that your policies continue to garner support and that mayors and leaders throughout the nation can look to Baltimore for their own ideas.
At this divisive time in our American discourse, thank you for showing us that we always stand stronger when we are united, not divided.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: fotocommunity via reev