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Plan To Make Cincinnati More Immigrant Friendly

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Shortly after taking office, Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley created a task force to come up with ways to make the city more immigrant-friendly.  Now that group has released its report with more than 20 recommendations.  

Tom Fernandez co-chaired the group that included representatives of business, labor, faith and service organizations.   He called the recommendations a road map “that will continue to grow (and) change as we find new ideas and implement other ideas.” Fernandez said, “We’re going to be flexible, obviously, as a community incorporating the recommendations.”

The task force recommendations focus mainly on two areas:  retaining talent and lending a helping hand to immigrants.

Mayor Cranley said a major recommendation is creating a Center for New Cincinnatians.  He said it will involve several partners including the city, the University of Cincinnati and the Chamber of Commerce.

“Not just saying nice things about immigrants but building a center like Pittsburgh and other cities have that will have infrastructure and support services for immigrants from around the world,” Cranley said.

Cranley will be asking City Council to provide $50,000 for the center in the city's next budget.

Chamber of Commerce President Jill Meyer  says it will be helping out with the center.

“To connect some dots and to fill in some of the gaps that aren’t there,” Meyer said.  “So that a one-stop shop, in whatever form that eventually takes, is the new reality for our new Cincinnatians, to make sure when they arrive in Cincinnati they feel the embrace and the welcome to become part of our family here.”

City Council will be asked to approve the recommendations in two weeks.

Jay Hanselman brings more than 10 years experience as a news anchor and reporter to 91.7 WVXU. He came to WVXU from WNKU, where he hosted the local broadcast of All Things Considered. Hanselman has been recognized for his reporting by the Kentucky AP Broadcasters Association, the Ohio Society of Professional Journalists, and the Ohio AP Broadcasters.