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On Eve of Historic Election, NYIC Announces Immigrant “Wish List”; Top 10 Priorities for Next Mayor of New York City

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Contact: Thanu Yakupitiyage,  Main Phone: 212-627-2227 x235,  E-mail: tyaku@thenyic.org
New York City  (Monday, November 4, 2013)

On Eve of Historic Election, NYIC Announces Immigrant “Wish List”; Top 10 Priorities for Next Mayor of New York City

On the eve of New York City’s general elections, advocates and leaders from New York’s diverse immigrant communities flooded the steps of City Hall to announce a “Top 10 Wish List” of priorities for New York’s next Mayor. New York is home to more than three million immigrants, who make up 1 out of 3 New Yorkers and more than half of the City’s workforce. In advance of this historic election of the first new mayor in twelve years, advocates announced these top ten “wishes” for immigrant communities as the first step in a process that will result in an “Immigrant City Agenda” to be presented to the new Administration.

Click HERE to see NYIC’s “Top 10 Wish List.”

Steven Choi, executive director of the New York Immigration Coalition stated, “The next Mayor of New York will lead a city with the largest immigrant population in the United States. We look forward to working with him to expand civic participation, and secure educational resources, healthcare and language access for immigrants and for all. We also urge the next Mayor to promote fair economic development, prioritize the fair treatment of immigrant workers, and end unlawful surveillance practices. In the upcoming weeks, we will be convening our nearly 200 member agencies in a participatory process that will result in our “Immigrant City Agenda” to be presented to the Mayoral transition team by the end of the year.”

One by one board members of the New York Immigration Coalition, representing New York’s diverse immigrant communities, spoke towards the needs of immigrant communities from the next administration.


[Photo above] Members of the New York Immigration Coalition announce top 10 priorities for the next Mayor of New York in the form of an Immigrant "Wish List" Bottom row, left to right: Elsie Accilien, executive director, Haitian-Americans United for Progress; Angela Fernandez, executive director, Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights; Steven Choi, executive director, New York Immigration Coalition; Bakary Tandia, policy advocate, African Services Committee; S.J Jung, board president, Minkwon Center for Community Action, Mae Lee, executive director, Chinese Progressive Association; Guillermo Chacon, NYIC board chair and executive director of Latino Commission on AIDS; Linda Sarsour, executive director, Arab American Association of NY; Estela Vasquez, executive vice president, 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East; Faiza Ali, Arab American Association of NY.

“The top ten wishes, hopes and aspirations of all immigrant New Yorkers must be taken seriously by the next Mayor of New York City," stated Guillermo Chacón, chair of the Board of New York Immigration Coalition and President, Latino Commission on AIDS. "Immigrant issues are New York City issues."

"Immigrants and children of immigrants make up a significant part of New York City. Our next mayor must ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect; this includes ending the NYPD's unconstitutional profiling practices and policies of Stop and Frisk and surveillance of Muslims which have disproportionately targeted immigrants and communities of color," said Linda Sarsour, executive director of the Arab American Association of New York.

Representing the Korean community, S.J Jung, president of MinKwon Center for Communication Action said, “Tomorrow, our City bears witness once again to immigrant New Yorkers having emerged as a key determinant in our elections at all levels of government. Beyond Election Day, immigrant New Yorkers, in solidarity with all working families, will continue to be a driving force that leads our City in the right direction. Our Top 10 Wish List serves as yet another reminder that supporting immigrant New Yorkers benefits all New Yorkers and makes our City stronger. As Immigrant New Yorkers are a source of vibrancy and play a vital role in every sector of our City, our Top 10 Wish List is, in fact, a Top 10 Pathways to a stronger New York.”

Elsie Accilien, executive director of Haitian Americans United for Progress, spoke about the importance of the NYIC’s immigrant wishlist to New York’s large Haitian and wider Caribbean community - particularly for immigrant students and youth. “Our next Mayor must support our immigrant youth and our DREAMers - they are our future, in the Haitian community and for all immigrant communities. We ask that the Mayor work with us to fully support these youth take advantage of ‘Deferred Action’ and push for the New York State DREAM Act as well.”

“We urge NYC’s next mayor to seize this moment and expand immigrants’ civic and electoral participation, ensuring that immigrants have a meaningful voice in our political system. This, combined with fair economic development policies that support immigrant-owned businesses, entrepreneurs and their employees, will strengthen the cohesive fabric of NYC’s communities, neighborhood to neighborhood,” said Angela Fernandez, Esq, Executive Director of Northern Manhattan Coalition for Immigrant Rights.

Bakary Tandia, policy advocate at African Services Committee, said, “We are calling on the next Mayor of New York City to ensure that immigrant workers who represent more than half of the City's workforce are fairly treated by improving their working conditions and protecting their rights to fair compensation. Moreover, we expect the next Mayor to come up with effective strategies that provide immigrant workers with upward mobility, socially and professionally. Their hard work deserve to be appreciated and rewarded.”

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The New York Immigration Coalition is an umbrella policy and advocacy organization for nearly 200 groups in New York State that work with immigrants and refugees. The NYIC aims to achieve a fairer and more just society that values the contributions of immigrants and extends opportunity to all by promoting immigrants’ full civic participation, fostering their leadership, and providing a unified voice and a vehicle for collective action for New York’s diverse immigrant communities.

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