Celebrate Citizenship Day with Cities for Citizenship
NEW YORK, NY (September 16, 2016) — The Federation, a proud partner of Cities for Citizenship (C4C), invites our members to promote the great contributions of New Americans on Citizenship Day, September 17th.
Cities for Citizenship is a bi-partisan national initiative aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible legal permanent residents (LRPs). Since its launch in 2013, 26 cities and counties have joined the initiative, helping more than 10,000 LPRs to naturalize. Connecting naturalization and financial empowerment is a key feature of C4C, with over 12,000 individuals having received information on the naturalization fee waiver, financial counseling, and/or citizenship micro loan assistance; over 5,000 individuals have attended financial empowerment classes; and over 900 individuals have participated in one-to-one financial coaching sessions.
The Federation, together with C4C, has been working to make U.S. Citizenship more accessible for Hispanic LPRs, by expanding Juntos Avanzamos accreditation across the country, and building partnerships with cities and community organizations to offer citizenship loans and tailored financial service products to immigrant communities.
An example of a great Federation and C4C partnership is out of the City of Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA). In June 2016, OIRA and Federation member, Seattle Metropolitan Credit Union (SMCU), launched two citizenship loan products to help low-income immigrants and refugees pay for citizenship applications and increase access to banking services.
Currently, more than 22,000 LPRs in Seattle are eligible to naturalize and more than half are low-income. Although citizenship offers many benefits, many eligible residents do not naturalize because they cannot afford the current $680 application fee. While USCIS is proposing to make the fee waiver accessible to more people, the agency’s proposal to raise the fee to $725 will continue to keep citizenship out of reach for many low-income LPRs.
SMCU’s low-interest Citizenship Xpress and Citizenship+ loans range from $700 to $4,000 and offer no application fee, no income verification requirements, and monthly payments. A no-interest, fee-based option is also available for those who need Islamic financing. Eligible LPRs in Washington State can apply by phone, in-person, or online at www.smcu.com/citizen.
Read more about Seattle’s Citizenship Loan initiative here.
Tips for Sharing in the Citizenship Day Celebration
Join the conversation though social media using the #Cities4Citizenship hashtag!
- #Cities4Citizenship has connected 12,000+ immigrants with info on financial counseling, fee waivers! http://bit.ly/2cEj9SN
- Happy #CitizenshipDay! Citizenship is an economic asset. Read more at http://urbn.is/2bk64Ai
Sample Facebook Posts:
- #Cities4Citizenship has enabled more than 10,000 legal permanent residents to apply for U.S. citizenship! Today, C4C celebrates #CitizenshipDay by hosting and supporting citizenship events across the country! @Citi @npnewamericans @popdemoc @NALEO @WelcomingUSA @CDCU_Federation
- Happy #CitizenshipDay! Increasing naturalization rates boosts individual earnings for legal permanent residents by 8.9% or $3,200, employment rates by 2.2 percentage points, and homeownership rates by 6.3 percentage points, resulting in a 5.7 billion earnings increase and employment gain to 21 historic gateway cities for immigrants, according to a study “The Economic Impact of Naturalization on Immigrants and Cities”. Read more here http://urbn.is/2bk64Ai #Cities4Citizenship
- #Cities4Citizenship shares strategies to launch + expand naturalization initiatives in new C4C toolkit [insert link to toolkit] Interested in joining C4C? Learn more here – http://bit.ly/2bjiy8j, @Citi @npnewamericans @popdemoc @NALEO @Welcoming USA @CDCU_Federation
- #Cities4Citizenship enables cities to expand naturalization and financial empowerment programs. The C4C network has assisted 10,000 legal permanent residents in applying for citizenship, and connected 12,000+ immigrants with info on financial counseling and fee waivers! Congrats to the C4C network and the #NewAmericans in our communities! @Citi @npnewamericans @popdemoc @NALEO @WelcomingUSA @CDCU_Federation
Interested in learning more and connecting to C4C?
About The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions
The National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions is a certified CDFI intermediary representing community development credit unions (CDCUs). The Federation's member CDCUs provide credit, savings, transaction services and financial education to more than 6 million residents of low- and moderate-income urban, rural and reservation-based communities across the US, and hold over $60 billion in community-controlled assets. Founded in 1974, the Federation is headquartered in Lower Manhattan with offices in Madison, WI. The Federation offers a wide range of advocacy, educational, training, investment, marketing, and outreach programs to support and assist CDCUs. For more information about the Federation and its programs, visit www.cdcu.coop.
About Cities for Citizenship
Cities for Citizenship (C4C)is a major national initiative aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible U.S. permanent residents and encouraging cities across the country to invest in citizenship programs. It is chaired by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, with support from the Center for Popular Democracy and the National Partnership for New Americans. Citi Community Development is the Founding Corporate Partner. For more information about C4C, visit www.citiesforcitizenship.org.