Our Accomplishments in 2010
- Trained 28 emerging immigrant and refugee leaders through our year long program, Pan-Immigrant Leadership and Organizing Training (PILOT) and graduated 15 Advanced Leadership Program participants
- Served 300 refugees and immigrants with their immigration legal issues, representing 80 of them before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services for their immigration benefits
- Launched a series of monthly “Know Your Rights” workshops open to refugees, immigrants and U.S. born citizens
- Produced and filmed candidate forums during the 2010 election season
- Held weekly Media Center workshops and skill share nights
- Partnered with over 50 immigrant, refugee and social justice organizations to strengthen the movement for human rights in Oregon
- Responded to the recent arrest of a Somali-American youth accused of an attempted act of terrorism by holding a Peace and Unity Rally at Portland’s City Hall and giving Somali youth a place to meet and begin organizing their own response
- Worked with the City of Beaverton to draft an interpreting policy designed to make Beaverton more accessible to immigrants and refugees
Recent Policy Victories
IN COALITION WITH OUR PARTNERS:
CIO advocated the inclusion of specific racial justice language in Oregon’s successful health care reform bills. This is an important victory that will reshape the way Oregon provides healthcare to people of color, immigrants and refugees.
CIO helped win passage of the Safe Schools for All Youth Act during the 2009 Oregon legislative session, which gives teachers and staff the tools to set clear expectations and hold students accountable for bullying and harassment.
CIO organized Portland’s first ever budget event, “Your Money, Your Voice,” co-sponsored by the Office of Management and Finance and community-based organizations. Priorities that emerged during the event were eventually reflected in the City’s budget, including full funding for the Office of Human Relations and the City’s Diversity and Civic Leadership programs.
Established an Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs—Won a citywide resolution in 2006 to protect the rights and liberties of the immigrant and refugee community, to better include them in civic/public life and to provide specific strategies for improving government processes and services. This led to the creation of a task force and the eventual establishment of a Human Rights Commission and an Office of Immigrant & Refugee Affairs for the City of Portland (passed by City Council in January 16, 2008).
Conducting Community-Based Research—Trained immigrant and refugee organizers to conduct community wide surveys designed to surface immigrant and refugee issues and solutions. Organizers collected 1000 surveys from African, Latino, Arab, Slavic, and Asian/Pacific Islander communities. Results were published in a report, “Uniting Cultures in Portland: Bridging the Gaps in City Policy” and provided to elected officials, community leaders and the media.
Educating the Community—Produced dozens of forums featuring the voices of local immigrants, refugees, and people of color; launched a popular education program, Refugee and Immigrant Solidarity Education (RISE) Workshops, in which participants work together across cultural lines to develop a thorough knowledge of the dynamics of immigration, political influences on immigration policy and effective community organizing strategies.
Creating a Multicultural Community Gathering Center—CIO has worked with dozens of community-based organizations to push the City of Portland to build a shared space for organizing, leadership development and cross-cultural community building in Portland. The concept and feasibility study are currently underway with the assistance of architects.