IMG_1582.JPG.jpg

OUR PRIORITIES   |  IMMIGRATION

IMMIGRATION

Boston is a city founded, built, and supported by immigrants. As a son of immigrants, John knows the hard work and sacrifice it takes to pursue a better life in a new country. When John’s father first migrated to the United States in 1951 from Cabo Verde, he faced racism, language barriers, and economic struggles. John learned that immigrants like his father, family members, and neighbors were - and still are - the backbone of our city.

 

John knows the importance of advocating for immigrant rights and immigrant opportunities. In a city where 29% of residents are foreign born, he knows how welcoming and supporting immigrants and Boston’s diverse cultural and linguistic communities is vital to our economic, civic, social and community wellbeing. John knows how much further we must go, as a city, to ensure that Boston is truly a place of opportunity for everyone. 

 

John’s Record:

  • As Executive Director of the Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative (DSNI), John ensured that all community meetings provided interpretation services for the immigrant communities to actively engage in board meetings and decision making processes. 

  • As Chief of Economic Development, John appointed immigrants to key positions in his cabinet, including his international partners manager, advisor to the chief and directors of business strategy and business outreach and engagement.  

  • As Chief of Economic Development, John created the Community Economic Impact Series, ethnic-focused presentations to explore the respective communities' economic impact in Boston. Each event was conducted in the respective communities’ native language. 

  • The Office of Economic Development worked closely with small businesses across Boston, many of them owned by immigrants, on issues including capacity building and technical assistance. During the pandemic, John secured relief funds for small businesses, and did robust outreach to immigrant communities, including translating materials, to ensure access. 

  • As an advocate, John worked with the Office of Workforce Development (OWD) to increase funding and quality training for Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English to Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL). This resulted in growing 22 quality ESOL programs with 3,000 training seats for Boston’s immigrant residents. Taking a step further, John integrated advanced ESOL programs into career technical training for certifications in health care, construction and IT.

  • As Chief of Economic Development John developed the Foreign Trained Professional Program, an initiative that collects data and designs workforce training programs for immigrants with industry experience and education  from their home countries. The initiative seeks to matriculate these experiences and credentials into MA industry-recognized certifications.  

 

As Mayor, John will:

 

Support opportunity and resources for building skills, quality education, and human development.

  • Increase English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) class slots at community-based organizations in Boston’s neighborhoods for equitable access. With these training slots, John will improve the quality of programs, connecting the training with English proficiency metrics, employment gains and contextualized learning.  

  • Partner with nonprofit organizations to provide free weekly immigration clinics.

  • Expand the City’s Dreamers School-Year Fellowship to allow more than 200 Dreamers to participate and gain work readiness experience, academic support, and leadership development in Boston.   

  • Work with DESE and the State to pass legislation to adopt foreign-born immigrants’ industry experience and education into the state’s existing license and credentials.

  • Fight hard for legislators to pass the driver’s license bill. If this bill is not passed, John will create a municipal identification card.

 

Promote a City that is anti-rasict and celebrate our diversity.

  • Continue to speak out on behalf of immigrants in the face of hateful rhetoric targeting our immigrant communities. Every resident of Boston deserves to feel welcome no matter their race, religion, gender, sexual orientation or immigration status. 

  • Build on progress made by the All-Inclusive Boston campaign, a $2.2M tourism marketing campaign to drive traffic to Boston’s neighborhoods and celebrate the diversity Boston offers residents and visitors. 

  • Promote Boston as an international destination for tourists, and advocate for more direct international flights between Logan International Airport and foreign hubs to connect our residents with the world.

  • Expand the City’s Artist in Residence program to creatively connect our residents to each other and City government, and promote public art projects and initiatives to celebrate Boston’s rich diversity.

 

Invest in growing Boston’s reputation in the global economy and support job creation. 

  • Support and invest in capacity building for community based organizations working with Boston’s immigrant communities to provide cash assistance and to fight wage theft for undocumented individuals as well as internship programs, entrepreneurial training, cultural training and digital literacy training for foreign-born professionals. 

  • John will help to break down racial disparities to housing and building wealth by building on the City’s homeownership programs and mortgage products, so more people have access to the stability that homeownership brings, and to help Black and Brown families build wealth.

  • Through the Office of Economic Development’s Global Affairs Team, John will promote Boston as a welcoming place to do business by hosting foreign missions, international trade & investment agencies and partnering with organizations on economic development and cross-cultural learning initiatives. 

 

Lead initiatives to promote immigrant leadership and representation across public and private sectors.

  • Commit to more immigrant representation in City leadership and additional immigrant liaisons within all City agencies such as the Boston Police Department, Boston Fire Department and the Boston Planning & Development Agency.

  • Invest in more funding for language access for the nearly 38 percent of seniors in Boston who don’t speak English. 

  • Expand the City’s Immigrants Lead Boston program to include four additional seats for young immigrants, including Dreamers, between the ages of 15-17 who wish to take more civic ownership and become leaders in the community.

  • Commit to hiring an additional Latinx liaison within the Office of Neighborhood Services to provide support to the large and growing Latinx communities from the Caribbean, Central and South Americas in Boston. 

  • Push corporate, foundation, and government leaders to ensure representation of immigrants in their boardrooms and advance policies and programs to help our immigrant workers and business owners thrive.

A MESSAGE FROM JOHN

Just as this campaign is a community effort, this policy plan has been informed by a diverse group of residents, policy makers, and community organizations who reflect Boston's ingenuity, passion, and future. In this policy you will see your voice reflected and your neighborhood priorities front and center. I am incredibly grateful for the hours, data, and guidance leant to support this effort. I welcome continued feedback and suggestions from all corners of the city, because I know that policies are most successful when led by the community.
 
Now, more than ever, I have the opportunity to bring all voices to the table to create a Boston that brings prosperity and justice for everyone.Together we can create a Boston where nobody is left behind.
 
Thank you for reading and helping to shape Boston's future, I look forward to working with you.