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City of Albuquerque Invites the Community to Participate in Welcoming America Week

Encourages everyone in our community to be counted by the 2020 Census

 September 11, 2020

The City of Albuquerque has joined the Welcoming America movement as we work to become more prosperous and more equitable by making everyone who lives in our city feel like they belong. Through Welcoming America week, organizations and communities throughout the country bring together immigrants, refugees and longtime residents to build strong connections and affirm the importance of welcoming and inclusive places.

This year, our participation in Welcoming Week, from September 12 to 20, will include social media outreach to focus on the 2020 Census campaign as the City aims to ensure everyone in Albuquerque is counted in the 2020 Census. As of September 8, only 69.9% of households in the City of Albuquerque have responded to the Census. The state response rate is currently one of the lowest in the country at 56.1% (See Census response rate map). Just 1% of an undercount in the 2020 Census equals to a loss of more than $165,400,000 to Albuquerque over the next decade.

The deadline for households to answer the 2020 Census is September 30. We cannot allow the money that should come to our city to go to other states as a consequence of an undercount of our population. 

“Refugees and immigrants help make our city a great place to live, by bringing innovative thinking, diverse perspectives and rich culture that adds to our origins,” said Michelle Melendez, Director of the Office of Equity and Inclusion, which includes Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. “We are committed to making all our residents feel welcomed and included in all aspects of civic life – and the Census is a critical tool to make sure we are all counted.”

 Albuquerque is one of the most diverse cities in the country. About 11% of residents in our city are foreign-born. But services and opportunities don't necessarily reach some communities and our goal is to achieve equity across all populations and indicators by investing in under-invested areas, enhancing language access and promoting a cultural shift in our departments to ensure we are giving those who call our city home equal opportunities. 

Immigrants in Albuquerque already bolster our city’s economy. Albuquerque welcomes immigrants and refugees and their cultural and economic contribution as demonstrated in policies such as Resolution 18-7 passed in 2018 that states and considers Albuquerque an immigrant-friendly city. Foreign-born residents in Albuquerque’s metro area benefit our economy with $1.6 Billion in annual spending power and over $530 million in paid annual taxes in the Albuquerque area. Over 24,000 homes in Albuquerque are owned by immigrants and over 36,000 foreign-born Albuquerque residents are naturalized U.S. Citizens, according to the 2017 report: A Formative Evaluation of Needs, Resources, & Readiness to Serve Immigrants, Refugees, and English-Language-Learners in Albuquerque.

Join us to celebrate and embrace diversity so every person feels valued, included and welcomed. Welcoming Week Kickoff event is on September 12 at 4 p.m. MST on Facebook and Youtube. Link to RSVP: https://wamerica.us/3fTnrWR. Use #CreateHomeTogether to help celebrate the event. 

 Learn more:

The Albuquerque City Council reaffirmed and declared Albuquerque as a safe place for immigrants from all countries, as well as for war refugees, people of color, Muslims, Jews, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities and assured vulnerable communities that the City supports them, will do all it can to maintain and improve their quality of life, and stated that it will not tolerate acts of hate, discrimination, bullying, or harassment, in a resolution (Resolution 18-7) passed in April 2018. Visit cabq.gov/OIRA to learn more.

Welcoming America is a national nonprofit leading a movement of inclusive communities becoming more prosperous by making everyone feel like they belong. Welcoming America believes all people, including immigrants, should be valued contributors and are vital to the success of our communities and shared future. Welcoming America’s goal is to change systems and cultures. It connects leaders in community, government and nonprofit sectors to reinforce welcoming principles and communicate the socioeconomic benefits of inclusion. 

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The mission of the Office of Equity and Inclusion is to inspire and equip city government to make Albuquerque a national role model for embracing diversity as our greatest asset. The office was created as part of Mayor Tim Keller’s vision to build a more inclusive Albuquerque. The Office of Equity and Inclusion is a recipient of a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Grant, furthering our efforts to increase equity across all indicators and diversity in the City’s workforce.