San Jose, United States

Welcoming San José Plan 2.0: Moving toward Civic, Economic, Linguistic, and Social Inclusion

Summary

The Welcoming San José Plan is a community-derived set of  23 strategies across four core pillars which aim to facilitate and accelerate immigrant inclusion in civic, economic, linguistic, and social aspects of life in San José and ensure that immigrants and refugees are engaged, respected, and have opportunities to reach their fullest potential.

The Four Pillars of the Welcoming San José Plan are: 

  1. Leadership and Communications: Establish equitable systems, policies, and practices throughout the City that create a welcoming and inclusive environment that allows immigrants, residents of color, and all people of San José to thrive.
  2. Access and Engagement: Improve immigrant access to City information and services, and augment immigrant participation in civic life.
  3. Educational and Economic Opportunity: Advance educational and economic opportunities among immigrants and refugees through job skills training, strengthening career pathways, promotion of entrepreneurship, small business retention and growth, and financial literacy.
  4. Safe Communities: Foster trust and communication between law enforcement, local government, immigrants, and the community at large.

Impact

These strategies will effectively and efficiently fulfill the mission of the City of San José in ways that ensure that race, zip code, status and country of origin do not impede the opportunity, success, and contributions of any resident of San José.

The Welcoming San José Plan, as well as the City of San José's participation in Welcoming America's Certified Welcoming program demonstrates a commitment to monitoring & evaluation, continuous improvement, partnerships, equitable policy design, community engagement, providing the local context for the implementation of GCM and GCR objectives. 

To effectively measure effort and our impact, a robust monitoring and evaluation plan has been designed to accompany the Plan itself. The M&E plan provides ongoing assessment of progress towards goals and objectives related to the implementation of strategies and ties in community feedback and consultation as a continuous process.

Lessons Learnt

  1. The voices of immigrants and the broader community are critical to the welcoming agenda.
  2. City leaders can play a catalytic role by recognizing, rewarding, and investing in community partners who are essential to building a community’s capacity for this work.
  3. People of all backgrounds — socioeconomic, racial, ethnic, religious, etc. — have unique talents that can be brought to bear to make our communities vibrant, and welcoming work should be as inclusive as possible to all groups.
  4. Programs intended to help immigrants navigate the community and learn about local norms should also be respectful of and leverage the cultural and leadership assets and knowledge that immigrants bring.
  5. It is essential to engage the receiving community in ways that build greater understanding, particularly among people who may have concerns about — or are unaware of — the changing demographics of their community.
Priority Objectives
Engaging in regional and multilateral partnerships and increase city-to-city cooperation
Improving local migration and forced displacement governance
Protecting those most vulnerable
Providing access to urban infrastructure, social services, and education regardless of status
Realising social inclusion
Country
United States
Local or regional government
San Jose
Mayor
Sam Liccardo
Start of Project
End of project