PHILADELPHIA, PA — Mayor Jim Kenney and the Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA) announced on September 21 the re-establishment of the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs (MCACIA) via Executive Order No. 5-21. MCACIA will facilitate and develop communication to document and report on the diverse community needs and priorities of all African and Caribbean immigrants, refugees, and asylees in Philadelphia. The Commission shares a mission with the Mayor’s Office of Public Engagement, which works to increase collaboration with specific communities throughout the city.
The Commission was initially established on June 30, 2005, by then-Mayor John Street. Since its formation, the Commission has been a bridge between City government and the African and Caribbean immigrant communities, advising the Mayor and all appropriate offices and agencies regarding actions needed to improve conditions in Philadelphia for the African and Caribbean immigrants.
“The Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs has met monthly for over 15 years and has served as a forum bringing together all people of the African and Caribbean diaspora to effect meaningful changes. The time has come to grow the impact of the commission by expanding the number of Commissioners. The African and Caribbean population in Philadelphia has increased, and our infrastructure needs to reflect that growth,” said Mayor Kenney.
MCACIA membership will consist of up to 25 members. The Mayor shall appoint up to 23 individuals who reflect the broad diversity of the African and Caribbean immigrant, refugee, and asylee populations residing in Philadelphia. In addition, the City Council President may appoint two members of the City Council or their designees.
“The Office of Immigrant Affairs is focused on assisting African and Caribbean-led community-based organizations in achieving self-sufficiency, developing partnerships with City agencies, and creating access to City resources, improving the conditions affecting the general well-being of our African and Caribbean immigrants, refugees, and asylees residing in Philadelphia. We are proud of being a Welcoming City, and our Commissions are reflective of this sentiment, ” added Amy Eusebio, Executive Director, Office of Immigrant Affairs.
Former Councilmember Jannie Blackwell, former Mayor Street, and Chair Emeritus Stanley Straughter were present during the signing event, held on City Hall’s North Apron.
The Commission is housed under the City’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (OIA).
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