Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Welcome Dayton Plan

Tonight we vote on the "Welcome Dayton" plan which will set us on a path to becoming a city where we facilitate the success of foreign born residents. Some extreme conservatives are opposed to the plan because they have entirely set their focus on the issue of illegal Hispanic immigrants and not on the thousands of legal immigrants that are already located here from many different nations. After all the citizens speak in favor or opposition I will be reading the following statement. It is posted here so that the media can refer to it if they want to quote my statement.

Too often it seems that people read a paragraph in the newspaper or see a 30-second preview on the evening news and presume they know everything they need to know about a subject. The Welcome Dayton plan has been slowly and carefully developed over the course of this year, with input from the Human Relations Council, Police, and various community organizations. The plan was conceived out of the necessity to support foreign born citizens who want to succeed in the Dayton region.

Our universities, hospitals and tech industries are recruiting to fill highly skilled positions. The Welcome Dayton Plan was formulated to help Dayton become a global city by attracting the best and the brightest. This plan is designed to enhance the potential of Dayton as a competitor in the global economy by attracting immigrants who bring new ideas, new perspective, and new talent to our workforce. In order to reverse the decades-long trend of economic decline in this city, we need to think globally and recruit the very best from around the world.

This is NOT about harboring illegal immigrants or drawing illegal immigrants into Dayton. We understand there are problems with people entering the U.S. illegally. The Welcome Dayton Plan leaves federal immigration law enforcement to the feds, and instead focuses on making our community one that treats all people kindly, fairly and humanely. If you are an illegal immigrant, you will be subjected to the same Federal laws as anyone else.

My office has received several phone calls and emails from citizens who are completely misreading what is really contained within the plan. If you have not fully read it, then I suggest you do before you openly criticize it. This is a living document that directs policy. With it, we are committed to facilitating the successful integration of foreign born residents and their children to be productive citizens of the city of Dayton. Failure to do this would only hinder Dayton’s economic recovery.

History has demonstrated that cities that embrace all people and cultures thrive until one culture deems itself better. It is then that they fail. Byzantium outlasted Rome by 500 years and became Constantinople. Cordoba in Spain flourished during the occupation by the Moors because the leadership there ignored religious differences. We could also look towards successful centers of learning such as Baghdad and even Timbuktu.

History proves that closed minds and resistance to change only results in failure. To those citizens who are against the Welcome Dayton plan—instead of condemning something that you didn't participate in, volunteer to help us make it better.

2 comments:

Ron said...

"instead of condemning something that you didn't participate in, volunteer to help us make it better."

Hallelujah! I could not agree more with what you said.

Mark said...

As an immigrant, (though I barely feel like it, having lived here eleven years), I've always found Dayton, (& the Miami Valley), to be a friendly city!

So, if I have some business ideas, would this program help me, or is it just for the immigrant fresh into town?