By: Valerie Johnston
Chicago, IL is one of America’s largest cities, and in a special ceremony on Sunday, May 21, 2017, Mayor Rahm Emanuel sought to remind many that it is also one of the most welcoming and accepting of America’s sanctuary cities. Standing at a podium in the DuSable Museum of African American History, and surrounded by colleagues like “U.S. Reps. Luis Gutierrez and Danny Davis, City Clerk Anna Valencia and myriad immigrant advocacy groups” he explained that he wants the “children of Chicago to be free” and to support that he officially launched the One Chicago program.
A website that has been designed for the city’s 560k+ foreign born residents and immigrants, it points visitors towards an array of city resources. The site also provides unique stories provided by immigrants who have made the city their homes, and all are based on the mission: “Three million residents. Three million stories. Three million reasons to stand together.”
In his speech during the event Rahm described his own family’s immigrant history and became emotional when describing his grandfather arriving in the city at the age of 13. Running from the pogroms of Eastern Europe and without any English, he was able to build a family and life because of Chicago’s unique opportunities – noting that sanctuary cities need protection.
Spurred by the current Administration’s attempted travel bans, which also aimed at putting a halt to resettlement programs and efforts at withholding funding for sanctuary cities like Chicago, the One Chicago initiative says that it aims to “remind Chicagoans that the immigrant story is everyone’s story.” Uniting against fear, discrimination, hate and what many have deemed unconstitutional motives, the program is going to appear in television ads, PSAs on local radio stations, billboards, posters and elsewhere in the city.
Full details about the program are available at the official website: OneChi.org.