News Release Header
For Immediate Release:
July 01, 2015
Media Contact:
Johanna Cervone

Commissioner Daniella Levine Cava's resolution for Miami-Dade County to join Cities for Citizenship Initiative passes Board of County Commissioners

Miami, FL—Yesterday, the Board of County Commissioners passed a resolution directing Mayor Gimenez to develop a plan for Miami-Dade County to become part of the national Cities for Citizenship initiative.

Cities for Citizenship is a national initiative aimed at increasing citizenship among eligible U.S. Legal Permanent Residents, promoting naturalization of eligible residents by fostering partnerships between non-profit, business and municipal governments. Today’s resolution calls for Mayor Gimenez to take necessary steps to implement the initiative appropriately here in Miami-Dade County.

“There are nearly 500,000 legal permanent residents who may be eligible to naturalize in Miami-Dade. That is nearly 20% of our population. There are many reasons why many eligible legal permanent residents in Miami-Dade do not naturalize, including lack of information, financial resources, and fear of being exploited. There are many significant benefits to becoming a citizen. Residents who naturalize see an average increase in earnings of between 8-11%. This means an increase in earnings of $3.2 billion if only half of eligible residents become citizens”, said Commissioner Levine Cava.

At this time, there is no entity overseeing or coordinating these types of services. Due to limited resources for community groups and a high demand for services, it can be difficult for residents to find assistance. The goal of Cities for Citizenship is to better meet this demand and use the County’s broad reach to help more residents connect to sound information and opportunities. 

“The County has the ability to reach every resident and is a trusted source of information. This resolution builds on existing local efforts to help legally eligible residents naturalize by connecting them to necessary information and free or low-cost legal services. Major cities across the country have already begun efforts to promote naturalization to boost economic empowerment and mobility. Given our community’s large immigrant population, joining this initiative and promoting citizenship is sound economic policy for our residents and our county,” explained the Commissioner.

Commissioner Levine Cava was also a co-sponsor on several other pieces of legislation that passed at the Commission meeting, including civil citations for small possessions of marijuana, the purchase of articulated buses to replace the County’s aging fleet and a summer youth employment program.