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Houston – An unprecedented public-private partnership aims to turn greater Houston into the “Citizenship Capital” of the United States. Over the next three years, Naturalize Now, Houston! will reach the 300,000 immigrants in the region who are eligible for citizenship and help them apply.

On Tuesday, September 19, at Noon CDT, members of the media are invited to a roundtable luncheon to learn more about “Naturalize Now, Houston!” Following the luncheon, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner will introduce a proclamation in support of the initiative ahead of the afternoon City Council meeting. The launch is timed with Citizenship Day on September 17, the anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. 

WHEN: Tuesday, September 19, Noon CDT (followed by proclamation from 1:30-2 pm)

WHERE: Houston City Hall,  Legacy Room (901 Bagby Street)

WHO: Thao Costis, Executive Director, Harris County Community Services Department; Dayana Iza, Texas Programs Manager, Mi Familia Vota; Hervé-Michel Jackson Bremaidou, a recently naturalized U.S. citizen from Central African Republic; Zenobia Lai, Executive Director, Houston Immigration Legal Services Collaborative; Nicole Melaku, Executive Director, National Partnership for New Americans; In Suk Min, an immigrant from Korea who plans to become a U.S. citizen; and Terence O’Neill, Division Manager, Office of New Americans & Immigrant Communities, City of Houston.

DETAILS: Lunch will be served. Members of the media should register here.

***After the roundtable, Mayor Turner and Houston City Council members will present a proclamation before the afternoon Council meeting. Ann B. Stern, President and CEO of Houston Endowment, will accept the proclamation alongside Melaku and Lai. 

“We know that community-based media are the most trusted sources of information for people across greater Houston, and that local governments play a critical role in advancing citizenship initiatives for their residents,” said Nicole Melaku, Executive Director of National Partnership for New Americans and the convener of this initiative. “Citizenship opens the door to opportunities for immigrants, to the benefit of entire communities. If we are going to reach 300,000 eligible people with information, tools, and help so that they can become U.S. citizens, we need everyone’s help.”

The National Partnership for New Americans (NPNA) is a national multiethnic, multiracial partnership network of 66 of the country’s leading immigrant and refugee rights organizations who together advocate for policies and programs to successfully integrate New Americans. NPNA exists to advance an immigrant equity and inclusion agenda at the state, local and federal level through policy, advocacy and service programs that create vast opportunities for immigrant and refugee communities to achieve full civic, social and economic justice.