Office of New Americans Initiatives
New American Study Suggestion - Improve Language Access: Buffalo Police Department Language Access Plan, Adopted on February 29, 2016
The plan sets policy for BPD members to utilize a number of interpretation services; Language Line telephone service, Bilingual BPD Members, Civilian Interpreters, and professional contract services, including in-person interpretation. New American Study Suggestion – Improve Language Access & Improve Access to Adult Education: Court Interpreter Exam Preparation Course, announced April 7, 2016, Mayor Brown announced a new partnership between the City of Buffalo, New York State Unified Court System, and Buffalo Public Schools Adult Education Division to address the growing need in Buffalo and cites across the country for qualified court interpreters. The course aimed to prepare participants to take and pass the state exam.
New American Study Suggestion – Encourage Community Engagement Immigrant Heritage Month (June)
The City of Buffalo has recognized Immigrant Heritage Month for the past few years and plans to do so annually. In 2015 it was recognized for the first time with a proclamation on the steps of City Hall. Since 2015, in addition to a proclamation presentation ONA and Mayor Brown have found different ways to celebrate Immigrant Heritage Month.
New American Study Suggestion – Encourage Participation in Enrichment Programs: Mayor Brown’s Reading Rules! Kids Summer Reading Challenge & Summer Youth Employment
The Office of New Americans took two of Mayor Brown’s signature programs and developed communication aimed directly at the refugee and immigrant community encouraging them to participate.
New American Study Suggestion – Engage With the Police Department: Office of New Americans Community Meetings
Throughout 2015 the ONA held community meetings open to the refugee and immigrant community to speak with and have their questions answered by high ranking members of the Buffalo Police Department. BPD’s community police officers attend all community events that occur in their district and has never said no to attending a community meeting or workshop when requested.
The Office of New Americans added an AmeriCorp VISTA staff member from 2016 to 2017. The VISTA is worked towards the creation of the ONA Bureau, as well as assisting in the creation of two major ONA publications.
Welcoming Week Events
The Office of New Americans along with Mayor Byron W. Brown participated in a 2015 children’s naturalization ceremony in City Hall council chamber in celebration of welcoming week. In 2016 Mayor Brown presented a proclamation declaring welcoming week in the City of Buffalo to Buffalo Public School (BPS) Superintendent Dr. Cash and certificated of appreciation and congratulations to Multilingual Education Staff and Cultural Resource Specialists. ONA plans to celebrate Welcoming Week annually.
Community Events (Throughout the Year)
Mayor Brown regularly attends community events throughout the year and throughout different communities. Often times he provides a proclamation from the city and/or gives remarks. Some of the events he has participated in the past are World Refugee Day, Burmese Flag Raising in remembrance of August 8, 1988, and Karibu News One year anniversary.