New Board Members Sought for Immigrant and Refugee Advisory Board

Mayor Greg Nickels and the Seattle City Council are seeking candidates to fill three vacancies on the Seattle Immigrant and Refugee Advisory Board, a program of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods. Called for in Nickels’ Immigrant and Refugee Report and Action Plan, the board advises the mayor and Council on issues affecting immigrant and refugee communities in Seattle.

“I urge representatives of our immigrant and refugee communities, and others interested in these issues, to consider serving on this important board,” Nickels said. “As Seattle’s foreign-born populations continue to grow, we must ensure their full participation in the civic, economic and cultural life of the city. This board helps us identify ways to accomplish this.”

“The Immigrant and Refugee Advisory Board worked hard last year to develop key priorities,” said Councilmember Tim Burgess. “Dedicated board members are critical to its success in providing input to city officials. The City Council looks forward to collaborating with the board in furthering its goal of improved access to services for members of immigrant communities.”

The duties of the Immigrant and Refugee Advisory Board include:
• Advising the mayor, City Council and city departments and offices on ways to enhance and improve access to city services and resources for immigrants and refugees, as well as strengthening opportunities for immigrants and refugees to participate in the civic life of the city;
• Advising the city on the successful implementation of the Immigrant and Refugee Action Plan and on future updates to the plan;
• Advising all city departments and offices in matters affecting immigrants and refugees, as appropriate; and
• Encouraging understanding between and among the various immigrant and refugee communities and the larger Seattle community.

Reflecting the diversity of Seattle’s immigrant and refugee communities, the board has 15 members (eight appointed by the mayor and seven appointed by the Council). Board members are appointed for two-year terms, with the option of re-appointment for another term.

With the unprecedented growth in the foreign-born population since the 1980s, Seattle has become an increasingly multicultural city, rich with diversity. In keeping with the Race and Social Justice Initiative, the mayor and Council want to ensure that city government provides high-quality customer service to all, including immigrants and refugees living and working in Seattle. The Immigrant and Refugee Advisory Board helps the city reach its goals.

To be considered, please send a letter of interest and resume by Feb. 5, 2010. In lieu of a resume, applicants may submit a summary document with name, address, contact information, employment history, volunteer experience, and a statement of why they want to serve on the advisory board.

In keeping with the mayor’s “Paper Cuts” program, electronic submissions are preferred. Applications should be sent by Feb. 5, 2010, to: yemane.gebremicael@seattle.gov

To send a paper submittal, please address it to:
Yemane Gebremicael
City of Seattle Department of Neighborhoods
Immigrant and Refugee Advisory Board
P.O. Box 94649
Seattle, WA 98124-4649

The city of Seattle is committed to promoting diversity in the city’s boards and commissions. Women, people with disabilities, sexual and gender minorities, people of color, and immigrants are encouraged to apply.

For more information, please contact Yemane Gebremicael, at 684-8076 or via e-mail at yemane.gebremicael@seattle.gov