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Ahmed Rehab appointed by Mayor Emanuel to Advisory Committee

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Committee to Generate Recommendations To Promote the City’s Economic Vitality And Ensure Global Competiveness; Realize The Goal Of Becoming The Most Immigrant Friendly City In The World

CHICAGO – Today Mayor Emanuel announced the Office of New Americans (ONA) Advisory Committee – a committee of advisors to generate recommendations, develop strategies, and present an overall vision to promote the City’s economic vitality and ensure global competiveness, by becoming the most immigrant friendly city in the world.

“Immigrants are a driving force in Chicago’s cultural and economic life and a vital part of our nation’s history and future. Whether in Rogers Park or Little Village, our city’s vitality has been built on the strength of immigrant populations that have come to enjoy new freedoms and access new opportunities,” said Mayor Emanuel. “I have tasked the Office of New Americans Advisory Committee to lay out a roadmap that will ensure Chicago continues to thrive and grow and attracts the world’s leading human capital to compete in the 21st century global economy and beyond.”

The ONA Advisory Committee is formed by 50 individuals who represent Chicago’s business, academia, civic, philanthropic, and community leaders. This Advisory Committee will serve over the next 90 days and is divided into eight subgroups which will focus on economic opportunities, human capital, education, public safety, health, city services, civic engagement and ensuring that Chicago remains a place where diversity is welcomed and celebrated. They will identify immigrant challenges, strategies and potential solutions and will, together with the ONA, present the plan to the Mayor later this summer.

The ONA is collaborating with Civic Consulting Alliance and A.T. Kearney, who are all providing their support on a pro-bono basis, in the development of the plan. A non-profit organization, Civic Consulting Alliance invests $15 – 20 million per year via its own staff and the pro-bono services of its private-sector partners in order to make Chicago more livable, affordable, and globally competitive. Through the Civic Consulting partnership, A.T. Kearney is donating pro-bono resources and extensive expertise.

“A.T. Kearney is proud to continue our long history of supporting the City of Chicago,” said A.T. Kearney partner Kish Khemani. “Making Chicago more immigrant friendly will allow our city to continue to compete successfully in the global marketplace.”

“I applaud Mayor Emmanuel’s efforts to make Chicago the most immigrant friendly city in the world, “said Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director, National Immigrant Justice Center. “The creation of the Office of New Americans’ Advisory Committee is an important step. I look forward to working with city leaders to recognize the contributions of our immigrant community and ensure that they have access to the services they need.”

“It is an honor to live in a city that looks beyond where people have come from and chooses to see where they can go,” said Pastor Freddy Santiago, El Rebaño Church.Through the Office of New Americans Advisory Committee we will ensure that Chicago will continue to be a city where immigrants can thrive, grow, and contribute to the economic vitality of our city.”

Since the creation of the ONA, the City has strengthened support for immigrant communities, entrepreneurs and businesses. The ONA recently announced the creation of the Chicago New Americans initiative which brings together the State of Illinois, the City of Chicago and the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights to offer assistance to 10,000 eligible, law abiding, permanent residents in Chicago become naturalized, U.S. citizens. The ONA also hosted a New Americans Small Business Series, an innovative series of quarterly events that will foster small business growth in immigrant communities throughout Chicago.


ONA Advisory Council Members in their respective subgroups:

Economic Opportunities:
 Omar Duque, President and Chief Executive Officer, Illinois Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
 Nilda Esparza, Executive Director, Little Village Chamber of Commerce
 Sue Gin, Chief Executive Officer, Flying Food Groups
 Liz Griffiths, Executive Director, Albany Park Chamber of Commerce
 Luis Gutierrez, Executive Director, Latinos Progresando
 Michael Mini, Director Government Relations, Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce George Chunkau Mui, Global Business Consultant, U.S. Department of Commerce, Minority
Business Development Agency
 Rob Paral, Principal, Rob Paral and Associates
 Jaz Park, Board Member, Korean American Association of Chicago
 Alberto Senior, Senior Exec., Miller Coors
 Alejandro Silva, Chief Executive Officer, Evans Food Group
 Roberto Rodrigues, Professor, University of Chicago

Human Capital and Education:
 Nancy Aardema, Executive Director, Logan Square Neighborhood Association
 Ana Bedard, Associate Director, St. Augustine Institute for Workforce Education
 Tanya Cabrera, Associate Director, Illinois Institute of Technology
 Gerald P. Doyle, Vice Provost, Illinois Institute of Technology
 Roberto Gonzalez, Assistant Professor, University of Chicago School of Social Service

 Jill Kushner Bishop, President, Multilingual Connections
 Clara Lopez, Vice President , El Valor
 Juan Rangel, Executive Director, United Neighborhood Organization (UNO)
 Harold Rice, Executive Director, Albany Park Community Center
 Juan Salgado, President, Instituto del Progreso Latino
 Rebecca Tancredi, Managing Director, Upwardly Global – Chicago Office
Safety, Health and Access to city services:
 Walter “Slim” Coleman, Reverend, Centro Sin Fronteras
 Ahlam Jbara, Interim Executive Director, The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater
 Kathleen Jung Hee Fernicola, Policy Director, Asian American Institute
 Viviana Martinez, Chief of Staff, Office of Cook County Commissioner Jesus Garcia
 Mary Meg McCarthy, Executive Director, National Immigration Justice Center
 Katya Nuques, Associate Director, Enlace Chicago
 Caroline Orzac Shoenberger, Director, Chicago Legal Clinic
 Maria Pesqueira, President and Chief Executive Officer, Mujeres Latinas en Accion
 Sima Qureshi, Executive Director, Muslim Women’s Resource Center
 Celena Roldan, Executive Director, Erie Neighborhood House Layla Suleiman Gonzalez, Director Office of Strategic Planning, Illinois Department of
Human Services
 Tania Uzueta, Advocacy Coordinator, LGBTQ Immigrant Rights Project – ALMA
 Bernie Wong, Executive Director, Chinese American Service League

Civic engagement, Diversity welcomed and celebrated:
 Lawrence Benito, Executive Director, Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights
 Dalila Fridi, Senior Technical Application Analyst, Northwestern Memorial Hospital
 Ami Gandhi, Executive Director, South Asian American Policy and Research Institute
 Maricela Garcia, Executive Director, Gads Hill Center
 Alie Kabba, Executive Director, United African Organization
 Gary Kenzer, Executive Director, Polish American Association
 Emma Lozano, Founder, Centro Sin Fronteras
 Denise Martinez, Director of Office of New Americans, Office of the Governor
 Ahmed Rehab, Executive Director, CAIR Chicago
 Rebecca Sanders, Executive Director, Chicago Cultural Alliance
 Freddy Santiago, Pastor, El Rebano Church
 Elena Segura, Director, Office for Immigrant Affairs and Immigrant
Education, Archdiocese of Chicago

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