|John O’Grady President|
The Franklin County Board of Commissioners, Columbus, Ohio will be hosting an emergency meeting of the New American Advisory Council on Friday, February 3.
The meeting which is also public will hold at the Franklin County Judicial Services Building, 369 S. High Street, Columbus, Ohio, and in Meeting Room 3 at 11am.
The council was first convened last year by now-Commissioner Kevin Boyce to discuss ways that the city and state could help the newest Americans in our community to integrate into our broader society. At that meeting last May at Franklin University, nearly 300 attendees came together to discuss the challenges faced by many new Americans and ways that state and local government could assist them.
Friday’s meeting at the Franklin County Government Complex will be an opportunity for the group to discuss the recent presidential executive orders banning the citizens of seven majority Muslim countries from entering the United States and suspending the U.S. refugee program.
The commissioners have invited the leadership of organizations such as Community Refugee Immigrant Services, Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services, the United Way of Central Ohio, YMCA, and World Relief, among others, as well as other local elected officials.
In addition to hosting the New American Advisory Council meeting, the Board of Commissioners issued the statement below.
America’s diversity has strengthened our nation and Central Ohio far beyond what any one nationality, religion, tradition, or culture could ever have achieved alone. The promise of our nation is one of hope and opportunity. We have always sheltered families fleeing from strife in other lands, and the ancestors of almost every American family once arrived here from some distant shore. We cannot now allow a misguided fear of people who are different make us lose sight of the things that make America great, or to give up on our ideals and traditions of both strength and generosity.
Franklin County is a proudly diverse and welcoming community, and will continue that tradition even as our nation struggles with new policies designed to pit us against one another. Franklin County residents, visitors, students, refugees, and immigrants should feel safe and welcome here, and we will continue to work toward that end and with all of our neighbors here in Central Ohio.