The City of Chula Vista announced it has been designated “Certified Welcoming” for its dedication to socioeconomic equality and immigrant inclusion, the city released.
The city raised a new flag Tuesday to commemorate the certification that demonstrates the city's commitment to protecting all immigrants, regardless of whether they are in this country legally, the city said.
“I am so proud of our staff, community leaders, and partner agencies for contributing to efforts that support and celebrate our immigrant communities,” said Chula Vista Mayor Mary Casillas Salas.
Chula Vista is the first local government or municipality in California to receive this status from the group Welcoming America.
The national nonprofit designates places that “foster a culture and policy environment that makes it possible for newcomers of all backgrounds to feel valued and to fully participate alongside their neighbors in the social, civic, and economic fabric of their adopted hometowns,” the website says.
In order to receive the certification, Chula Vista had to complete a “rigorous independent audit” that addressed 53 evaluation points including city policies, programs and partnerships such as language access and educational achievement.
"As a border community, Chula Vista's commitment to creating an inclusive environment is a model for other pragmatic leaders who want their communities to engage in the global economy and ensure that residents of all backgrounds - including immigrants - can thrive and belong, ” said Rachel Peric, Executive Director of Welcoming America.
The certification will last for three years, during which progress reports and updates will be sent to Chula Vista Human Relations Commission.