The City of Oakley among other California cities was recently depicted as a model for promoting Citizenship and Civic Participation in Western City, the monthly magazine of the California League of Cities.
As stated in the article, “approximately 2.5 million “lawful permanent residents” living in California are eligible to become U.S. citizens.” Similarly a segment of our Oakley residents also qualify to become U.S. Citizens through the naturalization process. You, Me, We Oakley! And partners recognize the benefits of fully integrating these family members, friends and neighbors and therefore host an annual Citizenship Drive during which aspiring new citizens get free assistance with the 10 page Naturalization Application that initiates the process. This event is made possible due to the participation of non‐profit partners, as well as Oakley resident volunteers called YMWO! Ambassadors. The ambassadors receive training to complete the complex N‐400 application.
One of the community members that benefited from the streamlined approach and Ambassadors assistance during last year’s event is United Kingdom National, Mark D. Cohen. Cohen stated that events like the Citizenship Drive served to “solidify our community and neighborhood and bring down walls that separate all of us due to our personal views and opinions.”
After the applications were prepared by the ambassadors, they underwent a quality control check by Staff attorneys from the Institute of the Bay Area. Before heading home, attendees got to enroll in adult education courses offered by Liberty Union High School District to prepare for the English and civics exams.
After submitting their applications to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and paying a fee, participants must still submit fingerprints, undergo background and security checks, and pass English and civics tests before officially becoming American Citizens.
Via the Article:
Provide space and recruit volunteers to help with citizenship classes or application workshops as a signal to immigrants that they are welcome within the halls of local government. A volunteer-run citizenship class at Cupertino’s senior center has successfully prepared more than 1,000 new citizens. The City of Oakley partnered with community organizations, businesses and volunteers to assist immigrant attendees at Oakley’s second annual citizenship drive.
Source: Oakley Outreach – City Hall Updates