When our immigration study revealed that Napa County has 9,000 citizenship-eligible Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs), aka Green Card holders, but many were not taking the important step towards achieving citizenship due to an absence of a robust legal services infrastructure, we launched the One Napa Valley Initiative (ONVI), a three-year campaign to create new citizens and a stronger community. ONVI is building awareness of the benefits and requirements of citizenship, helping LPRs with their naturalization applications, and preparing them for their citizenship exams/interviews. Since ONVI’s launch in the summer of 2013, more than 6,363 people have received legal services, 620 people have enrolled in English and civics classes, 3,150 have submitted citizenship applications, and 1,307 have been sworn in as U.S. citizens, representing 46 countries. 437 volunteers and more than 150 local donors, foundations, and businesses have invested in this $1.8 million public-private partnership, alongside the County of Napa, as well as every municipal government in the Valley.
The Napa County Board of Supervisors, the Napa City Council, Congressman Mike Thompson, State Senator Bill Dodd and former State Senator Lois Wolk have recognized the determination, hard work, and courage of Napa’s newest citizens at several Board of Supervisors meetings.
Click here for an ONVI progress report as of 1/31/17
Photo credit: © Bob McClenahan