Final OpenStreetsPGH, included ceremony
The final installation of OpenStreetsPGH included a new event: celebrating citizenship in a public space with a pop-up naturalization ceremony. Surrounded by family, friends, and open streets enthusiasts in Market Square, nine individuals took the oath to become new Americans on Sunday.
The ceremony included a performance of the National Anthem by opera singer and City of Pittsburgh employee Amanda Neatrour, the Pledge of Allegiance and welcoming remarks from City of Pittsburgh Mayor William Peduto and Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald.
The idea was conceptualized through a partnership between Welcoming Pittsburgh, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Pittsburgh Field Office, BikePGH, and OpenStreetsPGH, furthering the mayor’s vision of connecting Pittsburghers of all backgrounds through healthy, fun, and engaging activities across the city.
“Becoming a citizen, the pursuit of the American dream, it is such an individual process, but also one that we all must celebrate because it strengthens opportunities for the individual, his or her family, and the community at large,” said Mayor Peduto.
“It’s an honor to join Mayor Peduto today as we roll out the welcome mat for these nine residents of our region,” said Allegheny County Executive Fitzgerald. “I’d like to congratulate our newest citizens and thank each of them for choosing to live, work and play in the city and county.”
Welcoming Pittsburgh, as announced in its plan released last month, will host a total of five naturalization ceremonies in 2015 to elevate the value of citizenship. The first ceremony was held in City Council Chambers, an historic occasion as the first-ever naturalization ceremony in the space. The city will continue to open its space and take the ceremonies to the public.
“Transportation and health are important to the immigrant community – OpenStreetsPGH was a natural fit,” said Acting Field Office Director, Michael Horvath, USCIS, Pittsburgh Field Office. Horvath, an avid cyclist who biked to the ceremony affirmed, “We would not have things like yoga or salsa dancing without immigration.”
The new citizens at the ceremony hailed from Argentina, Bulgaria, Cameroon, France, Kosovo, Slovenia, Thailand, United Kingdom, and Yemen.
For more information on Welcoming Pittsburgh visit http://pittsburghpa.gov/welcoming-pittsburgh/, follow @WelcomingPGH on Twitter or http://www.facebook.com/WelcomingPGH on Facebook, or contact Betty Cruz at email@example.com.