Some Key Developments in the Establishment and Growth of Welcome Dayton:

September 2004 – Commissioners Dean Lovelace and Matt Joseph meet with NCCJ Ethnic and Cultural Diversity Caucus Chair, Dr. Theo Majka, to discuss adoption of the Matricula Consular as an accepted ID for city business.  Earlier that summer, Dr. Majka and members of the caucus had requested endorsements from the city’s Priority Boards for the policy change.

April 13, 2005 – Dayton City Commission votes unanimously (McLin, Lovelace, Zimmer and Joseph) to accept the Mexican and Guatemalan Matricula Consular (Consular Identification) for city business.

January 2006 – Commissioner Nan Whaley sworn into office for her first term, along with returning Mayor Rhine McLin and Commissioner Joey Williams

May 1, 2006 – Commissioners Dean Lovelace and Matt Joseph join 1,000 Dayton area residents in a rally downtown asking for immigration reform.  Dayton Police provided protection for the ralliers from Neo Nazi counter-demonstrators. (Source: “Hundreds of thousands march to support immigration reform” article by Cathy Mong, May 2, 2006; Dayton Daily News)

August 31, 2006 – In response to a request from Commissioner Matt Joseph that the city examine how well it serves new immigrants, the Department of Planning and Community Development issues a memo reviewing the current status of outreach efforts, and offers a number of recommendations for improving them. (Source, Director John Gower-signed memo to City Manager Rashad Young, August 31, 2006)

August 11, 2007 – City of Dayton hosts Mexican Consular officials as they provide consular IDs to their citizens

January 2008 – Commissioners Dean Lovelace and Matt Joseph are sworn in for another term in office

Early 2008 – With Judge Walter Rice, County Commissioner Dan Foley, Sr. Maria Stacy, and other concerned county, city and other officials and citizens, Commissioner Joseph joins the Montgomery County Immigration Task Force

April 16, 2008 – The first representative of the Dayton Hispanic community, Rev. Francisco Pelaez-Diaz, is appointed to the Dayton Human Relations Council by unanimous vote of the Commission (McLin, Lovelace, Williams, Joseph and Whaley).  His appointment was part of a concerted Commission effort to request HRC attention on issues concerning more races and ethnicities.

May 2008 – Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl put into place Executive Order No 12-2008 Physical Arrests of Traffic Violators, which specifies when arrests should or should not be made in the case of a person stopped who has no driver’s license.  Chief Biehl noted that the number of deportations has greatly decreased, presumably as a result of this policy.  (Source: Meeting Notes, Montgomery County Immigration Council, June 16, 2008 meeting)

August 2009 – Commissioner Matt Joseph discusses the high priority he places on reaching out to immigrants with Mr. Tim Riordan, who will be appointed City Manager in September 2009

September 2009 – September 2009 through August 2010:  The Board of the Human Relations Council (HRC) initiates and carries out a Racial Equity Assessment of discrimination in housing within the city of Dayton against immigrants.  The assessment finds evidence of discrimination.

January 2010 – Then-Mayor Gary Leitzell is sworn into office for his first term, and Commissioners Joey Williams and Nan Whaley return for another term.

March 20, 2010 – Commissioner Joseph joins the Sisters of the Precious Blood, Greater Dayton Churches, and Catholic Social Action in a march downtown calling for immigration reform

May 6, 2010 – At a Northeast Priority Board meeting Mayor Leitzell meets Islom Shakbanderov, leader of the Dayton Ahiska Turkish community, and invites him to meet and discuss how the city can help support them.

June 17, 2010 – Then-Mayor Leitzell and City Manager Tim Riordan meet with leaders of the Ahiska Turkish Community, and discuss ways Dayton can assist in their resettlement and integration

July 24, 2010 – City of Dayton hosts Mexican Consular officials as they provide consular IDs to their citizens.  Montgomery County and Dayton City Commissioners meet with Mexican officials.

September 2010 – City Manager Tim Riordan, then-HRC Director Tom Wahlrab, Commissioner Joey Williams and Commissioner Matt Joseph discuss starting an Immigrant Friendly City initiative.

February 2011 – The City of Dayton creates a Core Team consisting of City staff from three Departments and one HRC board member.  The Team writes an initial purpose statement and plan design, which will be used to inform local officials and citizens about the Immigrant Friendly City initiative and solicit their support and commitment.

Feb. to April 2011 -  The Core Team holds four open conversations with local people interested and or involved in immigrant issues.  From the attendees, they ask for a commitment of 90 days to develop goals and objectives for a three-year plan. A  “Mapping Strategy,” is developed and the volunteers self-select into four of the five committees: a) Social Services and Health Services; b) Local Government and Justice System; c) Business and Economic Development; and, d) Community Culture, Arts and Education. The Banks and Financial Institutions aspect of the mapping strategy was incorporated in the Business and Economic Development section.

June 22, 2011 – The committee completes final reports and presents them to the City Commission and City Manager

August 18, 2011 – A group of Core Team members, residents, a Downtown Dayton Partnership representative and City staff brainstorm options for a permanent name for the initiative.  “Welcome Dayton – Immigrant Friendly City” was proposed and chosen, following review by additional constituents.The Welcome Dayton logo was designed with this same team of people and with the help of Erwin Sala of AARGH! creative advertisement, design & photography, from the Netherlands and Alvaro Maurice, CEO at Conquistador Consulting LLC.

October 5, 2011 – The City Commission votes unanimously to adopt the Welcome Dayton document (Leitzell, Lovelace, Joseph and Whaley).

February 2012 –  The US Department of Housing and Urban Development awards a grant to the City to fund Welcome Dayton efforts.

April 2012 – The City of Dayton transfers the former Bomberger Center to the ATACC Ahiska Turkish community by means of a forgivable loan.  ATACC plans to utilize the building as a community center.

August 15, 2012 – Dayton becomes an informal partner of Welcoming America.

Sept 21-22, 2012 – First Dayton World Soccer Games are held.

March 12, 2013 – Dayton joins the Welcoming Cities and Counties Network.

May 13, 2013 – Welcome Dayton Committee members appointed.

June 14, 2013 – The first Welcome Dayton Committee meeting is held.

June 2013 – Dayton joins the Global Great Lakes Network.

June 2013 – The City of Dayton is awarded an “Outstanding Achievement” award in recognition of the Welcome Dayton initiative during the U.S. Conference of Mayors 81st Annual Meeting.

Sept 13-14, 2013 – Second Dayton World Soccer Games are held

September 19, 2013 – The White House honored former Human Relations Council Executive Director, Tom Wahlrab, as a Champion of Change for his working helping immigrants integrate linguistically and socially into the community.

September 2013 – US Chamber of Commerce recognizes Dayton as one of seven most enterprising cities in the US as a result of the Welcome Dayton initiative .

November 9, 2013 – The first Immigrant Community Leadership Institute is piloted

December 2013 –  The US Department of Housing and Urban Development awards a second grant to the City to fund Welcome Dayton efforts.

January 6, 2014 – Mayor Nan Whaley is sworn into office for her first term, Commissioner Joey Williams returns for another term, and Commissioner Jeff Mims is sworn into office for his first term.

January 2014 – Additional funding is allocated by the City for expanded interpretation and translation services for all City departments.

February 2014 – First Immigrant Roundtable conversation (planned)


(updated  February 3, 2014)