Blog & Stories / 08.09.18

State and Local Leader Letter to President on 2019 Presidential Determination

Click here to download the letter.

President Donald J. Trump
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20500

Dear Mr. President:

As elected officials, we write today to express our strong support for resettling refugees in our states and communities and urge you to resettle at least 75,000 refugees in Fiscal Year 2019. We hope that you will take into consideration the voices of state and local communities as we join together in support of this life-saving program and express their desire to help protect refugees in need.

Every day, 44,000 people are displaced from their homes because of violence, persecution, or war. The United Nations Refugee Agency reports that over 68.5 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide, 25.4 million of whom are registered as refugees. More than half of those registered are children. Despite this ongoing crisis, last year the United States set its lowest ever resettlement goal of 45,000 refugees, and to date, has only resettled 18,214 refugees this fiscal year. This is one of the lowest numbers of refugees the U.S. has resettled in the history of the program, at the time of the greatest need. We can do so much more.

The United States of America is a nation founded and built by immigrants and refugees. It is that history that makes our collective states and communities strong; it is our deep respect for hard work, our shared commitment to the country we call home, and our belief that America is a beacon of hope, that unites us.

We have heard our constituents express their support for resettling refugees in our communities. Like us, they know that refugees are not people to be feared – they are simply men, women, and children who were forced to flee in order to save their lives.

Refugees bring immense value to our communities. Refugees have reinvigorated our economies, brought innovation to our towns, and made our communities stronger through their contributions to our public life and cultural institutions. They are students, business owners, dedicated employees, customers, elected officials, and community leaders.

The significant decline in refugee arrivals this year has had a negative impact on communities, especially on employers, that have traditionally welcomed refugees. Many key U.S. industries – including manufacturing, lumber, hospitality, and food production – have become increasingly reliant on refugee workers to fill in gaps left by labor shortages. Refugees, and their descendants, bring so much to our communities. We are better and stronger because of them. We encourage you to visit our communities and hear directly from our constituents, including refugees themselves, about what this life-saving program has brought to our country.

It is our deep respect for hard work, our shared commitment to the country we call home, and our belief that America is a beacon of hope, that unites us. We thank you for listening to the voices of communities across the country and hope that you will take into account our strong desire to welcome refugees as you make your determination on the number of refugees our country will help in the coming year.

Sincerely,

Alaska
Andy Josephson, State Representative, Anchorage

Arizona
Jonathan Rothschild, Mayor, Tucson
Andrea Dalessandro, State Senator, Phoenix
Juan Mendez, State Senator, Tempe
Catherine Miranda, State Senator, Phoenix
Martin Quezada, State Senator, Phoenix
Rebecca Rios, House Minority Leader, Phoenix
Lela Alston, State Representative, Phoenix
Richard Andrade, State Representative, Phoenix
Isela Blanc, State Representative, Tempe
Mark Cardenas, State Representative, Phoenix
César Chavez-Martinez, State Representative, Phoenix
Kirsten Engel, State Representative, Phoenix
Charlene Fernandez, State Representative, Yuma
Rosanna Gabaldon, State Representative, Phoenix
Tony Rivero, State Representative, Peoria
Macario Saldate IV, State Representative, Tuscon
Athena Salman, State Representative, Tempe
Lauren Kuby, Vice Mayor, Tempe
Kate Gallego, City Council Member, Phoenix
Randy Keating, City Council Member, Tempe
Ylenia Aguilar, Governing Board Member, Phoenix
Adam Lopez Falk, School Board President, Phoenix
Devin Del Palacio, School Board Vice President, Avondale
Berdetta Hodge, School Board Vice President, Tempe
Monica Trejo, School Board Member, Tempe

Arkansas
Lioneld Jordan, Mayor, Fayetteville
Greg Leding, State Representative, Fayetteville

California
Tom Butt, Mayor, Richmond
John Duran, Mayor, West Hollywood
Eric Garcetti, Mayor, Los Angeles
Libby Schaaf, Mayor, Oakland
Scott Wiener, State Senator, San Francisco
Jesse Gabriel, Assemblymember, San Fernando Valley
Marc Levine, Assemblymember, North Bay

Colorado
Suzanne Jones, Mayor, Boulder
Lois Court, State Senator, Denver
Steve Fenberg, State Senator, Boulder
John Kefalas, State Senator, Fort Collins
Dominick Moreno, State Senator, Commerce City
KC Becker, House Majority Leader, Boulder
Crisanta Duran, Speaker of the House, Denver
Chris Hansen, State Representative, Denver
Dafna Michaelson Jenet, State Representative, Commerce City
Tracy Kraft-Tharp, State Representative, Arvada
Dylan Roberts, State Representative, Avon
Paul Rosenthal, State Representative, Denver
Dave Young, State Representative, Greeley
Rafael Espinoza, City Council Member, Denver
Allison Hiltz, City Council Member At Large, Aurora
Nicole Johnston, City Council Member, Aurora
Paul Lopez, City Council Member, Denver
Crystal Murillo, City Council Member, Aurora
Charles Richardson, City Council Member, Aurora
Sam Weaver, City Council Member, Boulder
Mary Dolores Young, City Council Member, Boulder

Connecticut
Roland Lemar, State Representative, New Haven
Matthew Lesser, State Representative, Middletown
Hacibey Catalbasoglu, Alderman, New Haven
Juan Candelaria, State Representative, New Haven

District of Columbia
Muriel Bowser, Mayor
Brianne Nadeau, Councilmember,
Elissa Silverman, Councilmember
Hannah Powell, Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner

Florida
Buddy Dyer, Mayor, Orlando
Andrew Gillum, Mayor, Tallahassee
Amy Mercado, State Representative, Orlando

Georgia
Keisha Lance Bottoms, Mayor, Atlanta
Ted Terry, Mayor, Clarkston
YT Bell, City Council Member, Clarkton

Hawaii
Nadine K. Nakamura, State Representative, Kapaa

Illinois
Rahm Emanuel, Mayor, Chicago
Stephen H. Hagerty, Mayor, Evanston
John J. Cullerton, Senate President, Chicago
Kelly Cassidy, State Representative, Chicago
Sara Feigenholtz, State Representative, Chicago
Laura Fine, State Representative, Glenview
Robyn Gabel, State Representative, Evanston
Harry Osterman, Alderman, Chicago
Ameya Pawar, Alderman, Chicago

Indiana
John Hamilton, Mayor, Bloomington

Iowa
Joel Greer, Mayor, Marshalltown
Jay Chaudhuri, State Senator, Raleigh
David Johnson, State Senator, Ocheyedan
Marti Anderson, State Representative, Des Moines
Art Staed, State Representative, Cedar Rapids
Stacey Walker, Linn County Supervisor, Cedar Rapids

Kansas
Lynn Rogers, State Senator, Wichita

Kentucky
Tom Burch, State Representative, Louisville

Louisiana
Cyndi Nguyen, Councilmember, New Orleans

Maine
Sara Gideon, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Fre
eport
Pious Ali, Councilman At-Large, Portland

Maryland
Kate Stewart, Mayor, Takoma Park
Rocio Treminio-Lopez, Mayor, Brentwood
Patrick Wojahn, Mayor, College Park
Brian J. Feldman, State Senator, Annapolis
Susan Lee, State Senator, Bethesda
Paul Pinsky, State Senator, Hyattsville
Kathleen Dumais, State Delegate, Rockville
Diana Fennell, State Delegate, Colmar Manor
Dannielle Glaros, County Council Member, Prince George’s County
Ana Sol Gutierrez, State Delegate, Chevy Chase
Aruna Miller, State Delegate, Darnestown
David Moon, State Delegate, Takoma Park
Joseline Peña-Melnyk, State Delegate, College Park
Jimmy Tarlau, State Delegate, Mount Rainier
Jheanelle Wilkins, State Delegate, Silver Spring
Edouard Haba, City Council President, Hyattsville
Ike Leggett, County Executive, Montgomery County
George Leventhal, County Council Member, Montgomery
Deni Taveras, County Council Member, Upper Marlboro

Massachusetts
Alex Morse, Mayor, Holyoke
Harriette Chandler, State Senate President Emerita, Worcester
Jack Patrick Lewis, State Representative, Framingham
Denise Provost, State Representative, Somerville
Jose F. Tosado, State Representative, Springfield
Jeff Thielman, School Committee Member, Arlington

Michigan
Rosalynn Bliss, Mayor, Grand Rapids
Steven Maas, Mayor, Grandville
Karen Majewski, Mayor, Hamtramck
Kurt Metzger, Mayor, Pleasant Ridge
Christopher Taylor, Mayor, Ann Arbor
Rebekah Warren, State Senator, Ann Arbor
Abdullah Hammoud, State Representative, Dearborn
Robert Wittenberg, State Representative, Huntington Woods

Minnesota
Mark Dayton, Governor, St. Paul
Melvin Carter III, Mayor, St. Paul
Jacob Frey, Mayor, Minneapolis
Fue Lee, State Representative, Minneapolis
Rena Moran, State Representative, St. Paul
Ilhan Omar, State Representative, Minneapolis

Missouri
Lyda Krewson, Mayor, St. Louis
Michael Butler, State Representative, St. Louis

Montana
Wilmot Collins, Mayor, Helena

North Carolina
Pam Hemminger, Mayor, Chapel Hill
Lydia Lavelle, Mayor, Carrboro
Steve Schewel, Mayor, Durham
Graig Meyer, State Representative, Chapel Hill
Russ Stephenson, City Council Member At-Large, Raleigh
Nicole Stewart, City Council Member At-Large, Raleigh
Stef Mendell, City Council Member, Raleigh
Erv Portman, County Commissioner, Wake

North Dakota
Nancy Guy, City Commissioner, Bismarck

New Hampshire
David Tencza, Alderman At Large, Nashua
Andru Volinsky, Executive Councilor, Concord
Jim Winny, City Councilor, Lebanon
Karen Zook, City Councilor, Lebanon

New Jersey
Adrian Mapp, Mayor, Plainfield
Brian Stack, Mayor, Union City
Loretta Weinberg, State Senator, Teaneck

New Mexico
Timothy Keller, Mayor, Albuquerque
Barbara Casey, City Council Member, Las Vegas
Vincent Howell, City Council Member, Las Vegas
Renee Villarreal, City Council Member, Santa Fe

New York
Noam Bramson, Mayor, New Rochelle
Byron W. Brown, Mayor, Buffalo
Kathy Sheehan, Mayor, Albany
Lovely Warren, Mayor, Rochester
Liz Krueger, State Senator, New York
Amy Paulin, Assemblymember, Scarsdale
Jo Anne Simon, Assemblymember, Brooklyn
Daniel Torres, Town Council, New Paltz
David Weprin, Assemblymember, Fresh Meadows
Gregory, Young, Supervisor, Gloversville

Ohio
Andrew Ginther, Mayor, Columbus
Nan Whaley, Mayor, Dayton
Elizabeth Brown, City Council Member, Columbus
David Donoforio, School Board Member, Columbus

Oklahoma
Collin Walke, State Representative, Oklahoma City

Oregon
Chuck Bennett, Mayor, Salem
Denny Doyle, Mayor, Beaverton
Peter Truax, Mayor, Forest Grove
Michael Dembrow, State Senator, Portland
Lew Frederick, State Senator, Portland
Alissa Keny-Guyer, State Representative, Portland
Marc San Soucie, City Council Member, Beaverton
Lori Stegmann, County Commissioner, Portland
Julia Brim-Edwards, Board of Education Member, Portland
Rita Moore, School Board Member, Portland
Stephanie Stephens, School Board Member, Portland
Kathy Wai, School Board Member, Happy Valley
Amanda Fritz, City Commissioner, Portland

Pennsylvania
Eric Papenfuse, Mayor, Harrisburg
Joseph Schember, Mayor, Erie
Judith Schwank, State Senator, Reading
Michael Schlossberg, State Representative, Allentown
Brian Sims, State Representative, Philadelphia
Jared Solomon, State Representative, Philadelphia

Rhode Island
Jorge Elorza, Mayor, Providence
Gayle Goldin, State Senator, Providence

South Carolina
Carol Jackson, City Council Member, Charleston

South Dakota
Reynold Nesiba, State Senator, Sioux Falls

Tennessee
David Briley, Mayor, Nashville
Madeline Rogero, Mayor, Knoxville
Seema Singh-Perez, City Council Member, Knoxville

Texas
Steve Adler, Mayor, Austin
Mike Rawlings, Mayor, Dallas
Sylvia Garcia, State Senator, Houston
John Whitmire, State Senator, Houston
Rafael Anchia, State Representative, Dallas
Clay Jenkins, County Judge, Dallas
Diego Bernal, State Representative, San Antonio
Garnet Coleman, State Representative, Houston
Jessica Farrar, State Representative, Houston
Donna Howard, State Representative, Austin
Celia Israel, State Representative, Austin
Ina Minjarez, State Representative, San Antonio
Ron Reynolds, State Representative, Missouri City
Eddie Rodriguez, State Representative, Austin
Toni Rose, State Representative, Dallas
Shawn Thierry, State Representative, Houston
Gene Wu, State Representative, Houston
Ron Nirenburg, Mayor, San Antonio

Utah
Jacqueline Biskupski, Mayor, Salt Lake City
Ben McAdams, Salt Lake County
Jani Iwamoto, State Senator, Holladay
Carol Spackman Moss, State Representative, Salt Lake City

Vermont
David Zuckerman, Lt. Governor of Vermont, Montpelier
Anne Watson, Mayor, Montpelier
Bill Botzow, State Representative, Pownal
Tim Briglin, State Representative, Thetford
Sue Buckholz, State Representative, West Hartford
Selene Colburn, State Representative, Burlington
Sarah Copeland Hanzas, State Representative, Bradford
David Deen, State Representative, Windham
Diana González, State Representative, Winooski
Maxine Grad, State Representative, Moretown
Helen Head, State Representative, South Burlington
Robin Scheu, State Representative, Middlebury
Mary Sullivan, State Representative, Burlington
Maida Townsend, State Representative, South Burlington
Michael Yantachka, State Representative, Charlotte
Brandon Batham, City Councilor, Barre
Ali Dieng, City Councilor, Burlington
Ashley Hill, City Councilor, Montpelier
Karen Paul, City Councilor, Burlington
Joan Shannon, City Councilor, Burlington
Melinda Humphrey, Alderwoman, Rutland
Rebecca Mattis, Alderwoman, Rutland
Lisa Ryan, Alderwoman, Rutland

Virginia
McKinley Price, Mayor, Newport News
Dave Marsden, State Senator, Burke
Scott Surovell, State Senator, Mt. Vernon
Alfonso Lopez, House Minority Whip, Arlington
Kaye Kory, Delegate, Falls Church
Paul Krizek, Delegate, Alexandria
Mark Levine, Delegate, Alexandria and Arlington
Justin Wilson, Vice Mayor, Alexandria
Yasmine Taeb , Democratic National Committeewoman< /p>

Washington
Jay Inslee, Governor, Olympia
Jennifer Gregerson, Mayor, Mukilteo
Victoria Woodards, Mayor, Tacoma
Jamie Pederson, State Senator, Seattle
Jake Fey, State Representative, Tacoma
Joe Fitzgibbon, State Representative, West Seattle
Mia Su-Ling Gregerson, State Representative, SeaTac
Nicole Macri, State Representative, Seattle
Gael Tarleton, State Representative, Seattle
Derek Stanford, State Representative, Bothell
Ben Stuckart, City Council President, Spokane
Lisa Herbold, City Council Member, Seattle
Chris Roberts, City Council Member, Shoreline

Wisconsin
Samba Baldeh, Alderman and Council President, Madison
David Ahrens, Alderman, Madison
Michael Tierney, Alderman, Madison
Michael Verveer, Alderman, Madison
Shiva Bidar-Sielaff, City Council Member, Madison
Carousel Bayrd, County Board Supervisor, Madison
Yogesh Chawla, County Board Supervisor, Madison
Mary Kolar, County Board Supervisor, Madison
Jamie Kuhn, County Board Supervisor, Madison
Michele Ritt, County Board Supervisor, Madison
Heidi Wegleitner, County Board Supervisor, Madison
Kelly Danner, County Board Supervisor, Madison