In July a group of five immigrant women met with Mayor Stewart and their City Councilmember, Terrry Seamens, to discuss their appreciation for the City and observations of unmet needs in their community. Some of the biggest needs expressed were for more affordable child care arrangements, more after school activities for children, more fitness and recreation opportunities for adults and children, and affordable home ownership opportunities. The Council members offered support and advice and connections. Joyce Seamens also attended the session and made supportive suggestions.
CHEER facilitated this meeting as an extension of its ongoing community engagement activities in the Takoma Park and Long Branch communities. During the month of April 2018 CHEER volunteers and staff conducted 53 resident interviews to get feedback on what immigrant residents appreciate about where they live, what challenges they face, and what they would like to see change. The interviews were conducted in English, Spanish, and Amharic. 14 of these involved mostly Ethiopian women who live on Maple Avenue. CHEER prepared a summary of these interviews and arranged for a meeting with their elected representatives. Click here to see a summary of their interview responses.