Welcoming Community

Assuring a Welcoming Community for All People

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Cities the size, location, history, and demographics of Valparaiso have not always excelled at integrating new members into their community, especially when those new members are of different racial or ethnic composition. Our goal is to make Valparaiso a truly welcoming city for all and serve as a model for other communities on how to accommodate to the inevitable changing demographics that all cities will experience.

We seek a city that recognizes, encourages and values the changing demographics of our community and takes action to prepare for and welcome our new neighbors. Actions include:


One - Committing to assure that disparate voices

are actively solicited to be heard in public meetings;

Two - Supporting measures like the Welcoming Cities Ordinance

(not using city resources to enforce anti-immigrant efforts);

Three - Assuring that our schools teach

the value of all people and cultures as a priority;

Four - Promoting gender equality through hiring

and appointment practices, education and addressing complaints of sexual harassment/abuse;

Five - Collecting, regularly updating and widely disseminating

employment and appointment data so that the public can monitor progress in diversifying City government;

Six - Assuring the City website

and publications contain welcoming messages relevant to all populations;

Seven - Directing Valpo’s schools, police, fire and other public departments

 to take measurable steps to hire people of color and otherwise assure that the personnel of our public institutions reflect the complexity of our society, so that all of our children have many role models and our community gains the benefit of different perspectives and learning opportunities;

Eight - Engaging the broader community

in discussions about the changing nature of our community and preparing for the change as a positive asset:

Ten - Supporting the efforts of the Human Relations Council

to enable the City to quickly and effectively respond to bias and hate related incidents.

Nine - Supporting the efforts of the Human Relations Council

and other organizations committed to making Valparaiso a welcoming community; and

Affordable housing – the backbone that supports strong communities.

Decent, affordable housing is important to families. Certainly, it fulfills a basic human need for shelter, but it also contributes to the well being of both parents and children. Studies show that children in stable housing do better in school and are less likely to experience disruption in their education due to unwanted moves. Affordable housing also frees up funds within families’ tight budgets to spend on health care and food.  For parents, living in decent, affordable housing also means reduced stress due to a lessening of concerns that high housing costs will lead to foreclosure and eviction; this in turn leads to fewer physical and mental health problems and reduced absenteeism on the job.

Latest Welcoming Stories