The Gainesville Immigrant Neighbor Inclusion Initiative is a collaboration between the city and community members and organizations. (Katie Hyson/WUFT News)
The GINI Blueprint outlines a vision for a safer, vibrant, and more inclusive Gainesville and Alachua County. Thanks to support from the Gateways for Growth initiative, the GINI Blueprint reflects a 15-month collaboration between the City of Gainesville and community members. It is a plan devised by 60 community members, 8 organizations and the voices of 182 foreign-born respondents to the 2022 GINI Immigrant Welcoming Survey. This is a living document which will shift as goals are attained and as new voices come to the table.
The GINI Steering Committee has reviewed data, developed the 2021/22 GINI Immigrant Welcome Survey, and held workshops and listening sessions. We have learned that one in ten neighbors is foreign-born. Immigrant residents represent one quarter of Gainesville and Alachua’s growth, and almost one in five new businesses is attributable to this community. Immigrants represent about 14% of spending power in the County ($696 million) and contribute $57 million to state and local taxes.
Building a comprehensive plan requires that we identify opportunities for progress. The Blueprint elaborates on five goals to overcome past inequities: Engaged Communities, Equitable Access, Healthy Communities, Safe Communities and Equitable Education. The goals are in recognition of the different realities faced by immigrant neighbors, acknowledging the roles that race, culture, and economic status play in both perception and treatment. Therefore, these goals include actionable steps intended to strengthen our area Robin Lewy, GINI Initiative Co-Lead with culturally competent, linguistically accessible services, as well as non-bias policies to enhance the safety and inclusion of immigrants and refugees who call Gainesville/Alachua County their home.
Such a plan affirms City and County efforts to support sustainable, innovative, and prosperous communities. We know this work will require adjustments, additions, monitoring, and, most importantly, support from the community. The Steering Committee calls on social service providers, nonprofit organizations, government entities and immigrant community members to engage in this work.
Won’t you join us?
—Robin Lewy, GINI Initiative Co-Lead
*SCOART is a blended application of a SWOT and SOAR strategic planning tool
**Human Rights Coalition of Alachua County
Robin Lewy - Rural Women's Health Project
Ethan Maia de Needell - Rural Women’s Health Project
Veronica Robleto – Human Rights Coalition of Alachua County
Laura Gonzales – Language Access Florida
Susana Gobitas – Santa Fe, ESOL Program
Aisse Diallo – Flavorful
Awa Kaba – Flavorful
Laura Guyer – University of Florida, College of Medicine