June 24, 2011, marked the first anniversary of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a fast-growing bipartisan coalition of mayors and CEOs across the country making the case that sensible immigration reform will spur economic growth. After starting last June with less than 20 Co-Chairs and members, one year later the Partnership membership has passed 300 members, another sign of a growing consensus that immediate immigration reform will drive economic growth and create American jobs.
In a recent speech at the Council on Foreign Relations, Mayor Bloomberg noted the link between the urgency of the Partnership’s message – that making it easier for talented, innovative, and hardworking people to come here and work is critical to our nation’s full economic recovery — and the Partnership’s rapid growth over the last year, saying: “I have to tell you: recruiting new members is one of the easiest pitches I’ve ever made.”
The Partnership’s members are in over 40 states and include mayors of cities with a combined population of over 30 million residents, including both some of the country’s largest cities and towns with less than 5,000 residents. The Partnership’s business leaders work in all sectors of the economy — including immigrant-founded technology start-ups, mid-size manufacturers in the heartland, and powerhouses of the Fortune 500 – and combined, employ almost 4 million people. Mayors and business leaders continue to join the Partnership because they know that immigrants are vital to America’s continued economic growth and we must do more to attract and keep the workers, innovators, and entrepreneurs needed to compete in the 21st century global economy.
Helping the Partnership surpass the 300-member mark was an influential and diverse group of leaders from Tennessee that include Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, the chief of the Nashville Chamber of Commerce, and the CEO of the Rogers Group, one of the top-ten national producers of crushed stone and asphalt, among several others. They exemplify the public and private—local and national—momentum behind the Partnership’s call for bipartisan action to break the stalemate on immigration reform in Washington.
Since its founding a year ago, the Partnership has worked hard in the nation’s capital and across the country. Noteworthy events during the Partnership’s first year have included:
- Testimony by Co-Chairs New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and News Corp. CEO Rupert before the Subcommittee on Immigration in the U.S. House of Representatives
- A policy breakfast bringing representatives from 40 different companies and cities to Washington D.C. to collaborate on ways to press members of Congress for bipartisan action.
- Dozens of visits to Congressional staffers on how smarter immigration will help businesses and cities
- National editorials citing the Partnership as an important new voice for immigration reform and OpEds by members in major regional papers across the country.
- A meeting at the White House, where Mayor Bloomberg and other members of the Partnership made the case for an immigration reform strategy designed to boost the economy by creating jobs.
- Panel discussions around the country with local Chambers of Commerce concerning the need for federal immigration reform.
- The release of a major new report finding that over 40 percent of Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children. Those companies employ over 10 million people worldwide and have collective revenues of $4.2 trillion—a figure greater than the GDP of every country in the world outside the U.S., except only China and Japan.
- A major policy address by Mayor Bloomberg to the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C., addressing the urgent need for bipartisan reforms that will spur the economy.
In the coming year, the Partnership will continue to bring the economic case for immigration nationwide through events, reports, and pressure on Washington to fix our broken immigration system.
The Partnership’s Co-Chairs are Steven A. Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft Corporation; Robert Iger, President and CEO, Walt Disney Co.; J.W. Marriott, Jr., Chairman and CEO of Marriott International, Inc.; Jim McNerney, Chairman, President and CEO of Boeing; Rupert Murdoch, Chairman, CEO and Founder of News Corporation; Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg of New York; Mayor Julián Castro of San Antonio; Mayor Phil Gordon of Phoenix; Mayor Michael Nutter of Philadelphia; and Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles.