By Mike Andrew
PSARA Board member Leno Rose-Avila has been appointed to head the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs by Mayor Mike McGinn. He began work on June 1. Leno has served as executive director of the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, of the Social Justice Fund NW, as a regional director of Amnesty International, and as a director of the Peace Corps.
The Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs was established by the City Council in February to help the City of Seattle address the needs of Seattle’s growing immigrant and refugee communities. City Council member Bruce Harrell held hearings on the issue last fall.
The office will help the City engage immigrant and refugee communities in making policy related to their needs, and in improving the delivery of services. It will also address disparities in access to education, jobs, health, and other opportunities.
Leno will serve as its first director and will report directly to Mayor McGinn.
Leno will also retain his position on the PSARA Executive Board.