A RESOLUTION OF THE COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF LANCASTER RECOGNIZING AND COMMENDING SHEILA MASTROPIETRO FOR HER THIRTY-THREE YEARS OF SERVICE TO THE LANCASTER OFFICE OF CHURCH WORLD SERVICE AND HER INESTIMATABLE CONTRIBUTIONS TO REFUGEES FROM AROUND THE WORLD WHO, WITH HER HELP, HAVE MADE LANCASTER THEIR HOME.

            WHEREAS, Sheila Mastropietro has been the face of welcome to thousands of refugees and immigrants who have arrived in Lancaster since 1987; and

            WHEREAS, Sheila Mastropietro has overseen the resettlement of nearly 6,100 arriving refugees in the Lancaster community during her 33-tenure leading the Lancaster office of the Church World Service; and

            WHEREAS, refugees from Afghanistan, Albania, Bhutan, Burma, Congo, Iraq, Somalia, Syria, the former Soviet Union and elsewhere have strengthened the cultural fabric of the Lancaster community, opened businesses and spurred economic growth, and ensured Lancaster’s prosperity for future generations; and

            WHEREAS, Ms. Mastropietro’s efforts have contributed to Lancaster’s recognition as “the refugee capital of America,” where 20 times more refugees per capita have been welcomed than anywhere else in the United States; and

WHEREAS, Ms. Mastropietro began the Lancaster office of the Church World Service and initially served as its lone staff member; and has overseen the growth of the office to now include 29 staff members providing services through 11 programs with an annual operating budget of $2.3 million; and

            WHEREAS, under Ms. Mastropietro’s leadership, Church World Service’s Lancaster office has grown from a refugee resettlement site to an organization that supports the integration of immigrants, and aids unaccompanied children, Cuban/Haitian entrants, DACA recipients, and American-born survivors of natural disasters; and

            WHEREAS, with a staff that speaks Swahili, Arabic, Tigrinya, Somali, Nepali, Hindi, Italian, and Spanish, Ms. Mastropietro’s office locates employment for immigrants, supplies skilled interpreters and translators to community businesses, government entities and schools, provides English as a Second Language classes in the workplace, defends the rights of migrant children in legal proceedings, and provides low-cost legal immigration services including citizenship, family reunification, green card applications and asylum.

            NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Council of the City of Lancaster that the Council commends Sheila Mastropietro for her 33 years of outstanding service to the City of Lancaster and those who have made the Lancaster community their home.

Danene Sorace, Mayor & Bernard W. Harris Jr., City Clerk