As Deputy Chief of Special Initiatives in the Office of Mayor Bill Peduto, Betty Cruz led the strategic development of numerous mayoral priorities in the City of Pittsburgh including Welcoming Pittsburgh, a comprehensive plan to build a more welcoming experience for the city’s growing immigrant community, and Live Well, a wellness agenda focused on increasing access to affordable healthcare and expanding participation in meals programming for youth. In 2016, she launched Change Agency, a social enterprise to elevate civic initiatives including implementation of a countywide community-designed immigrant integration plan that exists independent of government.
Originally from Miami, Betty is the daughter of Cuban refugees and knows first-hand the challenges immigrants face seeking to establish a better tomorrow. She is a first-generation college graduate and was recently selected as one 40 attendees to the Next City’s 2017 Vanguard conference in
Betty talked to us about her work helping immigrants feel more welcome in Pittsburgh, made more daunting by the 2016 presidential election.