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I-4 mayors pen letter to Biden offering help to Ukrainian refugees

Orlando’s Buddy Dyer, St. Petersburg’s Ken Welch and Tampa’s Jane Castor say their cities stand ready to help resettle those fleeing the Russian invasion.
From left, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor co-signed a letter to President Joe Biden saying their cities stand ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees.
From left, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch and Tampa Mayor Jane Castor co-signed a letter to President Joe Biden saying their cities stand ready to welcome Ukrainian refugees. [ Times files ]
Published Apr. 13|Updated Apr. 13

The mayors of three cities near or along Central Florida’s I-4 corridor have written to President Joe Biden to signal their willingness to work with federal authorities to welcome “victims of Russian aggression in Ukraine.”

“We are prepared to work with federal and local partners to ensure that refugees of this terrible crisis have the support and assistance that they need to join our communities — if they so wish,” wrote Tampa Mayor Jane Castor, St. Petersburg Mayor Ken Welch and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer in a letter Monday.

The mayors note that “for generations, Florida cities have welcomed refugees with open arms” and pointed to local organizations that have experience integrating refugees into their communities.

The mayors thanked Biden for his efforts in combating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which began in late February, and asked the president to contact them if they could help in refugee assistance efforts.

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