Faith Leaders Stand Together to Hold Prayer Circle and Call for Expansion of Access to Driver’s Licenses at Trenton War Memorial
More than 25 faith leaders from diverse faith traditions held a prayer circle and joined residents from across the state to call for improving mobility for thousands of residents by expanding access to driver’s licenses
TRENTON, NJ -- On Thursday, October 18th, faith leaders of diverse faith traditions stood together to call on New Jersey lawmakers to expand access to driver’s licenses in 2018. The faith leaders also held a prayer circle calling New Jerseyans to their moral duty to put humanity first and prioritize our shared values of compassion, hospitality and be welcoming to all. This press conference follows a series of rallies throughout the year with residents across the state calling for this common-sense policy change that will increase mobility for marginalized communities.
Faith leaders spoke to the need of vulnerable residents and families to be able to drive. Those who are most marginalized are facing increasing barriers to accessing a driver’s license including those who are formerly incarcerated, member of the LGBT community, undocumented immigrants, and survivors of domestic violence.
"As a pastor, I have witnessed the anguish of people who need to drive but can't get a license. Not having access to a license makes us all more vulnerable and brings hardship for those that need to drive in order to get to their job and put food on the table. There is also a fear of those who drive without a license and have no insurance. I pray to God and urge you, our elected officials to move this process forward,” said Reverend Moacir Weirich, St. Stephan's Grace Community, Newark, NJ
“We are all created in God’s image. All of us who live here should be able to travel freely and in safety. Allowing all, regardless of immigration status to obtain driver’s licenses improves all of our lives. More drivers will be able to drive legally, with insurance and there will be fewer hit and run accidents. Leviticus teaches us to love your neighbor as yourself. When our neighbors can live better we all benefit,” said Rabbi Faith Joy Dantowitz, Temple B'nai Abraham
Expanding access to driver’s licenses is also expected to increase road safety, boost New Jersey’s economy through collection of fees and insurance payments, and support the well-being of communities.
12 states and the District of Columbia currently have expanded access to driver's license laws.
The Let’s Drive NJ Campaign is supported by a diverse array of faith, labor and community organizations from across the state. More information about the campaign can be found at LetsDriveNJ.org.