#Resistance Activists Drive Call to Legislative Leadership

 

#Resistance Activists Demand NJ Legislative Leadership “Post Bill to Expand Access to Drivers Licenses For a Vote Now!”

Progressive activists are driving calls to urge Assembly Speaker Coughlin to post bill A4743 up for vote to expand access to drivers licenses to more residents including undocumented immigrants.

NEW JERSEY--January 10th, 2019- In response to NJ legislature stalling on posting bills A4743/S3229 for a vote, which would expand access to drivers licenses to undocumented residents and improve access for countless marginalized communities, resistance groups across New Jersey are urging their supporters to call Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin and lawmakers to post the bill for a vote now.  

Resistance groups, which have grown in strength in the last few years, were crucial to the “blue wave” in New Jersey’s last congressional election, turning several seats in favor of more progressive candidates. They have also helped to ensure lawmakers uphold important policies in New Jersey. Leaders of the movement strongly support legislation that would expand access to drivers licenses to all in NJ and consider it a top priority to see it move forward in the current legislative session.

Full list of resistance groups and campaign partners is below.

“We urge legislators to post A4743/S3229 for a vote now to expand access to drivers licenses. This is one of most important issues affecting thousands of New Jersey residents  - it's about road safety for all of us, and about keeping immigrant families together,” said Marcia Marley of Blue Wave NJ. “It's high time the legislature make this commonsense legislation a priority.”

“Action Together New Jersey, a progressive grassroots organization with 18,000+ members across the state, supports legislation (A4743/S3229) to provide drivers licenses to approximately 500,000 New Jersey residents. The organization has added its name to the Let’s Drive NJ coalition in an effort to advocate for safer roads and highlight the sense of urgency surrounding this bill that has been overdue for more than a decade,”said Winn Khuong, Action Together NJ.  “We are asking the state legislature to support this common-sense policy which will boost New Jersey’s economy by approximately $240 million and protect our immigrant community from the Trump Administration’s divisive and racially-charged policies.”

“Westfield 20/20 stands in solidarity with Let’s Drive NJ campaign and with families who do not have the simple dignity of having a driver’s license. The New Jersey we are fighting for must represent the values we seek to uphold. While Trump and his administration continue to attack immigrant communities, we are ready to hold NJ legislators accountable to their promises. We strongly urge the legislature to move forward with this bill now,” said Lillian Duggan of Westfield 20/20, a grassroots activist group.

“There are families in New Jersey and in our own community who cannot drive their kids to schools, or to the emergency room in an urgent situation. The ability to care for your family and fulfill basic needs should not depend on your immigration status, especially as our public transport system is so unreliable.” said Kelly Quirk with SOMA Action in South Orange and Maplewood. “These bills have broad support from voters across the state. We call on NJ legislative leadership to post A4743/S3229 for a vote now.”

"The legislation to expand access to drivers licenses to all is just common-sense. It would make the roads safer, lower insurance premiums for everyone, and increase state revenue through license fees. It benefits everyone in the state! It's baffling this legislation hasn't passed already, and it would be a major disappointment if it didn't move forward in the very near future. Indivisible NJ-5 is watching this bill closely as the 2019 Assembly elections approach," said Madeline Joy Trimble with Indivisible NJ-5.

Legislators in Trenton need to know we are still paying attention in 2019.  We canvassed, organized, and voted this past November to make sure our representatives represent our values and we will continue making waves to ensure that progressive issues, including expanding access to drivers licenses, take top priority, said Katie Ingersoll with the South Jersey Women for Progressive Change. “New Jersey lawmakers must prioritize the legislation to expand access to drivers licenses. We stand in solidarity with undocumented immigrants and all marginalized communities that cannot access a driver’s licenses in a state where driving is a necessity.”     

If the legislation, A4743 and S3229, passes, New Jersey would be the 13th state to expand access to drivers licenses, following the likes of California, Utah, Washington, and the District of Columbia which have successfully implemented similar expansions.

The Let’s Drive NJ Campaign advocates for legislation to expand access to drivers licenses to all qualified residents, regardless of immigration status. The newly proposed bills, introduced by Assemblywoman Annette Quijano and Senator Joseph Vitale, would expand access to drivers licenses and address numerous privacy concerns with implementing the Real ID Act in New Jersey. The legislation has over 22 assembly sponsors and 6 sponsors in the Senate.

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.

Resistance Supports include:

Action Together NJ

Blue Wave NJ

Force the Issue NJ

Glen Rock People Power
Long Valley Indivisible

NJ Indivisible 5

NJ7 Forward

NJ-08 for Progress

NJ 11 for Change

People Power Somerset NJ

SOMA Action

South Jersey Women for Progressive Change

Westfield 20/20

 

All Other Supporters:

1199SEIU

32BJ SEIU

American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey

American Friends Service Committee

Angel for Action Inc.

Anti-Poverty Network of New Jersey

Bangladeshi American Women’s Development Initiative (BAWDI)

Beacon - Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Summit

CAIR New Jersey – Council on American -Islamic Relations

Camden Coalition for Healthcare Providers

Casa Freehold

Catholic Charities Diocese of Metuchen

Catholic Charities Diocese of Trenton

Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of Newark

Central Jersey Coalition Against Endless War

Central Jersey Democratic Socialists

Central Unitarian Church of Paramus- Social Action Committee

Centro Comunitario CEUS

Community of Friends in Action

Drug Policy Alliance

El Centro Hispanoamericano

Fair & Welcoming Coalition of Mercer County

Fair and Welcoming Communities Coalition of Somerset County

Faith in New Jersey

First Friends NJ & NY

Garden State Equality

Greater Red Bank Women’s Initiative

Haiti Solidarity Network of the North East

Hispanic Family Center of Southern New Jersey

Hudson Civic Action

Ironbound Community Corp.

Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)

Latin American Legal Defense & Education Fund (LALDEF)

Latino Action Network

Laundry, Distribution & Food Service Joint Board, Workers United/SEIU

Make the Road New Jersey

Morristown Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

NAACP New Jersey State Conference

National Council of Jewish Women, West Morris Section

National Organization of Women (NOW) – NJ

New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice

New Jersey Citizen Action

New Jersey Communities United

New Jersey Institute of Social Justice

New Jersey Muslim Lawyers Association (NJMLA)

New Jersey Policy Perspective

New Jersey Tenants Organization

New Jersey Working Families Alliance

New Labor

Not in Our Town Princeton (NiOT)

OASIS

Reform Jewish Voice of New Jersey

RU Dreamers

Salvation and Social Justice

Statewide Parent Advocacy Network, Inc.

The Farmworker Support Committee (CATA)

The Meta Theatre Company

The Social Responsibilities Council of the Unitarian Society of Ridgewood

Union County Young Democrats

Unitarian Society of Ridgewood

United Steelworkers (USW) District 4

UU Faith Action NJ

Veterans for American Ideals NY-NJ

Wind of the Spirit