Driver’s Licenses for Immigrants Strengthens Families and the Economy

Across the nation, families, business owners, and police officers are calling on lawmakers to bring fairness to all in need of driver’s licenses – an item that many simply take for granted as an award for learning the rules of the road.

Drivers license copyBut for millions of undocumented residents throughout the U.S., the denial of this basic driving privilege has stifled their way of life.

Regardless of citizenship status, all can agree that daily activities require driving. Basic tasks like getting to and from medical care facilities, taking or picking up children from school, participating in family curricular activities, and traveling to and from work, unduly burdens the unlicensed. It also strains states’ limited financial resources.

Denying driver’s licenses to undocumented residents is a law that creates more harm than good and it needs to be changed.
Continue reading “Driver’s Licenses for Immigrants Strengthens Families and the Economy”

Stronger Together: Rural Communities Ready for Immigration Reform

Last fall, in the final push to convince legislators to pass immigration reform – voices that had so far been quiet, spoke up. They were dairymen, potato growers, and ranchers and business owners. They are the voices of rural America.Fernando immigration photo

Small towns and rural communities are the heart and soul of our country. They are the places where many of us grew up; the places where we formed our values and learned about the importance of family and relationships.

Families are at the heart of the push to fix our broken immigration system, this is something rural communities understand well. Continue reading “Stronger Together: Rural Communities Ready for Immigration Reform”

The Symposium in Review: #CellBlocks and #Borderstops… #Human Beings

Re-Posted from the Institute for Pragmatic Practice (www.pragmaticpractice.org)

In the last four decades, mass incarceration and immigration control in the United States has skyrocketed. Our nation has become an engine thatIPPImage pulls people from their communities, removing them from the very fabric that gives them their humanity. Over-policing of everyday lives has made the simple act of walking down one’s street a criminal act. The criminalization of communities is evermore presenting itself as a system of violence against them.

The Institute for Pragmatic Practice held an incredible symposium October 17-18, that brought voice to those affected by incarceration.  Cell Blocks and Border Stops: Transformation in the age of dehumanization brought faces to those who have been invisible behind walls and in communities that are left behind. Continue reading “The Symposium in Review: #CellBlocks and #Borderstops… #Human Beings”

Alliance Cross Training is Vital to Growing the Grassroots

(Post written by Alain Nahimana, posted online by David Fleishman)

Sharing resources between organizations includes putting people on the ground, side-by-side.

It gave me a sense that whether the work we do is statewide or on a federal level, the challenges we face are the same. My name is Alain Nahimana and I am an organizer with Maine People’s Alliance.  A community organizer can work in all environments, not only in his/her comIMG_0283.JPGmunity.

I was joined by a MPA member Sonia Irambona and Grady Burns, canvasser. The three of us were set down in some of Virginia’s toughest turf to canvass for immigration reform. Harold Folley of Virginia Organizing even made sure we had the number for the police handy. These were towns considered hostile, right in the middle of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s district. (Virginia’s 7th District) Continue reading “Alliance Cross Training is Vital to Growing the Grassroots”

Delaying the Vote in Immigration Reform Has Not Silenced the Movement

We have the votes. Supporters of immigration reform in the House of Representatives have said it on many occasions, even before the Congressional recess,http://rt.com/files/news/1e/ae/c0/00/us-immigration-protest-1.jpg that the votes exist in the House to pass immigration reform.

Delaying the vote seems to be the House opposition’s approach to waiting for the immigration reform movement to divide itself, disengage from the efforts, or even disperse. Continue reading “Delaying the Vote in Immigration Reform Has Not Silenced the Movement”

Risking Personal Freedom for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Marco Saavedra sacrificed his own freedom to demand the immediate release of the low-priority detainees found in detention centers across the country whom could be spared from deportation simply by applying prosecutorial discretion.  He is right.  Not only will releasing non-criminal to low-level offenders reunite families, it will save the United States

Marco Saavedra

a ton of money.

In July 2012, Mr. Saavedra took bold and heroic actions as he and his team of freedom fighters was intentionally detained to shed light on the shortcomings of the newly implemented

Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, commonly termed, the “Dream Act.”  Continue reading “Risking Personal Freedom for Comprehensive Immigration Reform”

100 Women Arrested in DC to Demand Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Pressure is intensifying on the House of Representatives to pass a comprehensive immigration bill this October that includes a clear pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants. The action, led by We Belong Together, brought hundreds of people from across the country to increase pressure on the House and re energize the movement for a national day of action on October 5th. We Belong together Action 4 Throughout the country, tens of thousands of Americans and Aspiring Americans will take their voices to the streets, to their representatives and to their neighbors calling for comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform. Continue reading “100 Women Arrested in DC to Demand Comprehensive Immigration Reform”

From Grape Boycott to Great Buy-cott: Colorado Groups Bring New Spin to Old Idea in Campaign for Immigration Reform

The grape boycotts organized by the United Farm Workers in the late 1960s were part of a groundbreaking strategy to engage consumers in the fight for fair treatment for immigrant farmworkers. Fast forward to 2013, and groups in Colorado campaigning for economy-boosting buy-cott.purpleimmigration reform with a path to citizenship are putting a new spin on a tried and true idea. Instead of a boycott, they’re organizing a “buy-cott” to push immigration reform forward.

The website for the Colorado Statewide Buy-cott explains the basic idea driving the effort: “Vote with your wallet and shop at local businesses that support comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship!”

And that’s exactly what residents of Denver, Aurora, Pueblo, Greeley, Longmont, Ft. Morgan, Grand Junction, Durango, Glendwood Springs, Carbondale, Aspen and other cities and towns across Colorado are doing from August 4-10: they’re putting their spending money to work in local businesses whose owners have declared their support for immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

The statewide buy-cott is a joint effort of a range of Colorado-based groups, including the Colorado Main Street Alliance, Colorado Progressive Coalition (CPC), Rights for All People (RAP), Colorado National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), Bend the Arc, and Colorado Immigrant Rights Coalition (CIRC).

The participating organizations announced the buy-cott with a series of local press events around the state on July 29. The idea has clearly caught on: nearly 400 local businesses across the state have signed on to the effort and put up a poster in their business windows declaring their support for immigration reform with a path to citizenship.

The buy-cott has generated lots of local press coverage, too, including in major papers like the Denver Post and in smaller local papers and media outlets across the state.

 

The Alliance Hosts Our First National Conference in Baltimore and DC

A week ago, to the day, the Alliance for A Just Society hosted our 2013 Summer Conference with all our national affiliates (#Justice2013). There was no better way to kick it off than taking close to 200 participants into Washington DC and hosting three separate actions on the Hill.

As of this year, we are proud to note the following states affiliated with the Alliance for a Just Society and Main Street Alliance: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, New York, Virginia, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Maine, Florida, Colorado and Connecticut.

 

State affiliate.Alliance and MainStreet

The morning of July 18 began with The Main Street Alliance hosting a forum on “Too Big To Fail”—addressing the policy conundrum where favors are given to Big Banks at the expense of the common good. Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), FDIC Vice Chairman Thomas Hoenig, economist Simon Johnson, and a panel of small business owners and policy experts each spoke of the need for renewed attention to megabank limits in order to stabilize the financial system and support the Main Street economy. Continue reading “The Alliance Hosts Our First National Conference in Baltimore and DC”

Good Medicine: Better Rx Policies Addressed with Senate

Grassroots delegates from 10 states joined Senator Rockefeller’s office to host a town hall today at the Capitol Senate Budget Committee Room. Also supported by Budget Committee Chair Senator Patty Murray’s office, the town hall was held to address health disparities, the national budget and specifically the importance of the Medicare Prescription Drug Savings Act.

Citing austerity economics and the push for a “Grand Bargain” as key factors in efforts to cut Americans from receiving benefits through Medicare and Medicaid, The Alliance for a Just Society set the stage for the discussion. “There are cost savings options available to the American people—that make pharmaceutical companies responsible for paying their own fair share and stop the handout of taxpayer dollars to supersize corporate profits, “ Mauricio Ayon Political Director of Washington Community Action Network and a member of the Alliance. Continue reading “Good Medicine: Better Rx Policies Addressed with Senate”