Make the Road New Jersey Launches “Respect and Dignity” Policy Platform
Policy Platform Provides Roadmap for State, Local and Federal Government to Build a Recovery from the Pandemic that Prioritizes Working Class Immigrants and Communities of Color
Elected Officials Joined Launch to Respond to the Platform
New Jersey – February 20, 2021: Today, members of the community based organization Make the Road New Jersey launched a bold, sweeping “Respect and Dignity” policy platform, joined by local, state and federal elected officials. To fully recover from the pandemic, bold and transformative measures are necessary to prevent worsening racial and economic inequality. MRNJ’s Respect and Dignity Platform presents a sweeping set of policies that prioritize immigrants, and working-class people of color in New Jersey.
Read the platform here: Respect and Dignity Platform – Make the Road New Jersey (maketheroadnj.org)
Proposals include: using wage boards to raise the wage for essential workers and workers left behind from the $15 minimum wage, creating a state fund for workers left behind from federal COVID aid, transferring school funding from school safety officers to student support services and requiring transparency in the state budget on police spending, non-citizen voting in local elections and fully funding the state’s universal representation program for immigrant detainees. At the federal level, proposals include a pathway to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants, creating an essential workers bill of rights and passing anti-trust legislation to break up monopolies like Amazon.
“My wife, daughter and I lost our jobs at the beginning of the pandemic and haven’t received a penny in aid. While we – and a half million undocumented immigrants in New Jersey go hungry, billionaires in New Jersey are wealthier today than they were March 1st. We need a recovery for all of us. Congress must pass $2,000 monthly stimulus payments and our state must include income replacement for excluded workers,” said Fernando Saenz, member leader of Make the Road New Jersey.
“We are here to sound a warning cry — as our state and country recover, bold and transformative measures are necessary to prevent the worst racial and economic inequality in a century. Our Respect and Dignity platform provides a roadmap for policymakers to dismantle systems that harm immigrants and people of color, enhance worker safety and voice on the job and build a world where everyone can thrive,” said Sara Cullinane, director of Make the Road New Jersey.
Make the Road New Jersey builds the power of immigrant and working class communities to achieve dignity and respect. Since its founding in late 2014, MRNJ has won numerous policy changes including municipal IDs and local paid sick leave laws, and at the state level, access to drivers licenses for undocumented immigrants, creating the state’s first – and nation’s second – publicly funded legal representation program for immigrant detainees, severely limiting the relationship between ICE and local law enforcement, expanding financial aid and occupational licenses to Dreamers and undocumented immigrants, and for workers, a graduated increase to $15 minimum wage that includes teen workers, the first in the nation guaranteed severance pay, the strongest anti-wage theft laws in the country and an enforceable set of workplace safety protections for workers during the pandemic.