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For some people half the battle of voting is getting to the polls, but this year voters can get some relief from a slightly unexpected source: Uber and Lyft.
Both ride share companies are offering free or discounted rides to voters on Nov. 6, and both companies are partnering with voting organizations that encourage people to register and then go out to vote.
According to Pew Research, 3 percent of registered voters who did not vote in 2016 cited “transportation problems” as the main reason they didn’t vote. Additionally, 14 percent of people cited that they were “too busy or conflicting schedule,” and “inconvenient hours or polling places,” which are issues that tend to affect low income communities.
This is why Lyft in particular said it wants to offer free rides to underserved communities.
Uber said in a press release it is partnering with When We All Vote to get people registered and with #VoteTogether and Democracy Works to offer free rides to polling places.
Uber is also sharing voter registration resources with users in the app.
In order to get a free ride to the polls on Elections Day, users will need to open the app, search for their polling place using the “get to the polls” button, and order a ride.
It appears that users will not be able to use the free ride for another location as the polling place search bar is separate from the standard location search bar.
Lyft announced its Election Day initiatives back in August, partnering with Vote.org, Turbo Vote, Nonprofit Vote, and other organizations which will distribute promo codes for 50 percent off rides to polling places. Lyft has also partnered with Vote Latino, the National Federation of the Blind, and Urban League affiliates to provide free rides to underserved communities.
Like Uber, Lyft is also encouraging its users to register to vote through the app, and partnered with When We All Vote and National Voter Registration Day to amplify their get out the vote efforts.
More information about how to get a free or discounted ride to your polling location can be found on Uber and Lyft’s websites.
In New Jersey, the deadline to register to vote was Oct. 16.
Uber’s website is www.uber.com
Lyfts’ website is www.lyft.com
09 January 2017
TRENTON – Two pieces of legislation sponsored by Senator M. Teresa Ruiz and Senator Fred H. Madden focusing on helping the homeless in New Jersey received was signed into law today.
“It must be a top priority of government to protect the health, safety and welfare of our residents,” said Senator Ruiz (D-Essex). “Providing basic government documents to those without a permanent residence free of charge is the right thing to do, since these documents are vital to accessing any number of services and to obtaining housing and employment.”
“This is a small way we can help those who have fallen on hard times and it’s the right thing to do,” said Senator Madden (D-Gloucester/Camden). “Those who are homeless may not have the ability to pay for an identification card or a copy of a birth certificate, which could potentially prevent them from getting the critical services they need.”
The first bill signed into law, S-2350, allows a homeless person to obtain, duplicate, or renew a non-driver identification card without paying fees to the Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC). In order for the fee to be waived, the law requires a homeless person to submit proof of temporary residence through a social worker or the coordinator of an emergency shelter for the homeless where the person is temporarily residing.
Currently, residents who are 14 years of age and older may apply to the MVC for a non-driver identification card, for a fee of $24. The card is issued solely for the purpose of providing identification and is not a license to drive.
The second law, S-2351 will permit homeless people to obtain free certified copies of their birth certificates by submitting a request for the certificate to the State Registrar of Vital Statistics through a social worker or through the coordinator of the emergency shelter for the homeless where the person is temporarily residing.
The law would also amend current law to waive any fee associated with attaining a certified copy of a birth certificate.
Both pieces of legislation cleared the Senate and the Assembly unanimously.
S-2350 takes effect in August and S-2351 takes effect immediately.
Fortune publishes the oddest stuff. This intriguing article covers the burgeoning artisanal food prison business, thriving because its labor force is prison inmates that earn – get this – 60¢ an hour. Although, Colorado Corrections Institute director Steve Smith points out, a whole $3-400 a month can be earned with incentives (emphasis mine). Naturally, the prison industry itself profits handsomely from these relationships as middleman and overseer, making it pretty clear what has been driving Big Money’s strategy to lock up 1% of the United States population. The US is returning to a slave labor model … and calling it “help” for prison inmates. UK politics professor Genevieve LeBaron says,
The practice has long been controversial. Prisoners earn meager wages and have no recourse if they’re mistreated, LeBaron argues. Plus, they can take jobs from law-abiding citizens. “It’s hugely concerning in the face of economic instability and unemployment.”
Buzzfeed writes: 8 Artisanal Foods You Didn’t Know Were Made By Prisoners: “Inmates help make a surprising amount of the feel-good food products you eat, from cage-free eggs to goat cheese sold at Whole Foods.” Artisanal foods are the high-priced items sold in elitist markets like Whole Foods, and their high price tags are supposed to reflect intensive care and handling by skilled workers. Here’s a definition of artisanal I like:
In Ye Goode Olde Days, most things people owned and consumed were made by hand. Artisans were skilled craftspeople who created products that required extensive training and specialization to produce. In Medieval Europe, artisans formed guilds to set standards for their crafts and prevent competition. But when production moved to factories, machines and factory workers replaced skilled craftspeople. The mechanization of food processing came later, but today, most foods sold in the United States are processed in factories. Obesity and diabetes followed.
Free and open to the public but registration is required.
NJ State Senator Loretta Weinberg, D.O. Majority Leader will open the conference and the keynote will feature Ms Elizabeth M. Shea, Assistant Commissioner of Division of Developmental Disabilities followed by a panel conversation about housing options in NJ by Gail Levinson, Executive Director SHA, and Tom Toronto, President United Way of Bergen County. Additional speakers will include: Leizer Gewirtzman, Holly Martins, Jennifer Joyce, and Teresa Herrero-Taylor. Speakers will be addressing: Employment, SSI/Medicaid Eligibilities, Advocacy for Parents, and Life Care Planning and Support.
The conference is being organized by J-ADD, OHEL & JCCOTP, with many local community organizations participating as well including JFS Clifton-Passaic, Bergen County Y/JCC, JFS Bergen in Wayne, and Sinai. Register here.
Images licensed under Creative Commons terms are free to use although they do have some strings attached to them (creators want to be named, for one thing). Photopin is a repository where you can find plenty of “free” Creative Commons pictures.
Getty Images is a high quality stock image bureau which now offers 35 million photos for free use. BBC reports on the reason for this policy shift:
Getty said it had made the move after realising thousands of its images were being used without attribution. “Our content was everywhere already,” said Craig Peters, a business development executive at the Seattle-based company … In essence, it is admitting defeat. By offering the ability to embed photos, Getty is saying it cannot effectively police the use of its images in every nook and cranny of the internet.
There aren’t nearly as many resources for young men looking for a suit or help renting a tux, but that doesn’t mean help is not available! My own son was gifted a free tuxedo rental from Operation Prom, so we know that as of last week, this program was working great (see details below). Post-high school women can find a fancy dress at Catherine’s Closet in Newark, so if you are a woman past high school age, visit there or just ask other giveaway shops if they can help you out. There’s never any harm in asking.
If none of the resources on this page get you the results you need, don’t be discouraged. Keep looking! There are quite a few organizations providing free or low cost prom dresses in New Jersey and around the country. Students, also ask your guidance counsellor if they know of a local program which provides free or low-cost dresses, suits or tuxes, or try reaching out to a church or youth center in your neighborhood. Remember: help is always one ask away. If you spend some time searching the net, you may turn up some good resources (this is how I found most of what’s listed here). And consider enlisting the help of a reference librarian – they are extraordinarily good at this sort of thing and most of them are delighted to assist.
If you’re a person wanting to give away a fancy dress, prom dress, accessories, or you would like to volunteer at a prom giveaway drive, I’m certain any of these organizations would love to hear from you, so just reach out!
NEWARK – Catherine’s Closet, Inc.
Distribution at 550 Broad Street, Newark NJ 973-616-2060
On Two Dates from 8:30am – 12pm (noon)
Saturday, April 13, 2013 and Saturday, May 11, 2013
If you haven’t been to this gem of an educational and art venue, now’s a good time to go. On site parking for a modest fee, beautiful building.
For more information, call 973-596-6550 or visit