Programa de licencias de conducir para indocumentados en Connecticut ofrece enormes beneficios | Connecticut’s undocumented driver licensing program provides many benefits

Connecticut drive-only license
License image courtesy of Connecticut Department of Motor Vehicles

Connecticut está disfrutando un éxito enorme con su programa de licencias para conducir para residentes indocumentados. Beneficia a residentes, la policía – que ya no pierden tiempo con las complejidades de procesar violaciones automovilísticos cuando el chofer no tiene licencia, las autoescuelas y también ha producido ingresos para el estado. Es un modelo ejemplar para otros estados. Ver el reporte (en inglés) de WGBH.

Connecticut is enjoying great success with its drive-only license program for undocumented immigrants. It benefits residents, police, state coffers and driving schools – and it’s a great model for other states to take note of. Read the WGBH article. read more

NJ State Senators act to end prison-based gerrymandering

Prison-based gerrymandering is destructive to the families of incarcerated individuals. The NJ State legislator is trying to end this practice #p2

Free or Discounted Rides to Polls on Election Day (Nov. 6th) by Uber & Lyft

By Olivia Rizzo of NJ Advance Media for NJ.com

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.

free ride to voteAccording 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

Link to nj.com article

Know your voter rights – and where to get help if your vote is challenged

Several states are holding local elections today. It’s important to know what your voter rights are and where to seek help if you feel that anyone has blocked you from exercising your Constitutional right to vote.

A good place to turn for information about your rights is the League of Women Voters. If you have questions about voting issues call their voting rights hotline website Vote411.org. Visit the website or

Call one of these national hotlines:
1-866-OUR-VOTE (866-687-8683)
1-888-VE-Y-VOTA (en Español)
1-888-API-VOTE (Asian multilingual assistance)
1-844-418-1682 (Arabic)

Here’s some specific information they shared about New Jersey voter rights:

  • 1st time voters who register in person may be asked to show ID.
  • 1st time voters who register by mail can satisfy the ID requirement by filling in their Social Security Number or NJ Driver’s License number on the registration form
  • At the polls, voters who have already not satisfied the ID requirement can be asked to show proof of address. That proof can be a piece of mail addressed to the voter.
  • If you cannot satisfy the ID requirement, you can ask for a provisional ballot. Lack of ID cannot stop you from voting.
  • read more

    Inspiring messages of strength and hope in music videos by First Nation youth

    Many Paths
    Source: Many Paths … “The place where I was born is perfect”
    Worth music video group shot
    Source: Worth music video

    Adams Lake (all girl) Indian Band’s “Worthy” carries a message of hope for youth:

    The light will glow and inspire your journey … when you get a little older everything will be all right… you are worthy, you are worthy

    Many Paths music video
    Source: Many Paths music video

    “Many Paths” with Kawacatoose First Nation youth

    I’m going to keep my head up and make better decisions. You have to walk in my shoes to understand my position … If there’s one thing that a native people lack, the love and care – so unfair as I’m looking back … We walk the land of many paths, a narrow road that will lead us back to a life that we had …

    When the Dust Settles
    Source: When the Dust Settles

    “When the Dust Settles” by Oxford House, Manitoba

    … so many can relate with these broken-down homes … with a little bit of pride and a little bit of hope … we have been blinded with all we have been through, we’re always reminded it’s time we live true. When the dust settled you can see clearly, there’s hope where our home is, hold your tears. read more

    Gov. Murphy will provide $2.1M for free legal help for NJ immigrants in need

    New Americans in NJ
    Source: Immigration Council

    Newark, NJ – Governor Phil Murphy has announced that he intends to allocate $2.1M to fund free legal representation for immigrants facing detention or deportation who cannot afford private attorneys. In New Jersey, the vast majority of immigrant detainees fight their deportation cases without an attorney. It is not surprising that only 14% of unrepresented detainees are successful and able to remain in the United States, given the complexities of our immigration laws and the challenges of gathering evidence while incarcerated. Individuals facing deportation have no right to appointed counsel.

    “While the funding will not be enough to ensure representation for all of the approximately 2,000 immigrants currently detained in New Jersey detention facilities for civil immigration violations, it is a promising first step towards protecting the due process rights of both long-time New Jersey residents with deep ties to our communities and who have families who would be devastated by their detention and deportation, as well as recently arrived immigrants fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries,” said Nicole Miller, Legal Services Director for the American Friends Service Committee’s Immigrant Rights Program (AFSC) in Newark, NJ. “AFSC has been representing immigrant detainees for over 20 years in New Jersey and we have seen firsthand the significant impact that legal representation has on a detainee’s ability to present their case to an immigration judge. It also ensures that detainees are treated with dignity and respect as they navigate a dehumanizing immigration system that tears families and communities apart.”

    “We will continue to advocate on behalf of immigrant detainees and look forward to a day where the state of New Jersey fully funds a universal representation program that provides access to counsel to all immigrants detained in New Jersey and facing deportation,” stated Chia-Chia Wang, AFSC’s Director of Organizing and Advocacy.

    AFSC, the ACLU of New Jersey and the Seton Hall Law School Immigrant Rights Clinic recently issued a report entitled “The Meaning of Counsel in the Immigration System: New Jersey Case Stories”, that highlights the importance of access to counsel for detained immigrants in New Jersey by documenting the stories of eleven New Jersey immigrants detained in immigration detention centers, many of whom are AFSC clients.

    Trump attacked workers’ pay and rights in 2017. Here are the worst violations.

    McDonalds NYC demo
    McDonalds NYC Demonstration for workers rights & fair pay Source: IUF.org

    The focus of the Economic Policy Institute’s (EPI) report issued on January 12, 2018 is in its name: Ten actions that hurt workers during Trump’s first year: How Trump and Congress further rigged the economy in favor of the wealthy

    See the article for facts about how workers are affected by each action on this list:

    McDonalds NYC demo
    McDonalds NYC Demonstration for workers rights & fair pay Source: IUF.org
  • Enacting tax cuts that overwhelmingly favor the wealthy over the average worker
  • Taking billions out of workers’ pockets by weakening or abandoning regulations that protect their pay
  • Blocking workers from access to the courts by allowing mandatory arbitration clauses in employment contracts
  • Pushing immigration policies that hurt all workers
  • Rolling back regulations that protect worker pay and safety
  • Stacking the Federal Reserve Board with candidates friendlier to Wall Street than to working families
  • Ensuring Wall Street can pocket more of workers’ retirement savings
  • Stacking the Supreme Court against workers by appointing Neil Gorsuch
  • Trying to take affordable health care away from millions of working people
  • Undercutting key worker protection agencies by nominating anti-worker leaders
  • read more

    Join John Legend in the conversation to FreeAmerica

    John Legend invites you to join Free America
    John Legend invites you to join FreeAmerica

    Join the conversation with John Legend on his listening tour of American prisons for the FreeAmerica project.

    “FreeAmerica is a multi-year culture campaign initiated by John Legend to change the national conversation about our country’s misguided policies and transform America’s criminal justice system.”

    Its ambitious goal is to end mass incarceration in the United States of America. Get involved.

    Youth incarceration
    Source: freeamerica.org

    Phil Murphy apoya a Puerto Rico en su hora de necesidad

    Photo Phil Murphy, Puerto Rican Convention Sept 30
    Fuente: Roberto Bustamente

    Elizabeth – El candidato demócrata para gobernador de New Jersey Phil Murphy prometió trabajar mano a mano con los puertorriqueños en New Jersey para superar los estragos del Huracán María y reiteró su solidaridad con miles de familias, ancianos y niños afectados en la isla.

    “Yo siento la misma preocupación de ustedes, porque la crisis humanitaria nos afecta a todos”, dijo el líder demócrata durante la Convención Anual del Congreso Boricua en Elizabeth, en la cual se rindió un minuto de silencio en la memoria del lider puertorriqueño Eliu Rivera, ex -director de la agencia PACO fallecido el 30 de septiembre.

    “Los puertorriqueños son nuestros compatriotas estadounidenses y ellos nos necesitan más que nunca”, enfatizó Murphy tras indicar que New Jersey es el hogar de casi medio millón de puertorriqueños. Al responder las preguntas relacionadas con la ayuda humanitaria puntualizó: “el pueblo de Puerto Rico se enfrenta a un largo camino por recorrer para volver a la normalidad, y necesita nuestro apoyo”.

    “Washington debe actuar de manera agresiva, rápida y decisiva para acelerar la ayuda humanitaria a Puerto Rico”, indicó Murphy, quien mantiene directa comunicación con el gobernador de Puerto Rico.

    Murphy aseguró que trabajará por una economía sólida y justa para todos. “Tenemos que estar seguros que nuestra economía sea fuerte para que podamos beneficiar a toda la población y seguir ayudando a nuestras comunidades”.

    La convención puertorriqueña ha sido organizada por el Puerto Rican Congress de New Jersey y Lydia Valencia es su presidenta y CEO.

    Nick Cannon kills it in ‘Stand for What’ video

    Source: Nick Cannon Stand for What
    Nick Cannon’s Stand for What via YouTube

    Published Sep 24, 2017


    Stand For what?!
    You want me to stand for a song that continues to remind me of all the harms that have done me wrong?
    Stand for what?!
    For your Army that none of our sons truly belong
    Stand for what?
    The 100 years it took them to convince Congress to become the anthem after 40 failed attempts
    Stand for what?
    Your forefathers who really just Pimps.
    Stand for What?
    A song about War, not freedom
    That’s how you want to lead them
    Brainwash your people? that’s how you want to treat em
    Slavemasters whips to Cops night sticks, that’s how you continue to beat em.
    Stand for what
    the beginning of Slavery in 1619
    Or the end of those Black Marines of 1814
    That’s really what the lyrics are about
    They may have taken the word slave out
    but they forget to remove the slave connotations from their brains and they mouth The mentality to make America Greater than your imagination is how you pout
    Hating because we burned down their White House
    Gave proof through the night, that its light out
    For the old elitist white man thinking
    Drunk off they ass with power at baseball games singing and drinking

    Man stand for what?

    Stand for something or fall for dumb shit!

    Stand for what

    To salute the Red White and Blue, on a Flag where my Colors not reflected

    Stand for what
    To uphold laws that were embedded to have my community negatively affected
    Stand for what
    Your racist systemic melodies of mind manipulating rhetoric?
    Did you know the government pays Sports organizations for plays, to make people more patriotic
    This MK Ultra Soul control needs to stop it
    I can still love my country and hate that fucked up song about rockets, and bombs bursting air
    Reminds me of Charlottesville’s vicious glares
    And police shootings with no care like the dash cameras wasn’t there.
    Stand for what
    Monuments and statues of old slave masters
    Constant reminders of our nations disasters
    The Heros in Houston, the Doctors, the Poets and the Pastors.
    That’s who I want to shape our greatness after
    I honor and respect our men and women of service
    But we’ve been taught to idolize wars without purpose
    The majority of our Militaries casualties are minority soldiers
    So let’s make statues of those warriors because they truly deserve it
    Mt Rushmore was built by the Ku Klux Klan, so why the fuck should I have respect for those men

    Damn, This is not my country and it’s not yours either.
    Go back to Africa? I wish we never had to leave it
    But the entire World is our neighborhood
    So why do we perceive certain blocks to be bad and other blocks to be good?

    Instead of glorifying the past we gotta focus on the future
    Dick Gregory warned me if U speak up They probably gonna shoot ya!

    But I shout for his eternal voice along with Martin, Malcolm and Marcus Garvey and
    march wholeheartedly for their legacy
    Because I’ll say it loud as you can see
    Fuck Francis Scott Key and Robert E. Lee
    They don’t represent me and neither do either of these hypocritical political parties
    I am a native to the cosmic and Universal God Energy.

    Even though the constitution really doesn’t apply to me
    I’ll try to exercise my freedom of speech

    So you can tell them you heard it from me.
    Yeah I said it
    Brutality, Historic Fallacies and
    All war is wrong and so is that fucking song!
    It’s Been way too long!
    It’s time to make a change and acknowledge that your home of the brave was built on the back of a Slave.

    So bowing down to a true King
    Is the only way to let freedom ring

    Stand for what?

    I ain’t standing For Shit… except Kaepernick!

    Lyrics and video ©2017 Nick Cannon #SpokenSundays #StandForWhat #poetry Hat tip to Chuck Saunders for the share

    Chris Pine plays #TheChimp in brilliant skit ‘Why do we put up with these people?’

    Chris Pine blocks sight

    Brilliant skit starring Chris Pine playing highly erratic and childish company president (president – get it?) points out the extremely awesome truth: we don’t need to put up with the nut or his buddies. And p.s. if these loons worked in industry, they would have been ousted long ago with minimum fuss.

    The good news? Yes, we can vote and get rid of them. Learn how and where at SaveTheDay.vote.

    Skit stars Chris Pine, Alan Tudyk, J. August Richards, Jillian Morgese, Romy Rosemont, Josh Zar, Zac Oyama and David Fury.

    Why an American in England cried in the rain next to a statue of Abraham Lincoln

    Statue Lincoln in Lancashire
    Source: Lily Seville

    Lily Seville posted this story on Facebook August 18 and made it publicly available so it can be shared.

    I haven’t told any stories from England since I got home but it seems like maybe we could all use a good story about a civil war statue, a good story about an American President, and a good story about the power of the common people against the rich and powerful, so I’m going to start with this one. It’s probably for the best that you’re reading this here because I haven’t managed to tell this story in person without crying.

    I was in Manchester with a bit of time to spare on a cool, sometimes rainy morning that reminded me of home. Since I had a minute I turned on Pokemon Go on the off chance that there would be a Mr. Mime in range. As luck would have it there was one only two blocks away from my intended destination! The game led me to a small square and as I approached I could’ve sworn that it had an enormous statue of Abraham Lincoln right in the middle of it. Much to my dismay the closer I got, the more it looked like Lincoln. When I was close enough to read the inscription I learned that it was in fact, a statue of Lincoln. What was a statue of Lincoln doing in a lonely square in Northern England?!

    Then it got weirder.

    There was a large blue sticker that was somewhat haphazardly stuck onto the base of the statue that said something along the lines of “talking statues of Manchester” and had a QR code with no further explanation. There was no question, I had to know what that QR code said! I immediately installed a QR scanner and no sooner had I clicked the shutter button then my phone rang. That was weird and more than a little creepy, but if they say one thing about me when I’ve gone it will be that I never passed on an adventure.

    I answered the phone.

    There was no preamble, no explanation, just a man’s voice saying “to the working men of Manchester” he then continued in beautiful, archaic prose to praise the workers of Manchester and thank them for their courage and sacrifice. It seemed to be a letter and when it came to an end it was signed “Abraham Lincoln”. When he had finished uttering his name President Lincoln hung up on me. It was a tantalizing letter to a child of Lincoln’s far future standing alone in a rainy square, 4,500 miles away from home. President Lincoln did not bother to list the brave acts or to sum up the sacrifice. Why would he? The people of Manchester knew what they had done.

    Luckily, after the phone call ended a screen popped up offering links to learn more. I stood in the drizzle, read an amazing story and wondered why I had never heard it before.

    As you probably know during the Civil War the North imposed a Naval blockade on the South. The economic hardship that this caused was an important factor in the North’s victory. What I didn’t know was that the blockade also badly hurt the people of Lancashire, England. At that time the mills of Northern England produced the fabric that clothed the world. Seventy five percent of all the cotton grown on Southern plantations was sent to Lancashire where it was spun, dyed, and woven.

    A year into the war and the embargo found Northern England in real distress. Sixty percent of its mills were shuttered, thousands of people were without work. The desperate wealthy mill owners started lobbying the British government to send the British Navy to break the blockade and let the cotton through.

    Then an amazing thing happened. The workers themselves organized a mass meeting in the Manchester Union Hall to discuss the matter and those working class men, who had the very most to lose, chose to refuse cotton grown by enslaved hands. The blockade held and the men did indeed lose. In one town alone only five out of thirty-nine mills continued to operate. People went without fuel for heat, there was wide spread starvation, families lost their homes. And still–an ocean and a world away from a war in a place they had never seen–the people of Manchester chose to live and die by their values. They would not support slavery.

    When the war ended that letter came from President Lincoln and it was followed shortly after by ships loaded with food and supplies for the people of Lancashire from the people of America, in gratitude.

    And that is how I ended up crying in the rain 4,500 miles from home, in a square named for Lincoln in a country that he never set foot in.

    I also caught my Mr. Mime.

    If you are interested in reading the letter you can do so here.

    If you want to read more about the history you can do so here and here.

    I have made this post public so that it can be easily shared if you know someone who could use a hopeful story too ~ Lily Seville

    Ed note: This story came to me via Han Broekman. Thanks for the beautiful share, Han.

    Sen Gill urges Secretary of State to reject Trump commission request for NJ voter data

    What Trump Commission has asked for
    Screenshot from report by Lauren Weinstein

    Senator Nia H. Gill (D-Essex, Passaic) today called on the New Jersey Secretary of State to reject a request by President Trump’s election commission to turn over state voter data. The commission was established to investigate unsubstantiated claims of widespread voter fraud.

    The commission, chaired by Vice President Mike Pence and Vice Chaired by Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, sent letters to 50 states and the District of Columbia last week asking for information, including names, addresses, birth dates and party affiliations of registered voters in each state. It also sought felony convictions, military statuses, the last four digits of Social Security numbers and voting records dating back to 2006, according to published reports. To date, 44 states have already refused to comply, according to a story published today on CNN.com:

    President Trump has made claims for months that millions of people voted illegally in the last election, without a shred of evidence. Now he is using those unfounded claims to justify the collection of personal information and voter data from all 50 states.

    This request is alarming. Under no circumstance should the state of New Jersey turn over our residents’ information to this commission. I am calling on the Secretary of State to protect our state’s voter information, and refuse to comply with this illegitimate request.

    No one believes this Trump-created panel is interested in protecting the right to vote. The commission was created with the goal of legitimizing Trump’s widely discredited claims of voter fraud and is headed by Kris Kobach, the politically-driven Kansas Secretary of State.

    New Jersey should not contribute to the president’s effort to undermine the integrity of the election system. The Secretary of State must inform the people of New Jersey if she intends to share the personal information of the residents of the state with this illegitimate panel – silence in not an option. read more

    Jemez Principles for democratic organizing: a guide

    On December 6-8, 1996, forty people of color and European-American representatives met in Jemez, New Mexico, for the “Working Group Meeting on Globalization and Trade.” The Jemez meeting was hosted by the Southwest Network for Environmental and Economic Justice with the intention of hammering out common understandings between participants from different cultures, politics and organizations. The following “Jemez Principles” for democratic organizing were adopted by the participants.

    Spend 2 minutes to learn why net neutrality is more important than you think

    Website throttling
    Your favorite website will be in the “Everyone Else” lane if Net Neutrality is lost Source: Iowa State Daily

    Washington Post gives a neat synopsis of what The People stand to lose if Trump appointed Republican FCC Chairman Ajit Pai gets his wish and finds a way to reverse the Obama era protections establishing net neutrality, which WaPo defines as, “the regulations that forbid Internet providers from blocking or slowing Internet traffic.”

    The rules, approved by the FCC during the Obama administration, classified Internet providers as “common carriers” — a move that allowed the agency to regulate those companies more strictly than before. In addition to banning the blocking or slowing of Internet traffic, the regulations also gave the FCC the ability to investigate business practices among Internet providers that it deemed potentially anticompetitive.

    Supporters of the regulations argue that they are a vital consumer protection that prevents Internet providers from abusing their strategic position between Internet users and the rest of the Web. Without strong regulations, they say, Internet providers will be free to raise costs for consumers — such as charging customers extra to keep their personal data private, or to be able to view certain websites or use certain apps. Meanwhile, advocates say, ISPs could be allowed to charge website owners extra fees to reach consumers’ screens, and determine what apps and services may flourish online. read more