WED @ 1: Press Conference Shows Growing Support for
Driver’s License Bill before Committee Hearing
Coalition unveils new law enforcement support at press conference;
affected immigrants gather at State House
WHO: Speakers include: Members of Cosecha Massachusetts; TPS and DACA recipients; 32BJ SEIU Vice President Roxana Rivera; Executive Director of the Brazilian Workers Center and Driving Families Forward co-chair Natalicia Tracy; Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian; Work and Family Mobility Act co-sponsor Rep Tricia Farley-Bouvier; Representatives from Pioneer Valley Worker Center; REACH Beyond Domestic Violence organizer Gladys Ortiz
WHAT: Press conference offering broad support for Work and Family Mobility Act.
WHERE: Registration link open to press and public: https://bit.ly/wfmapresser
WHEN: 1:00 PM, Wednesday, June 23, 2021
*NOTE: Cosecha will participate in the conference from an in-person gathering on the State House steps that will begin at 12:30. Members of the press who want live interviews with community members impacted by the law are also invited to meet outside the State House*
Boston–Supporters of the Work and Family Mobility Act and affected immigrants will hold a press conference at 1:00 on Wednesday afternoon, just before the Transportation Committee convenes for virtual testimony on the bill from 2-4 pm. The registration link to the conference will also serve as registration to a Zoom watch party for the hearing, to demonstrate the bill’s breadth of support. Voted favorably out of the committee in 2020, the Work and Family Mobility Act would permit state residents to apply for a regular Massachusetts Driver’s License regardless of their immigration status.
Speakers at the conference include partners in the Driving Families Forward Coalition (DFF) and Cosecha. Co-chaired by 32BJ SEIU and the Brazilian Workers’ Center, DFF includes nearly 250 business, labor, community, and faith organizations committed to passing the Work and Family Mobility Act. Cosecha Massachusetts is a grassroots, immigrant-led organization whose members kept the bill alive by camping outside the State House in the scorching summer heat at the height of the pandemic. Cosecha will participate in the conference live from a gathering on the State House steps, to which press is also invited.
Two major law enforcement endorsements will also be unveiled at the conference, one by Middlesex Sheriff Peter Koutoujian. Other speakers include immigrants with special immigration statuses whose ability to drive is hampered by the current law; Representative Tricia Farley-Bouvier, one of the bill’s four lead cosponsors; and Gladys Ortiz, an organizer at REACH Beyond Domestic Violence. Together, the speakers will demonstrate how passage of the bill would benefit over 200,000 immigrants living in Massachusetts, while also boosting COVID prevention and treatment, spurring economic recovery, and helping to heal racial and socioeconomic divisions.
Although the coronavirus pandemic prevented the Work and Family Mobility Act and other key legislation from passing last year, the pandemic has also played a part in propelling the bill forward in 2021. Re-introduced this session by Representatives Farley-Bouvier and Christine Barber in the House and Senators Brendan Crighton and Adam Gomez in the upper chamber, the bill has now garnered over 100 legislative co-sponsors in both houses.
If state lawmakers pass the bill, an estimated 41,000 to 78,000 drivers would obtain licenses within the first three years of implementation, and Massachusetts would become the 17th state to permit all its residents equal access to driver’s licenses.
The Work and Family Mobility Act has been endorsed by 245 businesses and organizations, including:
ADL New England
Alliance for Business Leadership
American Friends Service Committee Northeast Regional Office
Asian American Resource Workshop
Berkshire Interfaith Organizing
Black Ministerial Alliance
The Boston Foundation
Brazilian Women’s Group
Brazilian Workers Center
Business Innovation Center
Cambridge Police Department
Cape Ann Local Action Network
Cape Cod Coalition for Safe Communities
Cape Verdean Association of Boston
Catholic Social Services of Fall River
Center to Support Immigrant Organizing (CSIO)
Centro Comunitario de los Trabajadores
Coalition for Social Justice
Community Economic Development Center
Dominican Development Center, Inc.
Episcopal City Mission
Essex County Community Organization
Executive Committee of the Mattapoisett Democratic Committee
Field First, LLC
Gomez & Palumbo, LLC
Greater Andover Indivisible
Greater Haverhill Indivisible
Haitian Comm. Faith Leader
Health and Law Immigrant Solidarity Network
Immigrants’ Assistance Center, Inc.
Indivisble Mystic Valley
Jewish Alliance for Law and Social Action
Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Boston
Justice at Work
Justice Center of Southeast MA
La Comunidad, Inc.
Latinos unidos en Massachusetts
League of Women Voters – MA
Main Street Alliance
Mass Business Immigration Coalition
Mass Interfaith Worker Justice
Massa Viana Law
Massachusetts Jobs With Justice
Mattapoisett Democratic Committee
Merrimack Valley Project
National Association of Social Workers
New England Bangladeshi American Foundation Inc
New England Justice for Our Neighbors
North Parish of North Andover UU Racial Justice Team
Open Door Immigration Services
Pioneer Valley Interfaith Refugee Action Group
Pioneer Valley Project
Pioneer Valley Workers Center
Progressive Democrats of Mass.
Salem Chamber of Commerce
Salem No Place for Hate
SEIU Massachusetts State Council
Student Immigrant Movement
Temple Anshe Amunim
The Irish International Immigrant Center
The Paulist Center Immigrant Advocacy Group
The Welcome Project
Unitarian Universalist Mass Action
Unitarian-Universalist Society of Fairhaven
United Interfaith Action of Southeastern Massachusetts
United Workers Association, Region 9a
Western MA Jobs with Justice
Western Mass Area Labor Federation
Women Encouraging Empowerment
With more than 175,000 members in 11 states and Washington, D.C., including 20,000 in Massachusetts, 32BJ SEIU is the largest property service workers union in the country.