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art by Favianna Rodriguez

Art by Favianna Rodriguez

“ You cannot uneducate the person who has learned to read. You cannot humiliate the person who feels pride. You cannot oppress the people who are not afraid anymore. ” – César Chávez, UFW

National Latino Civil Rights Group Celebrates more than 800,000 New Driver's License Applications and 605,000 New Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants   

Statewide coalition of advocates and service providers move forward the successful implementation of AB 60, now push for 1 million new drivers in 2016

Jan. 20, 2016

Contacts: 
Matt Nelson, matt@presente.org, 414-721-6630
Sue McAllister, sjmcallister@siliconvalleycf.org, 650-450-5513
 
San Francisco, CA— January marks the one-year anniversary of AB 60, a law that gave thousands of California immigrants the ability to drive safely and legally, without having to worry about being deported because of a traffic violation. 

“Driving your kids to school shouldn’t come with the risk of deportation. AB 60 is a proactive approach to increasing safety, access and mobility to Californians who need it most. This is good for immigrants, families, and our state’s economy. The work to pass and implement AB 60 shows what can happen when advocacy, service, faith, and immigrant rights’ groups work together with immigrants and their families to fight for change, equity and fairness,” said Navin Moul, program officer at Silicon Valley Community Foundation.
 
The reach and impact of AB 60 grows each day, as more and more immigrants apply for and earn licenses. In December alone, 31,000 AB 60 driver’s licenses were issued with thousands more applications in the queue. Advocates anticipate reaching 1 million licenses by the end of 2016. 
 
“Thanks to this new law I was finally able to obtain my driver’s license. Now my wife and I can drive our son to daycare without risking getting in trouble in front of him,” said an AB60 recipient. Hundreds of AB 60 applicants and license holders have described the license as being vital to their family’s well-being, their sense of belonging to our community and to our economy. The Drive CA coalition has highlighted more stories to encourage other eligible drivers to participate in the program. View more AB 60 stories here: http://driveca.org/stories/.
 
In 2013, AB 60 (the Safe and Responsible Driver's Act) was signed and later became implemented in 2015. AB 60 was the result of decades of organizing by immigrants and their allies to restore access to driver’s licenses for all Californians. Under this groundbreaking legislation, up to 1.4 million Californians are expected to apply over the next three years and become licensed, tested, and insured drivers – to the benefit of all Californians.
 
“Access to a safe, legal pathway to driving is a way out of poverty and high-risk situations for many low-income immigrant families. While we still have more work to do, as there are continued barriers to getting driver’s licenses, the tremendous progress we’ve made this year is a huge step forward in the fight for dignity and self-empowerment for immigrants across California,” explained Matt Nelson, Managing Director of the national Latino rights organization, Presente.org.   
 
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Presente.org is the nation’s largest online Latino organizing group; advancing social justice with technology, media, and culture.

Silicon Valley Community Foundation has long invested in AB60 efforts and currently supports nearly 20 legal service organizations that help immigrants with their legal needs in both Santa Clara and San Mateo Counties.