The midterm election created an opportunity for a major political breakthrough in our long-term campaign to restore driver licenses for immigrants in Wisconsin. Recently elected Governor Tony Evers, who ran on a platform to restore driver licenses for immigrants and tuition equity for Dreamers, has committed publicly to include drivers licenses in his biennial state budget proposal. Specifically,
Voces is hoping to not just restore driver licenses for immigrants without a Social Security Number, but to also push for changes that would restore licenses to predominantly poor, US citizens of color whose driver licenses are suspended due to minor non-traffic and traffic infractions and the inability to pay those fines.
To move our campaign forward, Voces is currently working to develop the leadership of our membership and build coalitions with other state and local organizations, and local governments. Activities and progress on our campaign since the 2018 midterm in November have included:
- Holding six meetings in our chapters throughout the state to discuss and vote on our Driver Licenses for All campaign; all chapters voted in favor of our proposed plan of action. These meetings were well-attended and resulted in new people becoming members of Voces, for example, at our chapter meeting in Walworth County, a rural part of southeast WI, 37 people attended and 12 people joined Voces for the first time.
- Developing an organizing toolkit for members and coalition partners.
- Members attending the Governor-elect’s People’s Budget public forums in Milwaukee and Green Bay to speak in support of Driver Licenses for All.
- Voces/VDLF Action’s Executive Director being appointed to Gov. Elect Evers Next Generation Workforce Development Transition Team. This is a recognition that Voces represents a strong constituency of Latinx voters and immigrants and is valued, ie. “has a seat at the table”. This will allow Voces/VDLF Action to have a new voice at the formal state level to push for pro-immigrant, pro-worker policies like Driver Licenses for All.
- Racine school board and common council passing resolutions in support of driver licenses for all.