An Intern's Witness of Youth Organizing
The Rally for Tuition Equity for DREAMers and the public hearing where Jersey City’s officials passed the resolution* unanimously was an incredible experience. The tuition equality bill, currently pending before the New Jersey legislature, would allow the so-called NJ DREAMers (a term used to describe undocumented students who were brought to the United States at a young age) equal access to higher education in the state through paying in-state tuition rates. Jersey City’s resolution sets an example of leadership from local government supporting just immigration policy at a higher level.
This was first rally I was a part of. The energetic and powerful youth from different groups were demanding the Jersey City City Council’s support for the resolution. It was heartwarming to see Anakbayan, the Filipino youth group, become the voice for their voiceless brothers and sisters - not only become a voice, but rather demand change for more just policies for undocumented immigrants in Jersey City. Likewise, I think if every other group with different backgrounds would stand up for the voiceless among their community; the voiceless would soon have a voice. This victory is an encouragement for everyone who wants to make a change, to keep going and keep pushing until the change has come. It is also an encouragement to our officials, to make just policies, because the public is watching.
[*On Feb 27, 2013 Jersey City City Council considered and voted unaminously to pass a resolution supporting two tuition equity bills for immigrant youth before the NJ State Legislature. Related article: http://www.nj.com/hudson/index.ssf/2013/02/jersey_city_council_urges_stat.html]