Basic Rights Oregon along with Western States Center joined CAUSA on April 3rd for their first LGBT Lobby Day. It was the third day of CAUSA’s Lobby Week that includes a Youth Lobby Day and a Latino Women Lobby Day. Hundreds have attended so far flooding the capitol!
We shared with elected officials the importance of supporting SB 833: Oregon’s Safe Roads bill. SB 833 would allow access to four-year short term driver’s licenses to undocumented immigrants, senior citizens, transgender Oregonians, houseless individuals and other Oregonians that often lack proper documents.
“It is very important that we let the few people that make decisions for all Oregonians, know who we are and what our needs are.” –Christian Baeff, CAUSA LGBT Alliance Building Coordinator
In 2008, the Oregon Legislature passed a law requiring proof of citizenship or legal status to obtain an Oregon driver’s license. This law created unnecessary barriers for individuals to legally drive or purchase insurance and unnecessary costs and consequences for other drivers, insurance companies, homeowners, businesses and law enforcement. The DMV reports that the number of Spanish speakers taking and passing the test has dropped by 90% since 2008.
Oregon is stronger when our communities are safe. Oregonians need access to driver’s licenses and insurance to help maintain the safety of our roads. Many people without access are already driving unlicensed and uninsured, making other Oregon drivers more vulnerable. AAA statistics show that one of every five fatal crashes involves a driver who is definitely or possibly driving with an invalid license or no license. Public safety for everyone increases when all drivers are tested, licensed, and insured.
“This is a public safety issue that impacts all of our communities.” –Francisco Lopez, Executive Director of CAUSA
Ensuring that all of Oregon’s drivers are licensed and insured is important both for public safety and for our economy. Not having a license has many impacts including difficulty opening and accessing a bank account, accessing housing, cashing checks, and making larger purchases.