Safe Roads: Intersecting Identities and Intersecting Issues
by Christian Baeff
Our Families member – Basic Rights Oregon
LGBT Program Coordinator – Causa
My name is Christian; I am an immigrant from Argentina, who also happens to be gay.
There are many other people in Oregon and in the U.S. who share the same or similar identities. We struggle every day with discrimination and oppression, which makes the work of non-profit organizations such Basic Rights Oregon (fighting for the rights of LGBT Oregonians) and Causa (fighting for the rights of immigrant Oregonians) so valuable. Both organizations believe in the importance of working on areas where our issues intersect, because many in our communities, like me, carry multiple identities. When a group recognizes you as a whole person, it makes a great difference in people’s lives and it helps in broadening the movement of social justice overall.
These two organizations have collaborated for many years to defend the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, as well as the rights of Latino immigrants in this state. And, in 2011, Causa, was able to formalize support for the LGBT community by starting their own LGBT program. I am currently the LGBT Program Coordinator at Causa.
Together, we are celebrating the recent victory on marriage equality, after many years of struggle and sharing our stories about why marriage matters: love, commitment and family. Our partnership grew stronger through the successful campaign led by Basic Rights Oregon.
Now we face a new challenge at Causa, and are thrilled that our partners at Basic Rights Oregon are supporting our efforts. Right now, too many Oregonians are unable to safely and legally drive to work, church and school because they can’t produce the documents they need to get a driver’s license. The Safe Roads campaign (on the ballot this November) would create a limited driver’s card for qualified residents, and it will make our communities safer.
Voting “Yes” allows the DMV to issue driver cards to any Oregon resident who passed the State’s written driver knowledge test, passed the State’s behind-the-wheel driver test, provided proof of residence in Oregon for more than one year, and provided proof of identity and date of birth. Seniors and immigrant families and workers are among the thousands of Oregonians who need this option.
Once more, the strong partnership between Causa and Basic Rights Oregon is at work. The Safe Roads measure will be on your ballot this November and we urge all our supporters to vote yes, and to tell their friends and neighbors. We look forward to many more years of working together and supporting each other to make sure all Oregonians experience equality.