Other Group

Make the Road New Jersey

Parent Organization:

Make the Road States

Location:

Elizabeth, New Jersey

Make the Road New Jersey is a left-of-center community organizing group that focuses on immigration issues and organizes protests, community services, and political advocacy efforts among immigrants in New Jersey.

The group is a project of Make the Road States, a left-of-center advocacy group that also hosts chapters in Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Nevada. Make the Road States and its affiliates are modelled on Make the Road New York, a large immigrant organizing group based in New York City.  Make the Road States groups are all fiscally sponsored by and affiliated with the Center for Popular Democracy. The group supports various left-of-center economic and immigration policy positions including drivers licenses for illegal immigrants, a $15 minimum wage, and paid sick leave. [1] [2]

Make the Road New Jersey and its affiliates are all affiliated with the network’s political action arm, Make the Road Action. [3]

Background

Make the Road New Jersey was founded in 2014 in Elizabeth, New Jersey and has opened community centers in Elizabeth, Passaic, Perth Amboy, and Newark. The group formed as an affiliate of the Center for Popular Democracy and was inspired by the more established Make the Road New York, a New York City immigrant organizing and advocacy group founded in 1997. The New York chapter of the group has a longstanding affiliation with the Center for Popular Democracy, the political operation of former New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D), and the Working Families Party. [4] [5]

Make the Road New Jersey is formally organized as a branch of Make the Road States, an umbrella group for the Make the Road Chapters other than New York that was formed in 2020. While no full, independent tax form is available for the group as of early 2022, the organization reported receiving more than $7 million in funds in 2020 and had more than $5 million in assets. The principal officer listed for Make the Road States is Deborah Axt, who is also the deputy director of Make the Road New York. [6] [7]

Activity

Services provided by Make the Road New Jersey include English classes, writing classes, Spanish-language Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) training, and an eight-person legal services team that provides pro-bono representation on immigration law matters, healthcare law, and COVID assistance programs. [8] [9]

Policy Stances

Make the Road New Jersey campaigned, along with the Center for Popular Democracy, for legislation that would allow for illegal immigrants to obtain drivers licenses as part of the Let’s Drive NJ coalition. Governor Phil Murphy (D) held a signing ceremony for the legislation at the office of Make the Road New Jersey. The group also previously partnered with left-leaning labor union-aligned worker center United for Respect to promote union-backed guaranteed severance legislation after the closure of retail outlets such as Toys-R-Us, Payless, and Sears. [10]

Make the Road New Jersey supports a $2,000 per month federal COVID stimulus payment to all families including illegal immigrants, creating a “swift pathway” to citizenship for illegal immigrants residing in the United States, ending immigrant detention, and “drastically” cutting funding for U.S. Immigration and Customs Services (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (CBP). [11]

Make the Road New Jersey also supports many union-backed policy campaigns and bills such as the PRO Act, a $15 minimum wage, and elimination of tipped wages, as well as bills allowing workers to continue to be paid if they refuse to work in “unsafe conditions” related to COVID-19. The group also supports the eventual increase in the minimum wage above $15. [12]

The group supports universal, taxpayer-funded health care for all including illegal immigrants, and Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) proposed wealth tax plan. [13]

References

  1. “Home.” Make the Road New York. Accessed April 21, 2022. https://maketheroadny.org/ ^
  2. “About.” Make the Road New Jersey. Accessed April 21, 2022. https://maketheroadnj.org/about-us-2/ ^
  3. “Home.” Make the Road Action. Accessed April 21, 2022. https://www.maketheroadaction.org/ ^
  4. “About.” Make the Road New Jersey. Accessed April 21, 2022. https://maketheroadnj.org/about-us-2/ ^
  5. Suebsaeng, Asawin. “These Are the Groups Behind Those ‘Spontaneous’ Anti-Trump-Ban Protests.” The Daily Beast. February 02, 2017. Accessed April 18, 2022. http://www.thedailybeast.com/these-are-the-groups-behind-those-spontaneous-anti-trump-ban-protests ^
  6. “Make the Road States.” Guidestar. Accessed April 21, 2022. https://www.guidestar.org/profile/84-3988830#summary ^
  7. “Deborah Axt.” LinkedIn Profile. Accessed April 21, 2022. https://www.linkedin.com/in/deborah-axt-1202a84/ ^
  8. “Legal and Support Services.” Make the Road NJ.” Accessed April 21, 2022. https://maketheroadnj.org/legal-and-support-services/ ^
  9. “Our Services.” Make the Road NJ.” Accessed April 21, 2022. https://maketheroadnj.org/category/our-services/ ^
  10. “Make the Road NJ Celebrates Major Victories.” Center for Popular Democracy. Accessed April 21, 2022. https://www.populardemocracy.org/blog/make-road-nj-celebrates-major-victories ^
  11. “Respect and Dignity Platform.” Make the Road New Jersey. February 2021. Accessed April 21, 2022. https://maketheroad.app.box.com/s/xoejl6ojxilko41eie8z4fv5hgnfmsof ^
  12. “Respect and Dignity Platform.” Make the Road New Jersey. February 2021. Accessed April 21, 2022.  https://maketheroad.app.box.com/s/xoejl6ojxilko41eie8z4fv5hgnfmsof ^
  13. “Respect and Dignity Platform.” Make the Road New Jersey. February 2021. Accessed April 21, 2022.  https://maketheroad.app.box.com/s/xoejl6ojxilko41eie8z4fv5hgnfmsof ^
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