Advocates deliver a 50 foot letter demanding their voices are heard.

Today, immigrants rights and democracy advocates delivered a 50 ft letter -- more than 2 stories tall -- to Speaker Coughlin's Assembly Majority Office to call for the passage of A3837, NJ's Language Access bill. Advocates also handed over hundreds of post cards in support of Same Day Voter Registration. Their united message? Our voices won't be silenced.

A3837, a core priority for NJAIJ, has already passed the Senate and has existing budget appropriations for its implementation. But despite making runaway progress in the Senate, the Assembly has not heard the bill once.

All bills, including any progress they've made, will expire and reset in early January, once this legislative session ends. Advocates are demanding that the Assembly move A3837, giving a needed voice to the diverse Limited English Proficient communities in New Jersey who are currently left with no voice.

Language barriers prevent many communities from accessing timely, life saving information -- whether in health, housing, work, social opportunities, and more. Limited English Proficient patients are less likely to understand their diagnoses or instructions for care. Workers without language access are not able to confidently stand up for their rights. Families are unable to seek out, navigate, or apply for social programs and services when the information about them is not in a language they speak or understand.

Last week, we proudly co-authored an OpEd with our member organization AAPI New Jersey, who pointed out that language barriers also serve to reinforce harmful stereotypes about immigrants as perpetual outsiders and foreigners. You can read that OpEd here.

Today's letter sent a clear message to Assembly Leadership: refusal to address these systemic barriers and refusal to move the bill is a refusal to give communities the voice they deserve.

Regardless of which language one speaks or which country they come from, language barriers universally create lower standards of care, services, access, and information. Will you join us in taking action?


Amy Torres


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