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Friday, February 11, 2011

Elected Officials in Lane County Make Public Committment to over 800 Community Members and Leaders in Eugene

February 11, 2011

Francisco Lopez, Executive Director: (503) 269-5694
Erik Sorensen, Communications Director: (503) 488-0263

Elected Officials in Lane County Make Public Committment to over 800 Community Members and Leaders in Eugene

Local officials commit to pushing for passage of Tuition Equity and Drivers License Access Legislation

Eugene, Ore—On Thursday evening, over 800 Lane County leaders representing the Catholic, Methodist, United Church of Christ, Mennonite, Quaker, and the evangelical faith community, educational institutions and community organizations turned out for a Leaders’ Assembly in Eugene.

Those present asked local elected officials from the cities of Eugene and Springfield, and the Lane County Board of Commissioners to work with CAUSA at the Oregon State Legislature for the restoration of driver's license and tuition equity.

By the close of the assembly, Mayor of Springfield, Christine Lundberg, Mayor of Eugene, Kitty Piercy, Lane County Commissioners, Rob Handy and Pete Sorenson and City Councilor of Springfield, Sherri Moore all committed to help in the effort to pass legislation for Driver’s License Access Restoration and Tuition Equity.

During the course of the evening, several members of the Latino immigrant community shared their personal stories on the struggles they face on a daily basis due to not having access to in-state tuition and not being able to renew or obtain a driver’s license in the State of Oregon.

Jessica Garcia, a High School Student from Eugene, has an uncertain future, as without tuition equity, she won’t be able to attend college. She told her story, spoke about her dreams of becoming a microbiologist and what tuition equity legislation would mean to herself and her family. Hear her story by linking here: 

Tuition Equity legislation creates state policy that would allow all students, who have graduated from high school or received their GED in the State of Oregon, the opportunity to pay in-state tuition to continue post-secondary education regardless of immigration status.

Also during the evening, a Latino Immigrant, who said he was "undocumented", told his story about his personal loss, coming to the United States, his achievements, and how legislation restoring driver’s licenses for ALL Oregonians-- regardless of their citizenship status-- would affect his life. Hear his story by linking here:

Legislation restoring driver’s license access would eliminate unnecessary barriers for individuals to legally drive or purchase insurance and subsequent unintended consequences in our communities created by the Oregon Legislature in 2008.

"The danger is that we will have 31,000 students in Oregon who will not be able to go to college and that we will have thousands of undocumented immigrants driving in the streets of Oregon without drivers licenses and car insurance," said Francisco Lopez, Executive Director of CAUSA.  “The Oregon State Legislature needs to take immediate action and correct this by passing Tuition Equity legislation and legislation restoring driver’s licenses.”

The assembly in Eugene is just one of the many public gatherings CAUSA and their allies are holding around Oregon to bolster support for key legislative issues being pushed in the Oregon State Legislature. CAUSA will continue to reach out to elected officials in communities around Oregon to see that the needs of the Latino and Immigrant Communities are met.

On Tuesday, February 15th at , CAUSA will hold a Legislative Briefing at the Oregon State Capitol. For more details, contact Erik Sorensen at 503-488-0263.


CAUSA, Oregon's Immigrant Rights Coalition, is the largest Latino and Latina civil and human rights and advocacy organization in the Pacific Northwest. We work to defend and advance immigrant rights through coordination with local, state, and national coalitions and allies. For more information, visit


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