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LatinoJustice and Community Partners File Motion Defending Voting Rights Law in NYC  

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE  

April 12, 2022  

Contact:  
Carolina González | Senior Director of Strategic Communication|
[email protected] |  212-739-7513  
Sarai Bejarano | Manager of Traditional & Digital Media | [email protected] | 212-739-7581  

LatinoJustice and Community Partners File Motion Defending Voting Rights Law in NYC  
Intro 1867 Crucial in Ensuring Equitable Representation  

New York, NY – LatinoJustice PRLDEF, community partners have filed a motion to intervene in a lawsuit challenging a recently approved municipal voting rights law in New York City. The case filing will be the first time LatinoJustice and partners are acting jointly around the matter before a New York State judge.

 In Fosella v. Adams, a group of Republican voters and elected officials are suing the City of New York to challenge the law that would allow New Yorkers who are legal permanent residents or have work authorization to vote in municipal elections. The suit asks the NY Supreme Court in Richmond County (Staten Island) to block the law and prohibit non-citizens from registering to vote in municipal elections.  

Intro 1867, approved by the City Council in December 2021, gave over 800,000 eligible noncitizen New Yorkers the right to vote in city elections, making it the most significant expansion in the city’s democracy in over a century. Intro 1867 does not cover state or federal elections.

The organizations signed on to the motion challenging the lawsuit are: Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF), Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI), Council on American-Islamic Relations, New York (CAIR-NY), and LatinoJustice PRLDEF.

The New York state court is scheduled to hear motions from the involved parties in the coming days. 

"Asian residents across New York City have suffered continuous and increasing anti-Asian violence, the highest poverty rate of any racial group, and unnecessary institutional barriers to accessing social services.  The Asian population in New York City grew the fastest of any racial group over the past decade, yet our community does not have the representation that it needs to address these integral community issues.  Restoring voting rights to almost a million city residents is the right thing to do and must be defended by our communities,” said Jerry Vattamala, Director, Democracy Program at Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF).

“New York City’s “Our City, Our Vote” legislation is a much needed expansion of voting rights to eligible non citizens. The lawsuits challenging this law are a continuation of the conservative movement’s strategy to disenfranchise Black and brown voters in the US. New York is home to the largest Black immigrant population in the US; they are a vital part of the city’s pulse and deserve to have their voices heard through the local ballot. This measure creates an opportunity to grow the power and influence of Black voters in New York City,” said Nana Gyamfi, Executive Director of Black Alliance for Just Immigration (BAJI).

“Green card holders and those with work authorization kept this City alive during the COVID-19 pandemic. They deserve to have a say on who represents them in elected office. We will vigorously defend the Our City Our Vote legislation because expanding the pool of voters and empowering immigrants with the right to vote is both legal and a hallmark of democracy,” said Ahmed Mohamed, Legal Director at CAIR-New York. 

“At a time when hundreds of anti-voting laws are being introduced around the country attempting to silence voters of color, we feel it's imperative to stand up for a law that expands democratic participation in our city by extending the ability to have a say in how their communities are run to almost one million immigrant New Yorkers,” said Fulvia Vargas-De Leon, Associate Counsel at LatinoJustice PRLDEF.
 

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About AALDEF
The Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund
(AALDEF), a New York-based national organization founded in 1974, protects and promotes the civil rights of Asian Americans. By combining litigation, advocacy, education, and organizing, AALDEF works with Asian American communities across the country to secure human rights for all. AALDEF focuses on critical issues affecting Asian Americans, including immigrant rights, voting rights and democracy, economic justice for workers, educational equity, housing and environmental justice, and the elimination of anti-Asian violence.

About Black Alliance for Just Immigration
Black Alliance for Just Immigration, BAJI, is the largest Black immigrant and racial justice organization in the US, building collective Black power as we champion migrant rights and racial justice.To learn more about our work, visit www.baji.org

About CAIR-NY 
Council on American-Islamic Relations-New York’s (CAIR-NY) mission is to protect civil rights, enhance understanding of Islam, promote justice, and empower American Muslims. To learn more about our work, visit
www.cair-ny.org

About LatinoJustice  
LatinoJustice PRLDEF works to create a more just society by using and challenging the rule of law to secure transformative, equitable and accessible justice, by empowering our community and by fostering leadership through advocacy and education. For five decades, LatinoJustice PRLDEF has acted as an advocate against injustices throughout the country. To learn more, visit
www.LatinoJustice.org