LETTER: Jersey City should grant voting rights to non-citizens in local elections


In a letter to the editor, Jersey City resident Riaz Wahid stakes his claim why officials should grant voting right to non-citizens in local elections.

Photo via Expedia.

Dear Editor,

The New York City council recently passed resolution 1867 which gives non-citizens right to vote in local elections.

In 2017, an executive order was signed to make Jersey City a true “Sanctuary City.” Jersey City offers federally accredited immigration legal services free to the residents.

To walk the walk & just not talk the talk, let us grant voting rights in local city and school board elections to the tax payers including the renters who have been residents for over a year irrespective of immigration status.

They live and work here, their children attend the local schools, thus, they must have a voice in local quality of life issues.

This is no way to undermine the process of path to citizenship. This is all about inclusiveness and accountability to the residents. The science has proven that sense of belonging brings happiness.

Let us spread the happiness in the community, share the responsibilities and give them a voice.

A mere $1 annual registration and renewal per person process a city clerk’s office should help the non-citizens to get required identification and give themselves much needed participation.

The fee should be waived in the case of third parties grants availability.

I urge the mayor and new 2022 council to adopt a very first resolution in January 2022 so that they can participate in the municipal and school board elections from November 2022.

Let us walk the talk!

Riaz Wahid
Jersey City resident

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