As community leader Enrique Lopez wrapped up his first AB 60 presentation at Nueva Generación en Cristo Church in East San Jose last week, he reminded the crowd of 50 attendees of the victory this legislation meant for the immigrant community, and urged them to take advantage of their upcoming right to drive.
Three weeks earlier, Enrique and 15 other community leaders packed the SIREN conference room to take part in the first Train-the-Trainer seminar for the AB 60 driver license community education campaign. During the training, our leaders learned key points about AB 60 and the application process, techniques for delivering and strategies for setting up educational presentations, as well as ideas on how to engage people to show up and get informed.
In October 2013, Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 60 into law, allowing California residents, regardless of immigration status, to get driver licenses starting no later than January 1, 2015. Since then, SIREN has been working tirelessly with statewide coalitions and local organizations to educate the immigrant community of this new law and prepare them to be safe and responsible drivers.
After the law’s passage, we quickly realized that we were going to need help if we wanted to reach all corners of the undocumented community in Santa Clara, San Mateo, and surrounding Silicon Valley counties. But we didn’t have to look far to find that help. For years, SIREN has been cultivating leaders, like Enrique, within the local immigrant community to be at the forefront of educating potential applicants. So, together with our SIREN leaders we are closer to reaching these “slices” of community who will benefit from the new licenses.
In addition to our AB 60 ambassadors, SIREN has joined forces with community organizations, churches, labor unions, and parent groups to train presenters in different areas of the community. The goals of these presentations are to increase awareness and encourage eligible applicants to prepare and apply for these driver licenses. Along the way, we have also been instrumental in conveying information from the Department of Motor Vehicles about AB 60 licenses while also soliciting feedback from community groups on how the application process will work.
Our work continues as more community members have requested additional trainings on how to do their own presentations. If you are interested in attending, or getting more information, please email Jeremy Barousse at email@example.com.
Have questions about AB 60? Check out our AB 60 Resource Page which answers frequently asked questions and has resources to prepare applicants for the written test. This page will be updated frequently – so be sure to check back often!