ELIZABETH, NJ – Make the Road New Jersey marked its one-year anniversary, December 8, with a reception and ribbon-cutting at its headquarters in the newly renovated Snyder Academy.

Assemblywoman Annette Quijano, Mayor J.Christian Bollwage, Elizabeth Councilman Manny Grova, Union County Sheriff Joseph Cryan, Freeholders Angel Estrada and Sergio Granados helped Make the Road’s state director Sara Cullinane cut the ribbon. “It has been an exciting year,” said Cullinane. “We have made a lot of progress, winning solid support for immigrants and working families. We succeeded in getting the paid sick leave ordinance that covers more than 25,000 workers in the city. We initiated a program in Roselle that will provide IDs to residents regardless of their immigration status. We have provided legal counsel as well.”

According to its mission, Make the Road New Jersey, the sister organization to Make the Road New York, “builds the power of Latino and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice through organizing, policy innovation, transformative education, and survival services.”

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For the clients, the organization has provided much needed support. Said Edison Vasquez, “The IDs are very important for people because need those papers. Make the Road New Jersey has been fantastic to get those. They do a wonderful job in the community.”

The organization’s work extends to the second generation as well. Brandon Jurado spoke of the challenges facing undocumented youth, such as applying to colleges and for financial aid. Adding that he was recently accepted to college, he said, “Now that I am one step closer to achieving my American dream, I want to help others achieve theirs.”