The Fair and Welcoming Communities Coalition (FWCC) is an informal organization of Somerset County residents, community and religious leaders and groups volunteering their time to ensure that Somerset County and its townships are fair and welcoming for all residents regardless of race, religion, sexual orientation, national original or immigration status.
Through our actions focusing on immigrant residents, we support the development of inclusive, engaged and secure communities, consistent with the following principles:
- Welcome residents regardless of their national origins, religious beliefs, race or sexual orientation.
- Engage in opportunities to increase understanding among these diverse groups
- React quickly to actions that threaten inclusivity such as hate speech / bias crimes
- Monitor the actions of their government officials and hold them accountable but never leave the welfare of the community exclusively in their hands
- Take the time to educate themselves on the nuances of issues that impact them before forming opinions and acting on them
- Know their rights and, armed with facts, actively engage in democratic / civic processes at all levels to protect or enhance those rights
- Provide the physical security needed to feel safe while living and working, including freedom from crime and all forms of violence or harassment whether from firearms, hate crimes or sexual or gender harassment.
- Provide their residents with economic security through policies that create opportunities to earn a livelihood
- Provide protections and support for residents when they are facing difficulties and are the most vulnerable
- Immigrant Rights
- Family Unity
- Building Trust
- Policies Promoting Safety
The 2019 Immigrant Trust Directive issued by the NJ Attorney General provides a strong, new momentum for FWCC initiatives. We have an opportunity to make a significant difference in the lives of immigrants in our county and towns in all of the following areas:
- Fair & Welcoming Policies: Ensure the new Directive is fully implemented at all county and municipal levels; that govt agencies educate the public on the changes in law enforcement practices; that county tax dollars are not spent on federal immigration enforcement.
- Know-your-rights: Conduct Know-Your-Rights training and education in/for immigrant communities
- Access to Social Services: Expand and support efforts to ensure immigrant communities know the county social services they are entitled to receive and can have the confidence to access those services without fear that their doing exposes them to increased immigration enforcement.
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