CASA applauds Cheverly Town Council in its Passage of a Charter Amendment to Allow Non-Citizens to Vote in Local Elections
Jenny Garcia, Micah Watson, Nicole Bryner, Kayce Munyeneh, and Amy Fry all voted to pass the charter amendment to the Cheverly Town constitution to allow non-citizens, regardless of status, to vote in local elections becoming the fourth city in Prince George’s County to do so
Prince George’s County, MD — CASA applauds Councilmember Jenny Garcia for leading the effort and the entire town of Cheverly for passing a charter amendment to its constitution to allow non-citizens, regardless of status, to vote in local elections. The amendment passed with 5 votes for yes and 1 abstention. Cheverly joins Mount Rainier, Hyattsville and Riverdale Park in Prince George’s County to allow non-citizens to vote in local elections.
“CASA and the residents of Cheverly are celebrating this huge win for the immigrant community. Many of the community members that live in Cheverly Station will be able to more actively participate in the town’s decisions as a result of their ability to vote in the town elections,” says Morena Zelaya, CASA Organizer. “This will give a voice to many people who for years have been living here, paying taxes and having children who attend the local schools.”
Zelaya has been actively working with a committee of tenants at Cheverly Station Apartments for the past 3 months to improve the conditions of the buildings and gain more support from the ownership and management for renters that live in the property.
“I have lived in Cheverly for 15 years and I’m happy that I will finally have the opportunity to vote in the city that I call home,” says Claudia Melgar, CASA and Cheverly tenant committee member.
“When people vote, they are staking a claim in the future of their community and their nation,” says Jenny Garcia, Cheverly Councilmember and leader in the effort to pass the charter amendment. “They are engaging in the civic process of looking after not only their best interest but the best interests of their neighbors. When only a portion of the people are allowed to engage civically, that automatically creates inequality. I believe that allowing non-citizens to vote is the next important decision we must make to move our community and our country one step closer to becoming a fair, just and free society for all.”
All Cheverly eligible residents, regardless of citizenship status, will now be able to vote in Cheverly local elections. With the passage of the charter amendment, previously disenfranchised immigrants will now have a voice in their local elections and be able to participate in school board elections and be able to decide how their tax dollars should be spent.
With over 100,000 members across the states of Maryland, Virginia, and South Central Pennsylvania, CASA is the largest member-based Latino and immigrant organization in the mid-Atlantic region. Visit us at www.wearecasa.org and follow us on Twitter at @CASAforall