Establishing a pro-life specialty license plate in a state like Massachusetts has been an uphill battle, but the fight’s not over yet.
Begun four years ago by Wakefield resident Merry Nordeen, the push for establishing the Choose Life license plate has found new momentum in the past few months, in part due to the work of Steve Cambio.
Three months ago, Cambio visited with Nordeen to see how he could get involved in the Choose Life license plate campaign. Much as Nordeen had done in the past, Cambio began by setting up a table at the Catholic Men’s and Women’s conferences, looking for people to apply for the pro-life specialty plate.
He has also begun speaking at parishes, even being featured on “In Season and Out of Season,” a local radio program hosted by Father Tom DiLorenzo. “The response has been very positive,” he said. “There’s an excitement now, and I think that people are ready to step up and make it happen now.”
“In order for the state to imprint these plates and make them an official option at the RMV, we must first deliver 3,000 applications along with a $40 check for the application fee to the registry,” he explained. “Once we do that, Massachusetts general law provides that the plate becomes official and available to all residents. But there first needs to be this initial drive.”
From the first 3,000 applications, $28 of the application fee will be channeled to 46 Crisis Pregnancy centers throughout the state. After the initial 3,000 plates are issued, the entire $40 charge of the specialty plate will go to these centers.
“This plate is not only a perpetual donation amounting to $40 every two years, but it is an outward symbol of love. Our automobiles have become one of our most personal possessions. We select our vehicles to say something about ourselves. It tells the world in a small way, a little about who you are,” he said.
According to the Choose Life website, www.machoose-life.org, there are currently 363 people who have applied for the specialty plate, although Cambio believes the number of people is likely to grow considerably in the coming weeks.
“We are in the midst of a drive to get more people involved and registered,” he explained. “The deadline for registering is June 30, and we hope we have many, many more people on board by then.”
“Can you imagine what the world would think, what the world would say, how the world would take notice and what could happen if they learned that the words ‘Choose Life’ and Massachusetts were together on a state-issued license plate?” he added.
Currently 23 other states have Choose Life license plates. Efforts are underway in 14 other states, including Massachusetts, to establish the specialty plate.
Cambio said that those interested in learning more about the program should contact him at 603-490-5498 or visit the organization’s website, www.machoose-life.org.