SPIA in NJ Workshop Series: Making the Decision Makers Make the Right Decisions: How Temp Agency Workers in NJ Won Historic Protections in 2023

Making the Decision Makers Make the Right Decisions event poster
Date & Time Nov 17 2023 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM
Location Green Hall
Department SPIA in NJ
Nedia Morsy, Director of Strategic Projects, Make the Road NJ
Steven Mercado Alvaran, Member-Leader, Make the Road NJ
Garrett O'Connor, Director of Worker Organizing, Make the Road NJ
Juliet Meneses, Member-Leader, Make the Road NJ
Audience Restricted to Princeton University, Registration Required


Nedia Morsy is the Director of Strategic Projects at Make the Road New Jersey (MRNJ). Founded in late 2014, MRNJ has built a powerful grassroots movement of immigrant and working-class people, operating three organizing hubs that provide legal and support services, adult education and youth development programming and winning 11 pro-immigrant and pro-worker statewide policies. Nedia graduated from Amherst College and was a Coro Fellow in St. Louis, MO.

Garrett O'Connor, joined Make the Road NJ as its Director of Worker Organizing in July 2022 after 16 years as a union organizer and climate justice organizer. While working as a union organizer, where he organized low-wage immigrant workers all across the country, Garrett was introduced to Make the Road NJ when there were just 3 staff. Since then, the organization grew its membership to more than 4000, and its staff to more than 30, the result of many MAJOR victories for workers and immigrants. Garrett joined Make the Road in a critical moment for the Temporary Workers Bill of Rights, and worked alongside member-leaders like Steven and Juliet to ensure that temp workers would win the rights that they have fought for decades to achieve.  He calls the temp workers’ campaign a “life-changing experience” that has caused him to rethink everything he thought he knew about organizing, and looks forward to continuing to work with Make the Road NJ Workers’ Committee members to expand the fight for temp workers’ rights across the country in months and years to come.

Steven Mercado Alvaran migrated to the United States in December 2019. He learned about Make the Road New Jersey from a co-worker in the warehouse he was working at via a temporary agency. As a Make the Road NJ member, Steven learned about his rights on the job. He very quickly stepped into a leadership position at the organization, sharing Know Your Rights information with his co-workers and canvassing with fellow Make the Road New Jersey members. Steven understands first-hand the fear that keeps workers from fighting for their basic rights on account of their immigration status, language barrier, etc. As a leader in the temp worker’s fight, Steven was able to both create spaces where temp workers felt safe to share workplace abuses and also agitate them to move from fear to action. Today, Steven remains an active member and leader in the workers’ committee. In his free time, Steven loves to travel, read about organizing, and exercising. Steven lives in Elizabeth, New Jersey.


Juliet Meneses is 22 years old and has lived in Elizabeth, New Jersey all her life. She learned about the Make the Road New Jersey when she was just 13 years old from a social worker at her middle school and has been an active youth member ever since!  Juliet’s mother is a long-time Make the Road New Jersey leader and temporary worker. As such, she offered a unique perspective to the campaign as a family member to a temporary worker. Juliet had been an active leader in earlier state fights for paid sick days and an Excluded Workers Fund but it was the temp workers fight that showed her how deceptive the opposition can be. Juliet is a junior at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and majors in IT.