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| Immigrant Rights - Expanding Municipal ID Cards

On Day of Council Hearings, Congress Members Endorse "Municipal ID" Program

April 30, 2014
Contact: TJ Helmstetter, Center for Popular Democracy (973) 464-9224; tjhelm@populardemocracy.org 

Daniel Coates, Make the Road New York(347) 489-7085; daniel.coates@maketheroadny.org 

On Day of Council Hearings, Congress Members Endorse "Municipal ID" Program

Crowley, Meng, Nadler, Velazquez: Municipal IDs Will Benefit ALL New Yorkers & Provide Critical Services 

(NEW YORK) Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito announced plans to make city-issued identification cards available for all New Yorkers, which would particularly help residents who otherwise have limited access to identification documents, including immigrants and homeless New Yorkers. Similar municipal ID programs are in place in ten cities nationwide, as noted in the Center for Popular Democracy's report, "Who We Are: Municipal ID Cards as a Local Strategy to Promote Belonging and Shared Community Identity." 
Today, U.S. Representatives Joe Crowley, Grace Meng, Jerry Nadler, and Nydia Velazquez have each signaled their support for the proposal. Also today, the City Council held its first hearings on the bill introduced earlier this month. Advocates attended the hearing in support of the measure, which will improve interactions between residents and law enforcement, make cardholders less vulnerable to crime, and improve quality of life for the most vulnerable New Yorkers.  QUOTES FROM MEMBERS OF CONGRESS: 
 “Our city must be accessible to all New Yorkers, not just some. Creating a municipal ID card is a commonsense measure that will lift countless New Yorkers out of the shadows and ensure the integration of our most vulnerable communities.  I commend Council Members Dromm and Menchaca for ushering along this very important effort and I look forward to New York City proving that we are at our best when everyone can participate.”
 “I applaud Mayor de Blasio and members of the City Council for proposing a plan to create municipal ID cards, and I urge that this critical initiative be enacted into law. Having an official form of identification is essential in today’s society. It is a must for so many things from opening a bank account to entering public buildings. It’s also critical for accessing important services and vital resources. Municipal IDs would go a long way towards improving the lives of thousands of New Yorkers, especially the most vulnerable in our city, and it would allow many to come out of the shadows. I am proud to support New York’s efforts to create municipal ID cards, and I look forward to the plan soon becoming a reality here in our great city.”
"For thousands of people in New York City,  the lack of meaningful, official identification is an unnecessary and damaging barrier.  All New Yorkers should have access to an ID that they can use confidently with municipal authorities, private buildings, schools and other entities with which they interact on a daily basis. A Municipal ID would be a critical step in ensuring that everyone has the opportunity to be an integrated and participating member of our city.  I am glad to see that Mayor de Blasio and the New York City Council are leading the way to make this idea a reality."
"In New York, our diversity is our strength and this initiative would help a broader set of people engage with our city. I applaud the City Council and Mayor for moving forward to create a Municipal ID program, which will help some of our newest residents feel truly at home in joining our communities."