A Municipal ID: “I Am Somebody”

A municipal ID is a great common-sense and cost efficient way to help many vulnerable New Yorkers access and utilize our city’s human service and safety net programs. As an official government ID it holds the promise of access to banking, cultural, educational and business services too often denied or made difficult to get because of insufficient ID. This will be a tremendous resource for our clients and many other New Yorkers. Council Speaker Mark-Viverito and Council Members Menchaca and Dromm deserve a lot of credit for their legislation.”                - Bobby Watts, Executive Director, Care for the Homeless

That’s the quote City Council used last week in announcing introduction of legislation to establish a new official city ID. The proposed program, modeled on working programs in New Haven, Connecticut, in San Francisco, California and other places specifically makes it easier, quicker and more convenient for undocumented workers, people experiencing homelessness or major life disruptions, people re-entering society from various institutions and so many others in need to get the ID they need to gain access to vital services, benefits and resources.

The plan, supported by the city administration, has gained broad support from many civic and advocacy groups like ours. We’re hoping it will get a quick hearing and consideration in City Council and promptly be enacted.

One Care for the Homeless client leader that is speaking out on the plan, Gayle Dorsky, noted she had a difficult time when she was without a home in establishing acceptable ID. “That program would have been important to me, and it’s important to so many people in need.”

Please join Care for the Homeless in supporting the proposed municipal ID program, and in thanking the City Council and the deBlasio administration for moving it.

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