De Blasio, officials tout success of New York’s municipal ID cards
400,000 sign up for IDNYC
Mayor Bill de Blasio and other city officials on Monday touted the success of New York City’s municipal ID card. While IDNYC is aimed at immigrants without valid IDs and the homeless, the program is open to all New Yorkers.
The mayor said that more than 400,000 residents have already obtained an IDNYC card, only six months after the program’s inception.
In Brooklyn, 124,575 residents have applied for the new ID, according to figures supplied by the city. Only Queens, with 144,324 applying, came in higher.
The Bronx reported 74,900 applications, followed by Manhattan, with 73,947, and finally Staten Island, with 10,167.
Cardholders can use the card as their library card, to open bank accounts, to enter schools or to interact with the police. IDNYC also opens the door to free memberships at dozens of cultural organizations, such as museums and zoos.
It’s not only those who have the cards who benefit. More than 50,000 IDNYC cardholders decided to join the state’s organ donor program when applying for the card.
“It is something that makes people proud – and of course, as New Yorkers, we’re always proud to say where we came from. But this is an ID card that does so much for so many people – and that’s why people keep it with them wherever they go,” Mayor de Blasio told reporters at the press conference at the American Museum of Natural History.
De Blasio introduced Private Luke Gasparre, age 91, a World War II veteran who ushers at Citi Field.
“He signed up for the ID on his birthday, and part of why he liked it was because it has a veteran’s designation on it,” de Blasio said. The designation “gives them the maximum opportunity to achieve the benefits they deserve as veterans,” he added.
Addressing a question about immigrants’ documentation fears, de Blasio assured reporters, “Now the whole idea is, this is an ID card for everyone. You will not be asked your documentation status.”
“The numbers clearly show that there is a real need for a citywide ID, and this initiative is an example of an innovative way to integrate all New Yorkers into our city,” Mark-Viverito said in a statement.
Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (Red Hook, Sunset Park), prime sponsor of the IDNYC bill and chair of the Committee on Immigration, said in a statement that the program has “changed the game” in New York as well as nationally. “For some recipients, this ID represents their first validated interaction with government,” he said.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said that the program was “opening doors that were inaccessible for far too long to far too many of our residents.”
To obtain a card, applicants first need to make an appointment at an enrollment center.
In Brooklyn, centers are located in Downtown Brooklyn near Borough Hall, at the Brooklyn Public Library’s Central Branch, in Coney Island and in Sunset Park. Centers also “pop up” at the Bay Ridge Library, in Bushwick, and at the Flatbush YMCA. (See www1.nyc.gov for locations and times.)
De Blasio said that at least 20 other major cities and counties, including Chicago, Newark, and Hartford, are pursuing similar programs.
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