NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — New York City Council members have formally introduced legislation to create a municipal identity card.
Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, D-Manhattan/Bronx, said the bill introduced Thursday will help all New Yorkers access city services.
All city residents will be eligible for the cards. But they will be targeted to those who cannot easily get photo ID cards because they are not legal U.S. residents.
“This legislation says to them that they are not invisible and that they are not alone,” Mark-Viverito told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond.
“I think that it helps in terms of bringing people out of the shadows of being more civically engaged,” she added.
One of the bill’s sponsors, Councilman Daniel Dromm, D-Queens, said that as a public school teacher he often saw parents who were not allowed to pick up a sick child because they had no photo ID.
“That should not be happening in New York City,” Dromm said.
Opponents of the bill say the city has no business issuing IDs and are concerned the cards could be used for people looking to change their identities.
To get the card, New Yorkers would have to provide proof of residency and identity.
Other cities, including San Francisco and New Haven, Conn., have created similar cards.
No date has been set for a public hearing on the bill.
Mayor Bill de Blasio has championed the idea.
“Having an official form of identification will bring dignity and peace of mind to many fellow residents currently living in the shadows,” he said earlier this week.
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