Board of Aldermen Approve Acceptance of Funds for Municipal Identification Program
(6/4/2007) (NEW HAVEN)— In a vote of 25 to one, the New Haven Board of Aldermen voted today to accept $250,359 in private funds from the First City Fund Corporation to support the Mayor’s Municipal Identification Program. The acceptance of these funds will enable the City to implement the “Elm City Resident Cards,” a program that is scheduled to begin next month. The cards will be made available to all residents of New Haven at a cost of $10 for adults and $5 for children. The first of its kind in the nation, the Elm City Resident Cards will allow residents access to the public library, the City’s parks and recreational sites and a debit feature that will be accepted by a number of downtown merchants and can be used in the City’s parking meters.
“This is a great decision for New Haven. No longer will any resident in New Haven have to live nameless,” said Mayor John DeStefano, Jr. “Our undocumented immigrants, children, seniors and significant student population who may not qualify for drivers licenses from the State will be able to obtain an Elm City Resident Card to demonstrate who they are. This card will allow all carriers to receive access to the services that they deserve as residents of New Haven.”
The new identification cards are also aimed at increasing public safety in the City. “We’ve seen undocumented immigrants and their neighbors become the victims of robbery, assault and in one case even murder because thieves know they often carry large sums of cash in their pockets or store it in their homes,” said DeStefano. “This is the case because undocumented immigrants do not have the identification information necessary to open bank accounts and thereby safeguard their hard earned money. By eliminating this barrier to banking services, we expect to make New Haven safe for all of its residents.”
The City will now begin work on its implementation plan in an effort to roll out the new cards in July. Conversations with area banks continue to allow undocumented immigrants to use the Elm City Resident Cards as acceptable identification in opening accounts.
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