Tuesday, December 18, 2018




Beacon City Council approves municipal IDs

Winterbottom: "... no reason to not pass this ..."

BEACON – The City of Beacon is the fourth city in the Mid-Hudson to approval a municipal identification program for all of its residents.

The program, advanced by the group Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, has already been approved in the cities of Poughkeepsie, Middletown and Kingston.

Municipal IDs will guarantee every resident an identification card regardless of immigration status, homeownership status, criminal record or gender identity, aids in entry into public buildings such as schools, applying for certain jobs and establishing a bank account.

The program has its detractors, however. Beacon resident Dennis Pavelock is not in favor of the program.

“My initial reaction is that it might be another tax imposed on the residents,” Pavelock said. “Is this going to be forced upon us?”

Ignacio Acevedo, the lead organizer of Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, believes that the program is much needed in the community.

“For some community members, they use it for identification. If you don’t have any source of ID, this could be used to identify yourself with the police or city offices,” Acevedo said.

Other members of Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson shared their reasons for why this program would benefit Beacon residents, which included a personal story from Middletown resident Vanessa Cid. She shared her experience of falling sick during school as a child, and how her mother’s failure to provide a valid U.S. ID as an immigrant from Mexico prevented her from gaining access to medications.

Beacon resident Julie Winterbottom said that public safety will improve greatly in the city as a result of this program.

“In my research into other cities’ experience with municipal IDs, they have made it easier for residents to interact with the police, as they have a valid U.S. ID,” Winterbottom said. “I see no reason to not pass this program.”

Kingston resident Diana Lopez attested to the benefits of the program. “It’s very important to make community members feel welcome,” she said. “All members of the community need to feel like they are a part of Beacon.”

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