Tuesday, July 3, 2018

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Wide support voiced for proposed municipal ID in Poughkeepsie

POUGHKEEPSIE – People living in Poughkeepsie who feel marginalized by not having traditional documentation, such as a driver license, could get some help if that city joins a growing list adopting a municipal ID program. 

Most who spoke during a public hearing at Monday Night’s Common Council meeting were strongly in support, including Jonathan Bix, the executive director of Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson.

“The card doesn’t convey special government benefits,” Bix said. “It fills an access gap that is created by the fact that a government-issued ID is required for so much of everyday life and yet it is unnecessarily hard for thousands of our residents to get. And, because there is no incentive for fraud, there hasn’t been notable fraud issues in any of the 29 cities with municipal IDs.”

The proposal was introduced this spring by Democrat Councilwoman Sarah Salem.

“This ID card will provide many other benefits to our most vulnerable residents but our residents as a whole, as a more unified proof of identity to connect all City of Poughkeepsie community members to services and activities regardless of immigration status, homelessness status, gender identity or income,” Salem said.

Republican Mayor Robert Rolison is not only onboard but wants to expand the reach.  He has been talking with Kingston Mayor Steven Noble and Middletown Mayor Joseph DeStefano.

“We are going to try and coordinate the three municipalities to create as best as possible, IDs that have the same criteria and can be recognized to the extent that they can in those other municipalities.” Rolison said the goal is “continuity.”

The council will vote at a later date.

Kingston, Middletown and Newburgh officials have all been favorably discussing the ID card issue.

 


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