Mayor Joseph P. Ganim
For Immediate Release For More information:
May 26, 2017 Dalmarys Matos (203)333-2843
Mayor Ganim, Senator Blumenthal Launch Bridgeport’s Municipal ID Card Program & Declare Bridgeport a ‘Welcoming City’
Municipal ID Cards can be used to Open a Checking Account, Access City Services and File a Complaint with Bridgeport Police
Bridgeport, CT –Mayor Ganim, Senator Richard Blumenthal, City Council members and community leaders came together today to launch Bridgeport’s Municipal ID Card Program and to declare Bridgeport a ‘Welcoming City.’ Bridgeport’s Resident Card gives city residents the opportunity to obtain official government identification regardless of the individual’s immigration status or previous criminal history. Municipal ID’s can be used to access city services, register a child for school, obtain a library card, cash a check, file a complaint with the police department, and many other purposes.
“We decided as a community to adopt the Bridgeport Municipal ID Card for the purpose of improving the quality of life for residents, enhancing the City’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive community, and promoting a sense of shared identity for those who live in Connecticut’s largest city,” said Mayor Ganim.
Anyone that lives in the City of Bridgeport is eligible for a “Park City Resident Card,” regardless of their age, ethnicity, immigration status or previous criminal history, if they provide documentation that establishes proof of their identity and residency within the city. Cards may be obtained at the Office of Vital Statistics at the Margaret E. Morton Govt. Center, 999 Broad Street, Bridgeport, CT 06604. The cards last for three years before expiration and are only $15. Applicants will not file any individual documents with Vital Statistics to receive an ID.
The cards feature the name, address, date of birth, expiration date, picture and signature of the individual, as well as other optional information such as an emergency contact and allergy information. The card features a holographic background and a raised tactile seal to protect the card against fraud.
According to the Center for Popular Democracy, "Without the right form of ID you may not be able to open a bank account or even cash a check, see a doctor at a hospital, register your child for school, apply for public benefits, file a complaint with the police department, borrow a book from a library, vote in an election, or even collect a package from the post office. The very people who are most in need of such basic services are also those who have the most difficulty obtaining the proof of identity that will allow them to access this services. These identification cards also have a symbolic importance as a sign of membership in the community."
Goals of Municipal ID Card Programs
- Improve community safety by making it easier for those without state-issued ID to interact with local authorities.
- Improve access to financial services by providing a form of ID that will allow those without other forms of identification to open bank accounts.
- Mitigate impact of racial profiling.
- Make symbolic statement of welcome and solidarity to immigrant residents.
- Promote unity and sense of membership in the local community among all residents.
Other cities that have implemented municipal ID card programs include New Haven, CT, Hartford, CT, New York City, NY, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, CA, San Francisco, CA, Chicago, IL, and Oakland, CA to name a few.