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“Opportunity to come out of the shadows:” City of Milwaukee ID cards now available to the public

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MILWAUKEE -- For people who live in Milwaukee, a new kind of identification is available: City ID cards. Supporters say it will allow a number of residents to use city services or get help if they need it. Advocates say this will benefit people like undocumented immigrants, the homeless and transgender people who either cannot get a state ID or cannot get one that reflects their identity.ids2

For a number of Milwaukee residents, Friday's roll out of municipal ID cards is cause for celebration; celebrating the sense of belonging here.

"That's what we're trying to do with this municipal ID, give them an opportunity to come out of the shadows to receive municipal services and be a part of our broader community," said Milwaukee Alderman Cavalier Johnson.ids3

The $10 cards differ from state IDs in that people can get one with documents like foreign birth certificates, drivers' licenses and visa papers. Applicants can also use the gender with which they identify.

Supporters say it will make holders more likely to call police if they're a victim or a witness.

"When you're in a situation where an officer is involved or anything like that, your gender is generally not something you want to be an issue of importance," said Livia Rowell-Ortiz, transgender woman with city ID.ids4

State lawmakers passed a bill last year that barred counties from issuing their own ID cards. The law also says IDs cannot be used for voting or to apply for state benefits. A spokesman for one of the bill's sponsors, State Senator Van Wanggaard, says the senator has concerns but is OK with the IDs as long as the city follows state law.

Milwaukee

Milwaukee

"Any city department must accept the identification," said Alderman Jose Perez.ids6

Alderman Jose Perez says more than 700 applications have come in so far. The new IDs cost the city $150,000.

Supporters say it's a small price to give more residents peace of mind.

"We should just be celebrating today. We should not feel like we're fighting upstream to provide for our neighbors to have their basic human identity," said Milwaukee Alderman Nik Kovak.

Officials say it's up to individual businesses to decide whether they'll accept the city IDs. They hope to work with banks and pharmacies and anyone else who provides important services.

2 comments

  • jim45

    Hey politically correct news media…..

    Burglars are not uninvited house guests.

    Car-jackers are not under-rated drivers.

    Bank robbers are not making unauthorized withdrawals.

    Illegal aliens are not undocumented immigrants.

  • Huh !

    Can you please explain, WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS to getting this card ???
    $150.000 of tax payer money for a card that can …………..?

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