Immigrants, homeless persons and other residents of San Francisco who often encounter difficulty receiving common services were given respite today in the form of citywide identification cards, according to Supervisor Tom Ammiano's office.
By a 10-1 vote, San Francisco supervisors this afternoon approved an ordinance granting municipal ID cards to all city residents who request them.
The ordinance also received support from local immigrant rights and labor groups, homeless shelters and transgender communities.
According to Ammiano, many residents, including documented and undocumented immigrants, seniors, children, students, homeless persons and transgender individuals, lack government-issued identification, limiting their ability to open a bank account, get a library card, access parks and other public facilities, receive homeless aid, or obtain discounts at city museums, golf courses and the zoo.
Ammiano also cited public safety concerns, contending that residents without bank accounts are more prone to robbery because they may have a large amount of cash on them or in their home. In addition, Ammiano said, residents who can't provide proof of identity are less likely to report crimes.
The ordinance goes into effect in August 2008, after which residents will be able to receive cards through the county clerk's office at City Hall, according to Ammiano's office.
The cards will have a $15 application fee for adults and $5 for seniors and minors, and will require another form of photo identification and proof of residency, such as foreign, business or school ID, utility bills or homeless shelter verification.
— Bay City News