Big Step Forward For Oakland’s Municipal ID Cards

OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Oakland residents – legal and otherwise – are closer than ever before to receiving municipal identification cards, following recent action by the City Council.

The ID cards have been on Mayor Jean Quan’s “to-do” list for about 2-and-a-half years. She argues that the cards would give power to those who otherwise carry no legal identification.

“I’m hoping that the extra protections of it being a banking card, ironically, the banking industry can give the holders more confidential protection than we can as a city,” she said.

“Many people,” she continued,” who don’t have ID don’t have checking accounts, don’t have a place to safely carry their money. Having this debit card will also reduce crime and will give immigrants the confidence to come forward and talk to the police when we’re working on neighborhood crime.”

KCBS’ Tim Ryan Reports:

The city must still work out the details with several participating banks, but having the councilmembers sign off on the program represents a major hurdle having been overcome.

By some estimates, as many as 30,000 cards could be issued within the first year of the program’s implementation. It remained unclear, though, when the program would actually launch.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed)

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