OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Oakland Mayor Jean Quan on Friday hailed her city’s first step in issuing municipal identification cards as an important step in “fighting for more equity and justice in our country and having a more perfect union.”

Although New Haven, Conn., was the first U.S. city to issue municipal ID cards in 2007 and about a dozen other cities, including San Francisco, have followed suit, Quan said Oakland is the first city to have such a card double as a debit card for those who want that feature.

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She said the debit card function addresses the needs of the poor, who often don’t have access to bank accounts and are forced to rely on costly services such as check cashers.

The mayor said the ID card will help undocumented immigrants but also will help all Oakland residents who have difficulty getting identification cards and opening bank accounts.

Paule Cruz Takash, a consultant for social and economic inclusion for SF Global, the vendor for the ID card, said black people have the most difficult getting access to bank accounts, followed by whites and Latinos.

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Raul Hinojosa, chairman and chief executive of SF Global, said Oakland residents who want to get an ID card can begin pre-registering for one starting Friday either online or at the City Annex Building at 250 Frank Ogawa Plaza, next to City Hall, or at the Spanish Speaking Citizens’ Foundation at 1470 Fruitvale Ave.

Hinojosa said applicants need any government-issued ID card from anywhere in the world, such as a passport or a driver’s license, and proof that they’re an Oakland resident with a document such as a utility bill.

He said officials will begin mailing ID cards to people around March 15.

Quan and former City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, who represented Oakland’s heavily-Hispanic Fruitvale District for 20 years until he left office last month, were the first two people to sign up for the ID cards, as they both worked on the idea for the past four years.

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