City officials, on March 29, introduced an ordinance at the monthly Chicago City Council meeting allowing for the creation of a municipal ID program for Chicago residents.
According to a press release, all Chicago residents would be eligible for the ID, regardless of of immigration or housing status, criminal record or gender identification and would be accepted by all city departments. The card would also allow transgender individuals to select the marker of the gender with which they identify.
"Chicago is and has been a City that welcomes everyone, and an individual's background should never be a barrier to participating in the economic, social or cultural life of Chicago," said Mayor Rahm Emanuel in the statement. "With this program, we ensure that all Chicago residents have the identification they need to access vital services."
The program would be administered by City Clerk Anna Valencia and would cost about $1 million. While the city would retain the names of individuals to whom the ID was issued, it would not retain their addresses. Washington, D.C., San Francisco and New York City are among the cities already offering municipal ID cards.
Many details, such as how prospective cardholders could prove their residency, have yet to be determined. Pending approval, the city would next take bids for administering the program, which is expected to be in place by the end of the year.
"At a time when many communities are experiencing setbacks or attacks on their rights, the Chicago Municipal ID program is an initiative where cities can lead by example in reducing barriers, increasing access to opportunities, and empowering residents." said Valencia. "Our City is stronger when all communities are participating, and we will continue to explore partnerships that will enable all Chicagoans to take advantage of everything this city has to offer."