COGS to help Johnson County residents obtain community IDs

City Hall
The Iowa City Council helped sponsor the community ID program. — photo by Drew Bulman

The University of Iowa’s graduate student union, COGS, will be on-hand at the Old Capitol Town Center (in front of CVS Pharmacy) this Wednesday and Thursday, Feb. 10-11, to help Johnson County residents sign up for community IDs.

“The community ID project was spearheaded by the Center for Worker Justice and we consider ourselves very much allies of them and their work,” said COGS Press and Publicity Chair Ruth Bryant. “We’re just blown away by the strides that they’ve made in the Johnson County community, not the least of which is getting the community ID project off the ground.”

Community IDs, which were approved in April 2015 by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors, are recognized by local agencies but cannot be used interchangeably with driver’s licenses or state-issued IDs. They are not valid for boarding airplanes, purchasing alcohol or tobacco, at establishments with age restrictions, to vote or to prove employment eligibility, says Bryant.

But the cards are valid with local, city and county agencies. “It was initially created because a lot of people who were living in Johnson County came here from outside the country,” Bryant said. “One of their main issues was that they were being targeted by police and that was especially problematic if they didn’t have identification or documentation that the police recognized. They may have had documentation, but it was a problem if the police didn’t recognize that particular form of identification, so 1this is for that.”

Any Johnson County resident can sign up for the card, even if they already hold a driver’s license or state-issued ID.

“We are so happy to be able to contribute in this small way to this project,” Bryant said. “I think it’s important that everyone in the community sign up for an ID. I will be and I know that my colleagues at COGS will be.”

Attendees should bring proof of identity and proof of residency, according to COGS. IDs cost $8 for adults or $4 for children.


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