The Iowa City Council approved a resolution Tuesday expressing support for the community ID program passed earlier this spring by the Johnson County Board of Supervisors. Councilors also committed $6,000 to the county-wide initiative — which could go into effect as soon as July — to help cover implementation expenses.
The Johnson County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved the program in April, which aims to provide a photo ID to residents who might otherwise have difficulty obtaining a state-issued ID or driver’s license.
The goal, according to county officials, is to expand residents’ access to public agencies and amenities, such as public libraries, in addition to making potential interaction with law enforcement less intimidating. With a community ID, for instance, a previously undocumented resident might feel more comfortable calling the police in the event of a crime.
Several local organizations have expressed support for the program, including the Center for Worker Justice (CWJ) of Eastern Iowa and area law enforcement agencies. The North Liberty and Coralville city councils both passed resolutions of support last week as well.
CWJ Vice President Mazahir Salih released the following statement when the Johnson County Board of Supervisors first approved the program in April:
We did it! Finally we feel like we belong to this community, that we are included and not excluded. Those of us who are part of the immigrant community can come out from the shadows and participate in our community just like we’ve always wanted to. This is a victory for all of us in this community.
Johnson County Auditor Travis Weipert says the community IDs will likely cost $8.