East Bronx residents got the opportunity to get New York City municipal identification cards in Pelham Bay recently.
Councilman James Vacca worked with the mayor’s office and the Archdiocese of New York to bring a pop-up enrollment center for registration for IDNYC, the city’s municipal identification card, from Monday, August 17 to Tuesday, September 1 at Our Lady of the Assumption Church.
Councilman Vacca visited the OLA pop-up center on Monday, August 24 and signed up for his own IDNYC identification card while he also observed the ongoing registration process.
“This served a need,” said Vacca, who added “It addresses a problem we have had in our neighborhood for a long time: a lot of people don’t have IDs”
Many seniors don’t have identification because they no longer drive, and IDNYC allows them to have identification, while other people sign up for a plethora of benefits that IDNYC offers to cardholders, explained the councilman.
“There are a lot benefits, and it is important that everyone has an identification,” said the councilman. “I don’t think a lot of people know this exists, so bringing it to our district (is a good idea.)”
Going beyond identification purposes, the card entitles the holder to benefits at cultural institutions like the Bronx Zoo or the New York Botanical Garden, as well as discounts on prescriptions, groceries and fitness centers.
The card was launched citywide in January, and according to a representative to the mayor’s office for immigrant affairs, so far 400,000 people have registered across the city.
The New York City Council has worked with the cultural institutions to make sure as many of them as possible offer discounts and benefits to IDNYC card holders in the program’s first year of existence.
Councilman Vacca thanked OLA for graciously opening its doors.
Monsignor Anthony Marchitelli, the pastor of Our Lady of the Assumption Church, said that the parish hosted the event because the church always cooperates with the community.
Hosting events such as the IDNYC registration open the church to Catholics and non-Catholics alike, said Msgr. Marchitelli, adding that the church also runs college fairs, Alcoholics Anonymous and a food pantry for the public.
This is the first time the Archdiocese of New York has provided a space specifically for an IDNYC popup enrollment center, said Joseph Rosenberg, executive director of the Catholic Community Relations Council of New York, Inc.
In addition to pop-up locations, there are three permanent enrollment centers in the Bronx:
They are located at Lincoln Medical Center at 234 E. 149th Street, 2nd Floor; Bronx Library Center at 310 E. Kingsbridge Road and the Department of Finance Bronx Business Center at 3030 Third Avenue.
You can make an appointment to enroll in IDNYC by visiting the city website at nyc.gov.
The specific page to visit is: www1.nyc.gov/