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Pope Francis Officially an Honorary Resident of New York City

September 25, 2015

Pope Francis becomes the newest IDNYC cardholder, joining over 540,000 New Yorkers

NEW YORK—Mayor Bill de Blasio today issued Pope Francis with an IDNYC card, the key to the city of New York for all city residents regardless of immigration or economic status, adding to the 540,000 municipal ID cardholders.

"IDNYC is about creating inclusion, compassion and unity for our city. Few have spoken more clearly and eloquently on the importance of these values and the rights of all humanity to be treated with dignity and respect than Pope Francis," said Mayor Bill de Blasio. "IDNYC is a card that allows every New Yorker – regardless of immigration or economic status – to live safely in their communities, interact with government, and receive services. It is a vital equalizer and true symbol of the Pope's message to protect the most vulnerable in our communities."

"The Pope's message of equality and unity resonates across the world and especially in New York City, home to people of all colors, faiths, and backgrounds. IDNYC is a resource for all New Yorkers, inclusive of the vibrant diversity that makes our city so unique – and it embodies the Pope's call to uplift, empower, and respect those whom society so often marginalizes. New York City is committed to building up communities so that we may all rise together, and IDNYC is a crucial part of that goal," said Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

Since the program's inception in January 2015, the New York Archdioceses and the Diocese of Brooklyn, both part of the IDNYC advocates coalition, have played a significant role in the implementation of the IDNYC by supporting outreach engagements among churches and parishes and through Catholic Charities. The City and the Church shared the commitment to serving vulnerable communities, in particular addressing the needs of the city's immigrant and low-income communities.

The de Blasio administration believes access to government and the ability to interact safely with law enforcement without fear should be central rights for all New Yorkers, regardless of immigration or economic status. Launched in January 2015, IDNYC provides an official government-issued identification card for all City residents, including the most vulnerable communities—the homeless, youth, the elderly, the formerly incarcerated and others who may have difficulty obtaining other government-issued ID, and, most notably, undocumented immigrants who are prohibited from receiving other forms of government issued identification.

New Yorkers have responded resoundingly in support of the program, with 540,000 cardholders since launch, and over 70,000 cultural institution memberships redeemed across the city. In response to high demand for the municipal ID, the City has expanded capacity to ensure IDNYC appointments are available as early as this week in all five boroughs.

About IDNYC

IDNYC is an identification card for all New York City residents, ages 14 and above. As a government-issued photo identification card, IDNYC secures the peace of mind and access to City services that come from having recognized identification. IDNYC cardholders can access services and programs offered by the City as well as by businesses. IDNYC helps enhance public safety, by serving as a recognized ID for interacting with NYPD. It also helps New Yorkers gain access to all City buildings that provide services to the public and is accepted as a form of identification for accessing numerous City programs and services. IDNYC also provides a dynamic series of benefits to cardholders, including a free one-year membership at many of the city's leading museums, zoos, concert halls, and botanical gardens.

pressoffice@cityhall.nyc.gov

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