Bettering Plainfield with the facts since 2005

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Mapp answers Plainfield Latino on ID cards

ID cards have been issued by Angels in Action
since November, 2013.

Plainfield mayor Adrian Mapp posted a response today on his blog (see here) to an Open Letter published a few days ago in the Plainfield Latino blog by Norman Ortega and Margarita Guillermo of the Tri-County Coalition (see that post here).

Ortega and Guillermo want the City of Plainfield to issue ID cards to any resident who wishes one, and they evidently wrote the open letter -- which is sort of an in-your-face move -- without having had any discussion with Mayor Mapp or the Council about the matter.

Ortega and Guillermo argue --

...[t]he City will benefit by fostering greater connectivity to important urban institutions, providing access to vital locations where photo ID is required, and creating a sense of unity within or identification with the city. Residents will gain access to everyday activities that we sometimes take for granted, such as ATMs, libraries, museums, schools, parking fees and signing leases...
There are two interesting things about this proposal: the first is that it echoes the arguments used by Carmen Salavarrieta and her Angels in Action organization when they started issuing "Plainfield Police endorsed" cards in November 2013; the second is that a photo ID does not apply to most of the "reasons" cited.

When the Open Letter first appeared on Plainfield Latino, I posted a comment to that blog attempting to correct the impression that a photo ID was needed for a library card (see comments at bottom of page here). The fact is, all one has to do is prove one is a resident and the Library will accept a piece of mail addressed to the applicant.

Let's look at the other "reasons" in Ortega and Guillermo's list --

  • ATM access -
    • I cannot see how an unofficial photo ID will help here; in order to access an ATM one must have either a credit or a debit card -- both require a Social Security number to open an account;
  • Museums -
    • HuH?! You pay, you get in. No questions asked.
  • Schools -
    • Do they mean to enroll? Far as I know, the public schools want a child's birth information and proof that inoculations are current;
  • Parking fees -
    • Fees? Meter fees? Parking permit fees? Parking violation tickets? The city is just interested in the money.
  • Signing leases -
    • Again, huh?! A landlord may want to do a credit check but may settle for the security and a month's rent in advance in cash.
The Ortega/Guillermo post also gets called out by other commenters for other factual misstatements.

In any event, the Mayor says the matter should be looked into by the Plainfield Advisory Commission on Hispanic Affairs (for a citation of their mission, see Bernice's previous post here), and further suggests the Council can appoint an ad hoc committee to pursue the matter.

Mapp says he would consider the proposal if the PACHA and the Council agreed.

I still wonder what difference it makes if the City issues a card which has no force in law.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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Anonymous said...

Some banks don't require a SSN. Try bank of america. They even offer credit cards to those without a SSN. As for what will a city card do? Make happy those who want to believe it is needed. One can live in USA perfectly fine without ID'S or bank accounts it's actually safer now with all the ongoing hacking and identify theft.

Jasmine Cortez said...

The Mayor doesn't like Ortega, so of course he reacted this way. Let's not forget this is the man who ran a team against Norman during last year's school board race.