Cities for All: Integrating our Communties: a national conference focusiong on the social integration of marginalizied communities by implementing a successful Municipal Identification Card Program; February 6 – 7, 2009, Laney College, Oakland, California

January 5, 2009

Dear Community Organization,

The Alianza Latinoamericana por los Derechos de los Inmigrantes (ALDI) Would like to cordially invite you to a national conference focusiong on the social integration of marginalizied communities by implementing a successful Municipal Identification Card Program.

The purpose of this conference is to highlight and explain the implementation of municipal identification cards as a tool for the social, economic and political integration of our communities. As you have probably already learned there are currently two cities–New Haven CT and San Francisco, CA– in the United States that have adopted municipal identification card programs that offer ID/resident cards to all city residents.

These programs, initially pushed by the undocumented community have turned into inclusive, community-wide positive projects that help provide proper governmental identification cards to those that otherwise do not posses one. For an array of reasons many in our cities often lack a valid government issued identification which prevents them from accessing bank accounts and libraries and exposes them to identification verifying issues with local police and businesses. Many of these residents are already marginalized members of our community like those with low income, the homeless, youth, elderly, youth, LGBT, domestic violence and immigrants; the lack of an ID only exacerbates and entrenches the economic and social marginalization that already exists.

For these and many other reasons we are hosting this national conference: Cities for All: Integrating our Communities, to share the experience of the SF and New Haven ID programs but also tobrainstorm with you about how similar programs can be established in your cities to help integrate all our residents. Such programs are legally valid and well within the general powers of our municipal governments.

At first the concept of a municipal ID may seem unnecessary. However, in addition to providing an official ID to those who would otherwise lack one, groups working on these programs have learned that the implementation of municipal identification cards can creatively and effectively spur local economic activity and make our communities safer. For example, groups in Oakland local bussines and recreational activity discounts have been attached to the ID project, helping stimulate the economy. In New Haven, public safety has improved as individuals who were once afraid of being harassed for not having some form of identification, are now more willing to cooperate with police.

The conference, Cities for All: Integrating our Communties, will be taking place on February 6 – 7, 2009 at Laney College in Oakland, California.

The conference’s main goals are to:

a) Consolidate the implementation of municipal ID’s in Bay Area Cities. (In addition to the adoption of a municipal ID program in SF (there are four other cities where community organizations have been taken the lead to implement such a program)

b) Present the numerous benefits of implementing a municipal ID program and demonstrate how such a program benefits marginalized sectors of society, incluiding (but not limited to) low-income workers, the homeless, youth, elderly, LGBT, domestic violence victims and immigrants from every nationality

c) share current experiences of municipal programs already implemented and those that are under way with other organizations and political authorities from different statates.

d) Break barriers and convince, with valid justifications and facts, that the municipal ID card is the solution to many of the community problems.

e) Involve the participants in a national movement.

Talking points:

a) Social integration=human rights.

b) Identity and safety.

c) Economic sustainability and potential global benefits.

Conference Design:

a) Community panels:

Experiences shared by immigrant, homeless and LGBT groups.

b) Back ground information: What is a Municipal ID Card? And FAQs

c) Overcoming barriers and introducing strategic planning.

d) Supporting new coalitions and offering community presentations.

e) Establish a timeline by which to launch a national movement.

Workshops/presentations Include:

People Privacy-Inclusiveness
Economic/Social/Political Context for Federal Law Immigration Reform.
Identity and Safety.
What is a Municipal ID Card and its Multiple Uses
Legal Basis/ Municipal Government Legislation/ Yale Report.
Grassroots Strategies to Integrate Our Communities.
Local Commerce and Economic Sustainability for Marginalized Communities and new technologies.
Overcoming Politics of Division Cross-Alliances.
Implementation, Key Studies : New Haven/San Francisco.

Alternative presentations and performance on: Art, Culture & Social Integration.

A number of elected officials and organizations have endorsed the conference, including:

Gayle McLaughin Mayor of Richmond CA,

Felipe Aguirre Mayor of Maywood CA,

Tom Ammiano Supervisor of the City and County of San Francisco

Contra Costa Municipal ID Project, Oakland City ID Coalition, Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC), Global Exchange, Mexican American Political Association MAPA, Hermandad Mexicana Latinoamericana, The Trasnational Institute for Grassroots Research and Action (TIGRA), The Northwest Federation of Communty Organizations (NWFCO), Institute for the Study of Social Change, University of California at Berkeley, Nuestra Casa de la Peninsula Media, Oganizacion deTrabajadores Agricolas de California, Black Story Narratives, Proyecto Voz del Valle Central de California, Centro Latino Cuzcatlan, The Marin Immigrant Rights Coalition (MIRC), San Francisco Day Labor Program, La Raza Centro Legal, Voluntarios de la Comunidad.

We would be truly grateful if your organization joined us in this important effort to integrate our communities. As the national conference date is coming up soon, please let us know as soon as possible if you will able to join us. For more information about conference fees or sponsorship level , please see attached sheets or contact us. We are looking forward to your response.

Best regards,

Miguel Robles

Latin American Alliance for Immigrant Rights (ALDI)



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