On March 5, 2008, Centro Legal de la Raza hosted a meeting of community groups to discuss establishing an Oakland City Identification Card — following similar innovations in New Haven, CT, and San Francisco, CA, and according with the expansion of Oakland’s sanctuary ordinance last year.
The East Bay La Raza Lawyers Association’s Immigrant Rights Committee joined Centro Legal de la Raza, the Black Alliance for Just Immigration and other community, labor and faith organizations to discuss how to extend Oakland’s sanctuary ordinance to provide a municipal ID card for people in our community who lack access to ID and the public and business services that an ID facilitates.
After several meetings, we named ourselves the Oakland City Identification Card Coalition (“OCICC”). As of 4/27/09, 29 organizations and many individuals have endorsed our call for a city ID card in Oakland. The OCICC also prepared a detailed proposal explaining and analyzing the potential benefits and concerns associated with the proposed city ID card. Please click here to view the proposal: OCICC ID Card Proposal. Further, the Peralta Community College District passed a resolution in support of the proposed ID card.
We see the establishment of a city ID card as a means to provide an official government-issued identification to oft-marginalized members of our community such as immigrant, youth, elderly, homeless, domestic violence survivor and transgender individuals whose access to services and resources are often limited in part due to the lack of acceptable identification.
The potential benefits to Oakland residents include:
- Full participation of all residents in civic affairs.
- Access of all residents to local resources such as libraries and museums.
- Ability of all residents to participate in local commerce such as opening a bank account, establishing credit, accessing loans, etc.
- Improvement in public safety by easing barriers to crime reporting and witness cooperation.
- Security for children, youth, and the elderly, who may not have other identification such as a valid driver’s license.
- Discounts from City institutions such as the zoo, museums, etc., from local small businesses, and eventually from public transit.
- The ability to be used as a debit card to carry a potential new local Oakland currency, the “ACORN“.
Would you like to join us? We are looking for other groups and individuals to help realize the Oakland City ID Card. There is strength in numbers! Click on
this link to get a form letter which you can fill out and email to us at