NEWBURGH – People lined up outside Newburgh City Hall an hour before municipal ID cards were to be distributed for the first time to city residents on Tuesday.
An hour after the doors opened, there were dozens of people in line to obtain their card. Residents waited patiently and as they walked out with their new photo IDs, they had a sense of pride on their faces. Blanco Flores held up her card and proudly announced she was from Newburgh.
City Manager Joseph Donat credited the unity of the mayor and city council working with staff to have the program up and running in less than 90 days.
Ignacio Acevedo, lead organizer for Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson, said the program is a major enhancement for city residents. Before Newburgh’s program, the cities of Middletown, Beacon, Poughkeepsie and Kingston started their municipal ID programs and Acevedo doesn’t want to stop there. He would like to expand it further.
“Right now I think we are working on Warwick; I that is another community open to the idea,” he said, saying other communities they may approach include New Paltz, Monticello and Ellenville. “Where the need is, we will show some support,” Acevedo said.
The municipal I D programs in the other cities have been very well received.