What was proposed as a “sanctuary city” to Mayor Joe Ganim was spun into a “Welcoming City” that now includes a municipal Park City identification card that can access city services, register a child for school, obtain a library card, cash a check, file a complaint with the police department “regardless of the individual’s immigration status or prior criminal history.”
U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal joined Ganim and other city officials in the roll out late last week, what Ganim called “enhancing the city’s reputation as a welcoming and inclusive community, and promoting a sense of shared identity for those who live in Connecticut’s largest city.”
Ganim had pushed back on the sanctuary city designation proposed by community activists to avoid conflict with President Donald Trump’s threat to withhold federal dollars to communities and states resisting his immigration policy. Federal courts have pushed back on Trump’s position. But for Ganim the “Welcoming City” is a calculation that balances community pleas with his desire to maintain a relationship that goes back to the early 1990s when Trump eyed the city for development.
Ganim, real or imagined, rationalizes he’s covered both bases. He wants a piece of federal infrastructure dollars without alienating Trump or betraying the loud voices at City Council meetings and community rallies.
Officials say any city resident is eligible for a “Park City Resident Card,” regardless of age, ethnicity, immigration status or previous criminal history, if they provide documentation that establishes proof of their identity and residency within the city.
Cards may be obtained at the Office of Vital Statistics at the Margaret Morton Government Center, 999 Broad Street. The cards, $15, last for three years. Applicants will not file any individual documents with Vital Statistics to receive an ID.
The cards feature the name, address, date of birth, expiration date, picture and signature of the individual, as well as other optional information such as an emergency contact and allergy information. A holographic background and raised tactile guards the card against fraud.
New Haven and Hartford have also implemented municipal ID programs. The genesis of the ID program started under Ganim’s predecessor Bill Finch.