City agencies celebrate the relaunch of the IDNYC campaign

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DSS Commissioner Gary Jenkins helps relaunch IDNYC campaign on May 2.
Photo by Dean Moses

The New York City Department of Social Services (DSS) and the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs (MOIA) celebrated Monday the relaunch of the City’s Municipal Identification card known as IDNYC.

The city kicked off the campaign in Harlem with the announcement of a new partnership with The Africa Center, a museum located on Fifth Avenue and 110th Street.  

IDNYC is a city identification card akin to a state ID, however, IDNYC can be issued to city dwellers regardless of immigration status or a person’s background. Not only that, but cardholders also receive several perks such as grocery discounts and free admission to installations such as museums.

On May 2 DSS Commissioner Gary Jenkins and MOIA Commissioner Manuel Castro toured The Africa Center exhibition before renewing their own IDNYC cards.

“IDNYC exemplifies the many ways in which we are using every tool at our disposal to level the playing field for our vulnerable communities. This includes strengthening access to the safety net resources, and support to which they are all entitled to,” Commissioner Jenkins said, boasting that IDNYC is one of the largest and most successful municipal ID programs in the nation.

“These new partnerships strengthen our existing IDNYC network, giving New Yorkers great access to all the amazing cultural and recreational opportunities the city has to offer,” Jenkins added.

DSS Commissioner Gary Jenkins and city officials tour The Africa Center. Photo by Dean Moses

The campaign is urging New Yorkers from all backgrounds, including undocumented immigrants, New Yorkers experiencing homelessness, those who are formerly incarcerated or others who are having difficulty obtaining an ID, to apply or renew their cards so they can access programs and other services they are entitled to.

According to Dana Reed, a Board Member at The Africa Center, Harlem is home to one of the largest populations of African people, so it with this in mind the city hopes to encourage New Yorkers no matter their immigration status to take advantage of this free ID program where they can receive perks like a discount to cultural institutions.

“They can safely sign up for their IDNYC and enjoy the many cultural offerings that our institutions and so many others around the city offer at a discount and for free, remind them that The Africa Center is all of our homes, and you will get a chance to see us opening soon and we’re right here in Harlem again,” Reed said.

The campaign will continue with a Day of Action which will take place on May 4, where DSS and MOIA workers will engage in a citywide effort to encourage New Yorkers to obtain or renew an IDNCY card.

“An IDNYC unlocks benefits many New Yorkers don’t even realize they have access to, and thanks to the expansion of services we’re announcing today, New Yorkers will be able to do even more across New York City effective immediately,” said Mayor Adams in a press release. “All New Yorkers will utilize the benefits of this card, regardless of immigration status, that will allow them to enjoy the benefits of so many of the city’s many cultural institutions and recreational centers.”