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County Commission passes Community ID resolution

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

The Alachua County Commission today passed a resolution “affirming participation and acceptance of FaithAction ID cards.”

The resolution states, “The Board finds the ability to obtain a community identification, as a secondary form of identification, will be of assistance to homeless individuals, persons re-entering the community after incarceration and those who do not have drivers’ licenses, and is a benefit to the general welfare of the County and community.”

The resolution requires the County to accept the FaithAction ID (“Community ID”) cards “to access county services unless another form of identification is required by Local, State or Federal Law.”

The resolution further “urges and encourages the business leadership, civic groups, other government agencies, community institutions, and residents to recognize and participate in the FaithAction ID program by recognizing the FaithAction ID card as valid identification, and by obtaining and using a FaithAction ID card for themselves, as part of a community-wide effort to expand prosperity and inclusion for all residents.”

An advocate for the Community ID said, “Our process is very thorough and in-depth.” The organization requires proof of age, proof of address, and a photo ID. The ID costs $10.

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Claudia Tuck, Alachua County Director of Community Support Services, said the Community ID would “expedite” receiving services. She said that proof of citizenship is required for many services, but if someone has lost their identification, for example, this could help them get started.

Advocates encouraged members of the community to get the ID because that “normalizes” it. 

The next opportunity to get this card is Saturday, February 29.

Advocates for the card say that it can be difficult for various people to get an official State ID, but State IDs are available for citizens and non-citizens alike, and those offices are open 8:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Monday – Friday. A State ID card costs $25 and is valid for all identification purposes. According to their website, Community IDs are available once a month for about 4 hours, and those IDs may or may not be valid in any given context. The City of Gainesville has passed a similar resolution, and Gainesville Police Department accepts the Community IDs as identification.

Sheriff Darnell said, “I understand the value of [the Community ID] for accessing services throughout the County and for general purposes of identification.

“At the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office, I am supportive of the Community ID card being accepted for use in obtaining various services we provide, i.e., victim advocate services; participation in the Explorer, RAD and Teen Driver program(s); and the annual the Safety Patrol Trip, among others.

“However, my understanding is that for law enforcement purposes we may only accept as credible identification an identification card issued by a ‘government agency.’

“So, in short, the current Community ID card under discussion is fine for obtaining services and or for other entities to accept as identification, if they choose. As Sheriff, I am unable to approve its use for law enforcement purposes, i.e., in lieu of a driver’s license when driving; or a variety of other circumstances requiring valid identification under Florida State Statutes.”

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