- Associated Press - Friday, November 6, 2015

PITTSBURGH (AP) - Officials in Pittsburgh passed a plan to begin testing municipal identification cards, aimed at making public services and places more easily accessible for marginalized populations.

City Council on Wednesday preliminarily approved a nearly $40,000 grant-funded study that will test the feasibility of creating the card system, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported (https://bit.ly/1Nh6RL5 ) on Friday.

Mayor Bill Peduto’s administration, which was approached last year about exploring the idea, said they know that community access has been a problem.

The study is scheduled for final approval next week and will consider the costs, possible benefits, application processes and required documentation that residents would need to provide. It is expected to take up to six months and officials said they also want to look at possible partnerships.

“We’re excited by the model that’s out there in other cities,” said Betty Cruz, Peduto’s special initiatives manager. “But we need to figure out what’s right for Pittsburgh and what’s realistic for Pittsburgh.”

The program has been attempted in New York City, which offers an identification card that comes with a free one-year membership package to more than 30 cultural institutions. A card system is in place in Oakland, California, which offers a card with a prepaid debit account for people who have trouble accessing banks.

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Information from: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, https://www.post-gazette.com

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