by Rachel Swan
Following on the heels of San Francisco and Oakland, Richmond began the process of ratifying ordinance that would grant municipal ID cards to anyone living in the city, the Contra Costa Times reports. Designed specifically to benefit undocumented immigrants, transgender people, and indigents, the law would grant any cardholder access to city services, regardless of federal ID or green card status. That would mean that anyone with a municipal card could open a bank account in Richmond. City council members added a few perks to sweeten the pot for all residents — like adding access to libraries — so that the cards wouldn't become a stigma for certain populations. And so far, the law appears to be gaining momentum. It's passed two out of three required city council votes so far, and should go on the books July 5, if all goes according to plan. Not surprisingly, detractors say it would encourage illegal immigration.