By: Amanda Salazar
Last summer Henry E. Nass waited in line in a city government building to sign up for an IDNYC card, a new program he had never heard of before.
Now, more than a year later, Mr. Nass is a staunch advocate of the program and the opportunities the card provides.
Mr. Nass is a one-man advocate for IDNYC, the goal of which is to supply all New York City residents over the age of 14 with a city ID card that will be accepted by city organizations.
In an attempt to bring more attention to the program among high-school students, Mr. Nass reached out to several high school newspapers, including Murrow’s, through the postal mail, asking them to promote the program.
“I believe,” Mr. Nass said. “That the student population has not benefited from or participated in this program in proportion to your percentage in the general population.”
In regards to IDNYC, he has sent nine letters to private high schools during last school year. This term, Mr. Nass mailed ten letters to public high schools.
A person in possession of an IDNYC card will automatically have a free one-year membership at 40 cultural institutions and receive discounts at places across the city.
An IDNYC cardholder can get discounted tickets at movie theaters, sporting events and live performances. A cardholder can also get a free one-year membership to the Guggenheim Museum and Bronx Zoo.
“I, myself, have already visited 14 of the places I can now go to for free at least for this year,” Mr. Nass said. “At least a third of them I, even as a very long time resident of Manhattan, had not been to before.”
However, despite all the benefits that the IDNYC program has to offer, the card is not quite as popular with college and high school students as it is with the general public, according to Mr. Nass.
The reason for this might be that the program itself does not do enough to promote the cards within colleges and high schools.
“I heard about it in class,” said freshman Britney Spence. “But they only talked about it that one time.”
Another issue is that the schools do not promote the program, nor do they explain the benefits that come with owning an IDNYC card.
“I heard the name [IDNYC] around,” senior Eliseo Nesci said. “But I don’t know what it is.”
Some students, though, were able to register successfully and are waiting to receive their card, such as freshman Tori Mei.
“My teachers told me about it,” said the 14 year old. “I signed up for it earlier. You just to fill a paper out and they take your picture. Then they give you a receipt.”
Other Murrowites have already applied and received their IDNYC cards earlier in the program’s history.
“I first heard about [the program] last summer in the library,” said Anthony St. Jules, a senior. “I got one then at the library.”
Murrow is one of the NYC high schools to have the IDNYC program stationed inside the school, making it easier for students to apply for the cards.
“The mayor’s office contacted me and asked to establish a pop-up sight at Murrow,” said Principal Mr. Allen Barge. “I responded with question about logistics. They set up a meeting and arranged for them to come one month later.”
Mr. Barge said he wanted to encourage students to apply for one of these ID cards if the program returns to our school in the spring.
“It’s great for everyone to have a photo ID,” Mr. Barge stated. “It is a wonderful initiative. We took advantage of the opportunity because we saw the advantage of having ID cards.”