Thursday, May 3, 2018

All Chicagoans are equal; what a downright subversive thought to have

I’m enjoying the misery that I’m sure the conservative ideologically-motivated amongst us in our society are feeling these days with the fact that Chicago has moved forward this week with its “City Key” card program.
Subversive idea, or a matter of convenience?

Those are the cards that the conservative ideologues (particularly those who get all riled up over “foreigners” being treated with any respect whatsoever) say are meant to complicate the lives of immigration officials in determining who is in this country (and this city) without a valid visa.

BECAUSE PART OF what they rely upon in their effort to complicate the daily lives of people who weren’t actually born in this country is that such individuals can have difficulty in obtaining the identification commonly required to obtain routine services.

For me, pulling my driver’s license out of my wallet is a simple act. If I didn’t have a driver’s license, I could obtain an official identification card from the Illinois secretary of state’s office. A perk of having been born in Chicago just over a half-century ago.

But not everybody in Chicago can do that. Which is why city officials came up with the City Key, an identification card the city clerk will issue that will be accepted as just as valid for ID purposes as a driver’s license.

City officials began issuing the cards this week to anybody who wants one – provided they can document their identity with a photo identification card of some type, their date of birth and something that shows they actually live in Chicago.
It does double-duty as ID and library card, ...

FOR SOME PEOPLE, their passport will wind up being the documentation that enables them to get a City Key card. My point being is that it’s not like anybody who is not a U.S. citizen is going to be using such a card to cover up that fact.

But what bothers the ideologues is that the card is designed in such a way that there will be full-fledged U.S. citizens (also Chicago residents) who will find there to be benefits of having a City Key card.

The card isn’t about to do anything to indicate which of its holders had the luck of the draw (which is all that birthright citizenship really is) of being born in this country. If anything, it treats the citizenship issue as one that’s not very relevant to a daily life in Chicago – or anywhere else, for that matter.
... and also can pay train or bus fare

Which is a fact that I’m sure infuriates the ideologically-inclined amongst us. Something that undermines their way of thinking, and the way they want everybody else to think.

PERSONALLY, I FIND it intriguing that the card is meant to serve not only as identification, but also can be used as a valid library card for the Chicago Public Library system and can also have money loaded onto it for the Ventra system that now collects fares for the Chicago Transit Authority elevated train and bus systems. There also will be discounts to card holders at museums and Chicago Sky women’s professional basketball games – and even the Joffrey Ballet, if that appeals to you.

Which may be why many people who otherwise wouldn’t have any interest in immigration or citizenship status are amongst those who have expressed interest.

Combining those functions into one card to be carried around, rather than juggling many different cards or having to load money into those machines at the “el” platforms every time one wants to ride the train somewhere.

How convenient.

THEN AGAIN, I’M sure the ideologues out there probably think that riding mass transit itself is somehow a subversive thought. How people who don’t have a car as a part of their daily lives somehow deserve more of a hassle.
If they ever offer discounted Sox tickets, I'm in

Even though for many Chicago residents (particularly those who are native-born and raised in the city), the lack of an automobile is about convenience. As it can be a hassle to have one and have to keep it legally parked when not in use.

Plus the fact that it can be downright convenient when traversing Chicago’s expanses to take the train or bus (or use a taxicab or one of those Uber vehicles for special occasions).

So having all these services on a single card to carry about – it almost makes me wonder if the ideologues’ real objection is that the local government officials in their home communities didn’t come up with such an idea first!


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