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The installation of Deborah David’s new kitchen faucet was a $180 job. But it lies at the heart of an expanding $400 billion commercial war.

Some of the biggest names in e-commerce, along with a growing pool of start-ups, are vying for a chunk of the fragmented, quotidian, heretofore entirely local market of electricians, plumbers, dog walkers and other manual labor, known broadly as home services.

The work may be mundane but the money and stakes are huge. Angie’s List, the 20-year-old subscription service that offers reviews of local service providers to members, estimates the home services industry is $400 billion. Others put it at more than $800 billion. Read more


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Some move to Florida; some volunteer at the library. But when Judith Norell decided to retire as a concert harpsichordist at age 60, she thought she would try her hand at baking bread.

“I grew up on packaged bread, the kind that stays squeezed when you squeeze it,” she said. “But every Friday night, my mother baked, and she handed me a piece of dough to play with.”

To celebrate her retirement, Ms. Norell started baking at home and selling to parents at her daughter’s school. Soon she found herself an apprenticeship at Amy’s Bread.

“But then no one wanted to hire me,” she said. “They told me, ‘You’re too old; you’re a woman, you should make pastries; you can’t lift a flour sack.’ ”

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launched four months ago

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More than 100,000 New Yorkers have enrolled in the city’s municipal identification program, which launched four months ago to much fanfare from immigrant-rights advocates, and 83% of that number have actually received their cards, according to a report submitted Thursday by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration.

Since its launch in January, the city has made 353,861 appointments with residents to obtain ID cards; 101,063 New Yorkers have had their applications processed by the city, and 83,285 have actually received their municipal ID cards. Of those still waiting to get their cards, 90,000 have been approved, with 7,000 cards “slated for imminent printing.”

Only two instances of fraud were detected by the city, both involving individuals attempting to obtain an ID card using a different person’s identification records. Both applications were denied.

The city lists a group of credit unions and banks that have agreed to accept the card as proof of identity for the purposes of opening a bank account: Amalgamated Bank, Bethex Federal Credit Union, Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Carver Federal Savings Bank, Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union, Melrose Credit Union, Municipal Credit Union, Neighborhood Trust Federal Credit Union, Popular Community Bank, Spring Bank, University Settlement Federal Credit Union and Urban Upbound Federal Credit Union.

Missing from the list are any major banks or financial institutions, likely because global firms like JPMorgan Chase and Citi Group, for example, find it difficult to make time for local initiatives such as the municipal ID program. But there have been no reports of any of these banks rejecting an ID holder from opening an account, the mayor’s office said. In fact, some individual employees at major banks have accepted the new IDs as sufficient proof of identity to do business, a spokeswoman for the mayor said.

“The city continues to work closely with federal regulators to ensure that all financial institutions accept the IDNYC card for purposes of opening a banking account in the near future,” the report says.

Some civil liberties groups have highlighted concerns about the retention of documents by city agencies, especially concerning undocumented immigrants and other vulnerable communities. In its report, the city says no documents were requested by agencies unaffiliated with the ID program, nor shared by agencies affiliated with the program.

“Privacy and security of applicant data are foremost priorities for the IDNYC program,” the report states.

Because of high demand, the city has moved to triple enrollment capabilities, with additional expansion planned for the coming weeks, the report states. New enrollment centers will open soon in the South Bronx and Brooklyn’s Coney Island, while the center in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, will expand. Additional pop-up enrollment centers will open as well.

Of the 101,063 enrollees, 34,616 are from Queens, 30,805 from Brooklyn, 17,153 from the Bronx, 14,976 from Manhattan and 3,513 from Staten Island. A little under 2% of the total number of people who have received ID cards, or 1,401, are minors under the age of 17.

Discounts, free memberships at cultural institutions and other perks continue to be offered by the ID program to entice wider participation by citizens and documented immigrants. Thirty-three museums, galleries, zoos and other institutions are offering free one-year memberships to anyone signed up before Dec. 31. Discounts at Broadway theaters, supermarkets and pharmacies are also under works.

Idnyc Quarterly Report 03-31-15 link

Read more at Crian’s NY

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For years, it was information shared only in whispers. An undocumented student, bright and educated, wanted to go to college, and a precious few universities were willing, very quietly, to help them pay for it.

But as ferocious battles rage in Congress, statehouses and courtrooms over the legal status of undocumented immigrants, an evolution has been underway at some colleges and universities. They are taking it upon themselves to more freely, sometimes openly, make college more affordable for these students, for whom all federal and most state forms of financial aid remain off limits.  Read more

The U.S. census

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Immigration from Africa has exploded all over the country. The U.S. census reports that 1.6 million African immigrants live in the U.S.—or 4 percent of the country’s foreign born population–and the influx has exceeded 300 years of the slave trade. In New York City, the African-born population increased about 39 percent, to 128,200, over the past decade, according to the Department of Planning. African groups do not make the city’s top-20 list of the foreign-born, but represent a growing presence among recent entrants to the city, notes the planning agency.

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BankMobile says it is the first full-service mobile-only bank.

Taking a trip to your local bank may no longer be necessary.

BankMobile, a division of Customers Bank, launched Wednesday, claiming to be the first bank to allow customers to open checking and savings accounts and even get a credit line solely through a mobile app.

BankMobile hopes to cater to wired millennials, who are expected to make up 50% of the workforce by 2020.

Of course an app still can’t dispense cash, the most analog of financial instruments. To solve that problem, BankMobile will offer customers access to 55,000 ATMs nationwide, and reimburse them the cost of ATM surcharges. The ATMs, however, must be part of the STAR network. There are about 5,800 STAR network ATMs in the tristate area, according to the state Department of Labor. Prominent retail banks Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup, though, are not part of the STAR network. Read more

Queens Library

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The applicants clustered on Kissena Boulevard, clutching documents from around the world, trading familiar stories with strangers in a driving rain outside the Queens Library in Flushing. There were the police encounters, the school visits, the fraught hospital trips — all negotiated without the bureaucratic lubricant of local identification.

“We feel naked,” said Mauricio Peña, 34, who is originally from Honduras. “We feel like we don’t exist.”

At his side, a peer, who immigrated from Malaysia 17 years ago, nodded beneath his umbrella.

Such was the scene at enrollment sites across New York City on Monday, with crowds gathering by the hundreds as the de Blasio administration introduced the country’s largest municipal identification program. Read more

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For generations, the label has been at once exclusive and widely misapplied, available to millions in earnest, but vulnerable to line-blurring by suburban peers who claimed New York City residency without an address to match.

Could a New Yorker be identified by a harried gait? A brash retort? The knowledge that L trains are to be avoided on weekends?

Perhaps. But beginning this week, the evidence will, for the first time, be wallet-size.

here are the link to make an appointment for an IDNYC