Charlotte Coalition is bringing “Ban the Box” Movement to Charlotte City Council Meeting

Charlotte, North Carolina – January 25, 2012 – Grassroots movement “Ban the Box” is presenting a proposed ordinance to the Charlotte City Council at its February 25th 6:15 pm meeting in the Government Center.

Ban the Box’s model ordinance would, among other things, remove the question on the City of Charlotte’s initial employment applications that requires job applicants to check whether or not they have been previously convicted of a crime. The purpose of this provision is to ensure that conviction histories are not being used as an automatic bar to employment.  The ordinance also requires the City to give notice to municipal job applicants that it is going to conduct a conviction history check, delays conviction history checks until the city has extended a conditional offer of employment, and gives job applicants an opportunity to present evidence of their rehabilitation to the person making the hiring decision.

The model ordinance does not require that Charlotte hire individuals with conviction histories.  It merely seeks to level the playing field so that an individual with a conviction history may get a “foot in the door.” The goal of the ordinance is to reduce recidivism in the community while still ensuring community safety.

Ban the Box is on the agenda for the City Council with the following speakers:  Henderson Hill of the Center of Community Justice Coalition, Isaac Sturgill of Legal Aid of North Carolina, Erik Ortega of Community Transitions, Monique Maddox of Second Helpings Charlotte, and Tommy George, owner of Pasta Provisions.  Ban the Box is part of a larger effort by community leaders and the Civil Rights Clinic of Charlotte School of Law to reduce recidivism rates in Charlotte.

Ban the Box is asking for community support at the City Council meeting on Monday, February 25th at 6:15 pm.  All that is necessary to show support is to be present at the meeting.

Anyone interested in a copy of the ordinance or other Ban the Box information may contact:

Cleat Walters

waltersc@students.charlottelaw.edu

Charlotte School of Law Civil Rights Clinic

By Hailey Strobel

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