I Support Ban the Box

Whitney RawlsIssues, News & Updates, Opinions

Let’s face it. Every one of us has been or will be, at some point in our lives, in need of a second chance. When cities, counties and states adopt a fair hiring policy that removes the conviction history question on job applications, they are giving someone with skills and talent a reasonable chance at gainful employment and economic prosperity. Private employers who embrace Ban the Box do the same.

After learning about Ban the Box in 2014 and in view of its benefits, I was happy to partner with Vicente Thrower (a local Pompano Beach activist) and advocate for it in the City of Pompano Beach. We introduced the initiative to the city’s commission, had follow up meetings with staff, and were successful in helping them to adopt this warranted and fair policy. With the levels of background checks available for employers, removing the conviction history from job applications provides an opportunity to truly vet and hire skilled and qualified workers, reshape someone’s or some family’s economic future, provide an added boost to our local, state and national economy, and mitigate the strain on our criminal justice system by providing a greater chance of employment and helping to reduce repeat offenders.

In Broward County, many are in support of the county government adopting the Ban the Box initiative. The SEIU has been making presentations to groups across the county in preparation for an upcoming county commission vote.

“It’s a little box on Broward County employment applications, but it has a huge impact on people looking to make an honest living for themselves and their families.” —SEIU Florida

I wholeheartedly support the Ban the Box initiative and fair hiring policies that aide in putting people to work and providing for themselves and their families.

Want to know more about the Ban the Box issue? See the following resources.