From the agenda. This was passed last night 5-1-1.
November 20, 2012
Mayor McLaughlin and Members of the City Council
Councilmember Jovanka Beckles
CITY ATTORNEY TO DRAFT AN ORDIANCE EXTENDING
RICHMOND’S “BAN THE BOX” POLICY TO CITY VENDORS AND
STATEMENT OF THE ISSUE:
On November 11, 2011, Richmond City Council passed the resolution “Ban the
Box” requiring city employment application forms, either printed or online, to
exclude questions pertaining to an applicant’s prior criminal convictions.
However, this measure does not protect formally incarcerated persons when
applying for employment opportunities with private vendors and contractors
conducting business with the city.
DIRECT the City Attorney to draft an ordinance to expand the “Ban the Box”
policy to include contractors and vendors conducting business with the City of
Richmond – Councilmember Beckles (620-6568).
FINANCIAL IMPACT OF RECOMMENDATION:
There is no financial impact related to this item at this time.
Councilmember Beckles proposes that the City Attorney draft an ordinance for
Council consideration extending Richmond’s “Ban the Box” policy, which was
November 20, 2012 Page
passed on November 11, 2011, to require private vendors and contractors
conducting business with the city adopt the same employment application
process as the City of Richmond.
To date, the “Ban the Box” resolution requires any questions regarding prior
criminal convictions be removed from printed and online City of Richmond
employment application forms, and limits the gathering of information on
applicant’s potential conviction history. The intent of this resolution is to support
the successful reintegration of formerly incarcerated people into the community
by removing barriers to employment after their release from prison.
Recognizing that 78% of local parolees are unemployed and over 70% are
homeless, according to Safe Return Project, extending this proposal to private
vendors and contractors will expand employment opportunities for all qualified
individuals seeking employment and also contribute to the community’s
Nationwide, several cities and counties, including Boston, Hartford, New Haven,
Worcester, Chicago, Minneapolis, St Paul, San Francisco, and Alameda County,
have already adopted policies aligned with the “Ban the Box” initiative. The City
of Richmond, one of the three largest employers in Richmond, has the
opportunity to lead the way toward greater economic growth and social equality
for individuals by providing equal opportunities for employment, including
members who were formerly incarcerated and are attempting to rebuild their
Attachment 1 – Safe Return Policy Research Memo