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Ban the Box agenda report for Richmond law

From the agenda. This was passed last night 5-1-1.

DATE:

November 20, 2012

TO:

Mayor McLaughlin and Members of the City Council

FROM:

Councilmember Jovanka Beckles

SUBJECT:

CITY ATTORNEY TO DRAFT AN ORDIANCE EXTENDING

RICHMOND’S “BAN THE BOX” POLICY TO CITY VENDORS AND

CONTRACTORS

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.

RECOMMENDED ACTION:

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.

DISCUSSION:

Councilmember Beckles proposes that the City Attorney draft an ordinance for

Council consideration extending Richmond’s “Ban the Box” policy, which was

AGENDA REPORT

November 20, 2012 Page

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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

economic system.

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

lives.

DOCUMENTS ATTACHED:

Attachment 1 – Safe Return Policy Research Memo

Robert Rogers