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Hudson Valley Should “Ban the Box”

by Sean Patrick Maloney

Credit: Wikimedia

Credit: Wikimedia

I write to encourage your involvement in the “Ban the Box” initiative, which aims to provide increased job opportunities for qualified applicants who may have previously been arrested or convicted of a crime.
As you may be aware, nearly one in three adults in the United States have questionable information related to previous actions that would show up on a routine criminal background check.  Additionally, more than 70 million Americans have a criminal record that makes it increasingly more difficult to secure long term employment.  In response to these issues, which affect both prospective employees and potential employers, elected officials from across the political spectrum have embraced “fair chance” hiring reforms.
It is my intention to restore hope and opportunity to qualified job-seekers that may otherwise not be able to pursue employment opportunities due to a preliminary background check. Should you wish to join me and dozens of major companies including PepsiCo, Koch Industries, Starbucks and Google in banning the box indicating a criminal record on preliminary employment applications, you would join thousands of public and private sector employers in delaying the criminal history check until further along in the employment application process.  Please know your actions in this regard will not prevent you from being made aware of the criminal history of prospective employees. Embracing this initiative will allow candidates the opportunity to prove their qualifications instead of being immediately rejected without consideration due to their past.  In doing so, we can work together to eliminate unnecessary barriers to employment for individuals with a criminal record.
Therefore, I ask that you consider adopting these hiring practices which would increase job opportunities for many more hardworking New Yorkers. Should you wish to join me in this initiative, or if you have any questions or concerns related to this topic, please do not hesitate to contact my Newburgh District Office at (845) 561-1259. Thank you in advance for your time and consideration of this request.

Congressman Sean Patrick Maloney is a Democrat who represents New York’s 18th district. 

Nyack People & Places, a weekly series that features photos and profiles of citizens and scenes near Nyack, NY, is sponsored by Sun River Health.

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