Governor Quinn Agrees To Issue An Administrative Order To Ban The Box On State Job Applications In Illinois
Yesterday over 100 people attended our forum on ending discrimination against formerly incarcerated Black workers. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn sent one of his top deputies to the meeting to tell us that the Governor shares our values, and that he believes discrimination against the formerly incarcerated is wrong. The staffer also announced that within the next several weeks the Governor will issue and Administrative Order that will remove the question asking about a person's criminal record from State job applications. We would like to commend the Governor for his leadership on issues affecting formerly incarcerated people.
This is a great victory for the Workers Center for Racial Justice, our allies, and everyone that is concerned about the plight of formerly incarcerated Black workers. Now formerly incarcerated workers in Illinois will have greater opportunity to access living wage, union jobs with the State. This victory would not have been possible without the hard work of our members and leaders, and the support of our allies at SOUL, ROC Chicago, and the Chicago Workers Collaborative.
Unfortunately our struggle is only halfway done. The Administrative Order only covers State job applications. To remove the question about criminal convictions from all public as well as private sector job applications, legislation must be passed. Even though Ban The Box legislation has failed to pass in Illinois on three separate occasions, we believe today is a new day. The wind is at our backs, and we won't be stopped until we finally put an end to this form of discrimination against formerly incarcerated Black workers.