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Now The Hard Work Begins

Last week the WCRJ received the best Valentines Day gift when the Ban the Box bill we wrote was introduced in the Illinois General Assembly. HB 5638 would require most public and private sector employers to remove the question that asks about a person's criminal background from their job applications. This commonsense piece of legislation is a first step in removing one of the many barriers faced by formerly incarcerated Black workers in obtaining sustainable and living wage work.

However, getting the bill introduced does not guarantee that it will be passed and signed into law. So for the next several weeks we will be contacting voters throughout the state asking them to support HB 5638, and having them write their legislators urging them to support the bill as well. We could not have gotten this far without the help of all our supporters, but we can't stop now. Here's what you can do to help fight to end the discrimination against formerly incarcerated workers:

  • Join our Jobs Not Jail Taskforce. Our next meeting is Thursday February 27 at 6:00 PM at our office, located at 500 East 61st Street, on the 2nd floor. Come join us as we continue to develop and refine our 2014 strategy for creating pathways to good jobs for formerly incarcerated Black workers.‚Äč
  • Volunteer to help us phone bank. In order to build the public support we need to get our bill passed, we will have to contact thousands of voters throughout the state. Consider signing up for a two-hour phone bank shift. And even if you don't live in Illinois, we still got you covered. We can easily set you up on our Virtual Phone Bank, where you can make calls to Illinois voters from anywhere in the world. 
  • Donate $5 today. Valentines Day was last week, but it's not too late  to show some love for the WCRJ. Every dollar we raise goes directly to helping end discrimination against formerly incarcerated Black workers, and creating opportunities to sustainable and living wage work for all marginalized Black workers. 

Workers Center for Racial Justice 

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