Burgess says "ban the box" legislation will come to a vote soon | Blogh

Burgess says "ban the box" legislation will come to a vote soon

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Pittsburgh Councilor Ricky Burgess contacted the City Paper after its print deadline regarding our story in today's issue about his "Ban the Box" legislation, which supporters are lobbying to have put to a vote.

Burgess says the legislation, which was first introduced to council in 2011, is still under review by the city solicitor. He says he expects a response soon on questions about its enforcement.

"I've gotten several reports that they are close to finalization," he says.

About 75 people turned out last week to share stories of how "the box," (the question on job applications that asks whether or not the applicant has ever been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor) has kept them from getting work.

Burgess declined to comment on the group's efforts. In response to their concerns that he isn't returning their calls, Burgess says, "I'm always willing to talk to anyone about the plight of (those with convictions)."

He says he believes he has the support on the council to pass his proposed bill, which would ban "the box" from city job applications and those of the city's contractors. He notes that the bill reflects a strong personal belief that people should be given second chances.

"I do not believe a criminal conviction should be a lifetime sentence," he says.

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