The following note was received today from the National Employment Law Project:
We wanted to report back on the exciting progress in support of the federal fair chance hiring initiative, which builds on the momentum from the sign-on letter to the President that your organizations endorsed.
On March 25th, representatives from NELP, All of Us or None, PICO National Network and the Southern Coalition for Social Justice met with White House and Labor Department officials to present the letter signed by nearly 200 organizations and urge immediate federal action. The news about the sign-on letter and the White House meeting was covered in an excellent exclusive that appeared in Politico (check it out) the day of the meeting. The sign-on letter was also featured in an op-ed by a Florida small business owner (and a member of our partners at the Main Street Alliance) in The Guardian, in an NNPA syndicated story picked up by several news outlets, as well as in a National Law Review story.
In addition, thanks to the active engagement of your organizations, the social media around the initiative is also picking up steam. The Facebook image (attached) produced over 60,000 views, and it was shared by nearly 1,000 people. During the one-hour “tweet storm” on the 25th, there were 250 unique tweets using the #FairChance or #BanTheBox hashtags (a special shout out goes to Danny Glover, whose tweet led the way with most retweets). In just a few short months, we’re building a serious social media following thanks again to all of you.
Based on the feedback we received at the meetings on the 25th, all the support from your organizations, the press and the social media is getting the Administration’s attention – they have made clear that they are taking a serious look at the proposal to issue an Executive Order and Presidential Memo to extend fair chance hiring/ban the box to federal contractors and the federal hiring process. Now, it’s all about continuing to build the grassroots and public pressure to move the Administration to act. Your continued active involvement is critical to the success of the effort.
On another positive note, we wanted to also share the news that Virginia Governor McAuliffe issued a strong executive order today extending fair chance hiring to all state positions (and urging the private sector to do the same). McAuliffe’s action got the attention of Valerie Jarrett, President Obama’s Senior Advisor, who tweeted out her support using the #BantheBox hashtag. Please take minute to retweet it as well.
Thanks again everyone for all your amazing support! We’ll be in touch soon with more details and next steps.
Maurice Emsellem, Director
Access and Opportunity Program
National Employment Law Project