Mayor David Condon announced that the city of Spokane has banned the box— removing a line from the city’s employment application asking about past felony convictions.
The Mayor instructed the city’s Human Resources Department to develop policies meant to give qualified applicants “with mistakes in their past” a shot at getting employment with the city government, one of the largest employers in Spokane. “Those who are being released have this blockage in the way, to keep them from getting back in the community and be productive,” said James Wilburn, NAACP Chair.
Fast-forward to this month, and the box on city employment applications (for most positions) is gone. But a month into the policy being on the books, there’s been no similar publicity announcing that qualified felons now have more equal footing when being considered for city jobs. That’s a big problem, say local advocates.