On Friday June 20th, a group of community leaders from VOCAL-NY travelled to Council Member Darlene Mealy’s district office in Crown Heights. The Fair Chance Act was introduced into the NYC City Council at the end of April and has been referred to the Civil Rights committee. Now, we need a hearing on the bill so that it can move through committee and eventually be brought to the floor for a vote. Council Member Mealy, as chair of the Civil Rights committee, has the power to move the Fair Chance Act forward. We already have 35 co-sponsors, a veto-proof supermajority, including every member of the Civil Rights committee except Council Member Mealy.
We arrived at 1:30pm to see an office with a closed gate. We had planned to present Council Member Mealy with the Fair Chance Act, as well as stories such as Carl’s, which highlight the importance of the Fair Chance Act to New Yorkers. Instead, we were locked out, just as many of her constituents and New Yorkers around the city are from jobs and a living wage because of their criminal records.
We did get the opportunity to talk to people from the community about the Fair Chance Act. We spoke to people in barbershops, on the street, and even in restaurants, urging them to call Council Member Mealy and ask her to call for a vote on the bill. We encountered so many people who had criminal convictions and were having trouble looking for work, as well as those who had family members and friends in that position. It is clearer than ever that we need the Fair Chance Act passed as soon as possible. It’s time for us to make certain the every New Yorker, regardless of past criminal convictions, has a fair chance at a job!
For more information about the Fair Chance Act, click here.
If you’d like to support, please urge Council Member Mealy to set a hearing for the Fair Chance Act! Her District Office number is 718-953-3097.