Homelessness Jobs Justice

Jobs Assistance Bill Passes! Next: Legalize Tent Encampments!

Real Change

We banned the box!

On June 10th, Seattle City Council voted unanimously to pass the Jobs Assistance Ordinance. With it’s passage, employers in Seattle can no longer ask about criminal history on a job application or reference criminal history in advertising. This law will give thousands of people with a criminal record a second chance at building a new life.

Real Change supported this ordinance through a campaign led by Columbia Legal Services. Over 47 vendors signed or wrote letters of support and others provided personal testimony during a council hearing. One vendor, Nick Maxwell, was even quoted in The Seattle Times. He explained, “When I got out of prison, and put in a job application, I was honest about my incarceration, but I found all doors closed…If a person has paid his debt to society, he should have an opportunity for a job and to feed his family. People shouldn’t have to serve a life sentence for their past.” Another vendor, Sharon Jones, was featured on KUOW: “I’ve always answered that question correctly…now I can’t get back to work. I just graduated from medical school and I’m trying to be a phlebotomist technician, and I sure would like to get a job.”

Thanks to all who emailed, provided testimony and called councilmembers!

Help Close the Survival Gap: Legalize Tent Encampments!

Real Change supports a proposal before the city council’s housing and human services committee that would legalize homeless encampments on public and privately owned property and help expand the number of faith-based sites. With 2,736 unsheltered people counted outside during the January One Night Count, tent cities save lives and they need to be supported by the City. Read about Council Bill 117792 and learn more in Tim’s Director’s Corner.

What you can do:

  • Email or call councilmembers TODAY and ask them to support Council Bill 117792. 206-684-CITY.
  • Join us June 25th at City Hall to show your support! We need to pack the hearing to demonstrate our support for this bill.

State Advocacy: Reject SB 5895, Enact Revenue!

Senate Bill 5895 imposes an arbitrary spending limit to non-education investments and would force deep cuts to child services, mental health, veteran’s benefits, and senior services. As Washington Low Income Housing Alliance explains: “At a time when record numbers of people are living in poverty and are struggling to keep a roof over their heads, we should be looking to increasing our state’s investment in the safety net, not demanding on the passage of bills that seek to destroy it.”

Take Action with WLIHA to reject SB 5895 and support a budget that protects the safety net and invests in the Housing Trust Fund. While you’re at it, support Governor Inslee’s plan to close tax loopholes through AFSCME.

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