City council approves "Ban the Box"

Updated: 05/20/2014 11:13 PM
Created: 05/20/2014 10:45 PM WHEC.com
By: Lynette Adams

Have you ever been convicted of a crime? It’s a question you’ve probably had to answer on a job application, but next time you apply for a job, the box might not be there.

One Rochester city council member wanted that question removed on job applications across the city, and on Tuesday, the rest of the city council agreed to “Ban the Box.”

“I was trying to help myself survive, but I ended up in another survival situation with the law coming after me because of my choices to try and get out of the hole that I was in,” said Tammy Bove, a Rochester Resident who attended the meeting.

Bove was celebrating after Tuesday’s decision to “Ban the Box.” She says she will finally get a chance to have the life she’s dreamed of. By the time Bove was a teenager, she says her mother had introduced her to a life of prostitution and drugs. To escape her mother, she says she began to sell drugs, but she got caught and went to prison. Bove says she’s clean and has changed her life, and the city council’s decision will finally give her a chance to prove it.

“I’m grateful it’s going to give me a chance to go forward instead of staying stagnant,” said Bove.

The city council overwhelmingly passed “Ban the Box” making it illegal for employers in the city to include questions that ask about criminal background on their job applications.

“Passing it tonight is saying we want everybody to work. We want everybody to have a fair chance at succeeding. We want to restore hope to our city,” said Adam McFadden, city council member.

But not everyone agrees with this decision. Barbara Campbell has been very vocal about her disapproval of this measure.

“I just think they’re spoon fed everything. That lady was talking about the services that she got, but at what point are we responsible for our own actions,” said Campbell.

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