Local pastor hoping to 'ban the box' - WNEM TV 5

Local pastor hoping to 'ban the box'

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FLINT, MI (WNEM) -

A hot topic in one local county is back in the spotlight as former convicts are hoping to get a second chance at life.

They say a simple box they have to check on job applications is getting in the way. Genesee County commissioners met Wednesday to reconsider removing it from the application process.

As pastor of the Demascus Holy Life Church in Flint, Ira Edwards often speaks of redemption and second chances.

It's a message he hopes carries over from the pulpit to the people. And more specifically, to those who make decisions when it comes to hiring.

It's why Edwards and other local pastors are pushing for Genesee County to "ban the box," removing the question on job applications that asks whether or not you have been convicted of a crime.

Some say once a potential employer sees the box checked yes, applications end up being discarded and those looking for a second chance are denied.

The county got one step closer to banning the box. With a 4-2 vote on a resolution to remove the question from all county applications.

Now the proposal will get a final vote by the board. Board Chairman Jaime Curtis expects it to pass.

It's a move Edwards hopes compels others in the business world to do the same.

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