On October 13, 2015, the Metropolitan Nashville Civil Service Commission called a public hearing to hear from members of the public on implementation of a Ban the Box or “fair chance hiring” policy. Commissioners heard from numerous community leaders on why they support Ban the Box (pictured above). Supporters included people directly affected by the criminal justice system, ministers working with restorative justice and youth, nonprofit leaders facilitating prisoner reentry, lawyers, organizers, and activists. All spoke movingly of the importance of banning the box in Nashville and the impact it would have on people’s lives. All four commissioners (one of the five recently moved to a new position, leaving an open slot), as well as representatives from Metro Human Resources, spoke with affirmation about the good that would come from delaying inquiries into criminal convictions until someone has been interviewed and is a candidate for hire.
Following the guidelines and due process of the Commission, commissioners will vote on a Ban the Box proposal at their next meeting scheduled for Tuesday, November 10. While the fight is not quite over yet, our team is confident in a positive outcome. Please stay tuned over the next month for possible means of further support, and stay tuned on November 10 for what will hopefully be the final word on this phase of our campaign.
Democracy Nashville would like to extend its deepest thanks to those who spoke at the hearing, who signed letters of support, who helped us build a base of support (at least 9,500 people strong) over the course of the last year, and who have assisted in pushing Nashville closer to justice and equity.