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Councilmen Want To ‘Ban The Box’

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DETROIT (WWJ) – It’s been the subject of much debate — whether companies who do business with Detroit should be allowed to include a question on applications about having a felony conviction.

In a move to encourage vendors to do business with the city, two Detroit City Councilmen want to remove the question about felony convictions on employment applications.

Councilman Ken Cockrel said he and colleague Kwame Kenyatta are working out details of the expanded “Ban the Box” ordinance.

“The reason for it really is just to expand the total number of opportunities out there that are available for people who have been incarcerated but have now been released, paid their debt to society, and are now looking for work,” Cockrel said.

However, Mayor Dave Bing’s Director of Purchasing Andre DuPerry said removing the question could be costly and discourage vendors from wanting to do business with the city.

“We will be, in essence, potentially and probably reducing even further who would want to do business with us,” DuPerry said.

Supporters of “Ban the Box” say it allows ex-felons an opportunity to at least get an interview with a potential employer so they can explain their past and promote their skills.

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