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Saturday 26 November 2022
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Syracuse City Council approves “Ban the Box”

the_boxSyracuse City Council passed a Ban the Box ordinance Dec. 8 in an 8-1 vote.

The legislation requires the city, and contractors working with the city, to stop asking job applicants about criminal convictions, unless they plan to give an applicant a tentative job offer.

Councilmembers previously tried for two years to pass the legislation, with Councilor Jean Kessner spearheading the effort.

“Banning the box is a way for Syracuse to invest in itself and the people and the families who live here – to allow them opportunities where they have no opportunities,” Kessner said. “Syracuse, with its documented and spirit-depleting racial and economic divide, needs to ban the box, not just to allow individuals with criminal backgrounds a fair shot at a good survival, but to allow the very same thing for our city.”

The next step in the process is for Mayor Stephanie Miner to approve the ordinance.

Should Miner veto the ordinance, the council would need six votes to overturn the veto.

City officials said she is currently reviewing the legislation.

The legislation currently only applies to the city of Syracuse, which employs an estimated 2,000 workers.

The law will also reportedly affect an estimated 200 to 300 private companies that work with the city.

Employers who had previously spoken out against the proposed ordinance have not yet commented on the matter.