During “Second Chance Month” this April, the UFCW’s Civil Rights and Community Action Department is highlighting how we are helping members and other hard-working Americans with prior nonviolent convictions clear their records and register to vote.
Many of these Americans face difficulty with finding a new job and affordable housing, securing a loan, or furthering their education. Strengthening opportunities for them and helping them contribute to their communities starts with ensuring their voice is heard at the ballot box.
To strengthen voting rights for people ready for a fresh start, the International’s Civil Rights and Community Action Department has partnered with locals and allies over the past three years to expunge the criminal records of some of our members and other hard-working women and men free of charge so that they can have access to essential services and register to vote. The UFCW has already helped hundreds of people through this program.
“We know that building better lives for working families starts with access to better jobs. Many people are shut out of better opportunities because of the targeted criminalization of Americans,” said Amber Parrish Baur, executive director of the UFCW Western States Council. “The UFCW believes these expungement clinics are an opportunity for our members, their families, and our communities to finally be released from their pasts and provided an economic path forward.”
“Helping people clean their records and get a new start after they did their time is a good thing,” said Etoria Reid, who is a member of UFCW Local 27 and attended one of the expungement clinics to clear her record. “It has been a great impact on my life as now I am not limited by my past.”
“I feel really good about our union helping members clean their records because it shows that the union actually cares about the members and wants to see them live better,” Reid added.
In coordination with the Civil Rights and Community Action Department, UFCW Local 27, along with the National Network for Justice, APEX and the NAACP, is sponsoring an expungement clinic in Georgetown, Del., on June 22. “It’s very important that someone’s past not dictate their future,” said Nelson Hill, who is assistant to the President at UFCW Local 27. “I hope that our members take advantage of our expungement clinics and knock down any barriers to a brighter future.”
To learn more about UFCW Local 27’s expungement clinic, contact Nelson Hill at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your local is interested in working with the International’s Civil Rights and Community Action Department to give people a second chance by helping them clear their records and change their lives for the better, contact Robin Williams at email@example.com or Karina Lopez at firstname.lastname@example.org. Additional information about voting rights in your state is available here.