Posted by: Mathew Bakko on 11/24/2014
Rev. Love
Rev. Dr. Bobby L. Love of MORE2 provided testimony to the commissioners in favor of Ban the Box

With testimony from MORE2 leaders, Commissioners of Kansas’s Wyandotte County have unanimously voted in favor of a “Ban the Box” ordinance that will prohibit criminal record check boxes from most city job applications.

Wyandotte County and Kansas City, Kansas share one government structure, known as the Unified Government of Wyandotte County. The passage of Ban the Box applies both to Kansas City, KS (City) and Wyandotte County jobs.  This is the third metro area municipal government that has passed Ban the Box; MORE2 won the first Ban the Box in Kansas City, Missouri in April 2013.

While background checks will still occur, this ordinance prevents the automatic disqualification of those with criminal histories, which is a discriminatory hiring practice according to advocates of the ordinance.

Reverend Dr. Bobby L. Love, a MORE2 leader who provided testimony to the commissioners in favor of Ban the Box, said that this issue goes beyond helping those individuals with criminal histories have a fair chance to work. “It’s an issue that affects congregations and can tear the relationships between people apart.” Banning criminal record check boxes can help with larger economic issues such as unemployment and family support, said Love.

Nationwide, thirteen states have statewide Ban the Box laws, and 30 states have at least one city with the law. With their Kansas victory in tow, MORE2 will expand their Ban the Box organizing into other cities.
Posted by: Mathew Bakko on 7/1/2014
15 trainees at June's Advanced Leadership Training took advantage of Gamaliel's new Continuing Education (CE) credit opportunity.

Offered in partnership with Saint Louis University, these credits will be used by those fulfilling social work and clergy licensing requirements, attending community college, or seeking licensure in a variety of fields.

Credit is usable in all 50 states. Trainees from California to New York earned 20.5 CE credits through participating in the training.
Posted by: Mathew Bakko on 7/1/2014
Michigan’s minimum wage will go up to $9.25 thanks to the work of MOSES and other nonprofits in the Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan (EJAM), part of a broad-based "Raise Michigan" coalition that organized for an increase.

Their work began as a ballot initiative designed to raise the minimum wage to $10.10. MOSES became a leading force in the Raise Michigan coalition, engaging more than 100 congregations during services, and collecting more than 5,000 signatures (about 6 percent of the signatures that volunteers collected statewide). Their work helped get the wage increase on the November ballot.

In response to the success of the ballot initiative, Republican state Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville introduced a bill to raise the minimum wage—but only to $8.15—in an attempt to undermine the $10.10 the group wanted. His bill would also have removed the legal basis for the ballot initiative. Ultimately, state legislators enacted a $9.25 wage increase indexed for inflation, as well as a raised tipping wage.

The fate of the $10.10 ballot initiative is in flux, but a solid victory has already been won: Raise Michigan and MOSES made positive change for Michigan's workers and put a little more change in their pockets. They’ve also built power in the process: "EJAM is now solidified as a coalition that is a force to be reckoned with in Michigan,” MOSES organizer Matt Friedrichs said. “We want to build on that.”

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