100 signatures reached
To: Atlanta's City Council
Atlanta pave the way to future; update Atlanta’s Bill of Rights
Collateral consequences make Justice Impacted People, the fastest growing homeless and unemployed population in Atlanta. They need second chances and a justified reentry into society. Collateral consequences punish people after they have done their time and takes away their rights by imposing sanctions that can impact their access to housing, benefits, and jobs.
We Demand that Atlanta City’s Council update the city’s Bill of Rights to include Justice Impacted People as a protected class.
Why is this important?
As a Justice Impacted Person, I know from personal experience—and the stories of our friends and peers—how felony convictions impact our daily lives. It is very hard to re-establish yourself financially after jail or prison, and to overcome society’s resistance to returning citizens.
I live in Georgia, a state that allows private employers to learn about our incarceration history, yet rarely gives us a chance, before rejecting our application, to talk about who we really are as disenfranchised people. We are never given a second chance. Many laws prevent people with felony convictions from getting accounting, banking, nursing, and real estate licenses. Even when we get a job, we have been denied advancement within the company because of stigma. We deserve second chances.
Black women have a higher rate of unemployment and homelessness than any other demographic group of formerly incarcerated people and their children are systematically restricted and excluded like their Justice Impacted parents. We are unable to get professional licenses and in some locations not even driver's licenses. We are denied the right to be a parent, a caretaker to elderly parents and disabled children.
Last October, Atlanta’s City Council took a step to ensure the most vulnerable citizens are protected classes. Atlanta’s City Council has the power to take the next step towards an equitable Atlanta by updating Atlanta’s Bill of Rights to include Justice Impacted People as a protected class and ultimately improve more than 44,000 lives.
We've served our time. Help us give Justified Impacted People a second chance in Atlanta. Sign this petition and tell Atlanta’s City Council to pave the way for our second chances without suffering the discriminatory effects of collateral consequences.