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News :: Human Rights : Labor : Race
CORI Reform Hearing, March and Rally Reportback
by Dorothea Manuela
30 Jul 2009
On Monday, July 27, over 600 people packed the State House CORI Hearing as part of an extended CORI Day of Action. Organized by the Commonwealth CORI Coalition, supporters demonstrated the severity of the CORI crisis and raised the need for immediate reforms.
The Day of Action started with a Youth CORI March, organized by teens
from Boston Ten Point Coalition. Over 250 youth and allies took the
streets from Roxbury Crossing to the State House in a lively
mobilization. Teens called to "eliminate the box" and to reduce the
time period for sealing.
After the 2.6 mile march, youth rallied on the State House steps,
joined by Rev. Jeffery Brown, State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, State
Rep. Byron Rushing, State Rep. Linda Dorcena Forry and Boston
Councilor Sam Yoon. Project Hip Hop teens performed energetic spoken
words pieces on the CORI and organized a skit animating the long term
harm of CORI policies.
After the rally, supporters filed into the State House, packing
Gardener Auditorium to maximum capacity. Speakers included CORI bill
sponsors, Governor Patrick, Mayor Menino, Rep. Fox, Rep. Malia and
Senator Chandler. Governor Patrick lamented that "Even with all the
requisite skills and experience, a criminal record becomes an absolute
bar to hiring," and called for comprehensive reforms this year.
BWA member Sonja Cherry gave passionate testimony, as one of dozens
who shared their experience with CORI discrimination. "I want to give
back, get my family back together, and turn my life around. I am
committed to being a positive force in my community with every fiber
of my being. But doors are getting slammed in my face everywhere I
go. I believe that CORI reform will happen because it has to."
We thank the many individuals and organizations that helped make the
day a major success. Our goal is to have a bill reported out from the
Judiciary Committee in early September with time for vote and passage
of reforms by the November 18th recess.
Reposted from fighting for Jobs and CORI Reform
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