When you fill out a job application, you expect to answer some basic questions. Things like your employment and education history, and relevant skills to the job. And in many cases, you also have to check a box to declare whether you’ve ever been convicted of a crime.
In the city of Richmond, though, that last one is no longer fair game. It hasn’t been for a couple of years, since the city passed an ordinance called “ban the box,” forbidding government employees from asking job applicants about their criminal histories.
More than 50 cities and counties, as well as 10 states, have enacted some form of “ban the box” laws. That includes California.
A city usually famous for its crime is now becoming known for its progressive politics. In Richmond, one of the local city measures that got national attention was the so-called soda tax, which would have taxed sodas at one penny per ounce.