Bill Offering Hiring Protections To D.C. Ex-Cons Shot Down | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Bill Offering Hiring Protections To D.C. Ex-Cons Shot Down

Play associated audio
Despite threatening to go "on the warpath" against those who opposed his bill, it did not pass on Tuesday.
Mallory Noe-Payne
Despite threatening to go "on the warpath" against those who opposed his bill, it did not pass on Tuesday.

D.C. Council member Marion Barry's proposal to grant new legal protections to people with criminal records was defeated at the D.C. council Tuesday.

The proposal was controversial; it would've banned potential employers from asking job applicants about their criminal histories before extending job offers. Business owners say the bill would've exposed firms to costly litigation.

Barry's lobbying for the measure was also contentious. After threatening to go on the "warpath" against any member who didn't support his proposal, Barry, after the legislation failed, suggested his measure fell short because of the racial composition of the council. At one point, he compared the Council Chairman Phil Mendelson, who opposed the measure, to the southern segragationists of the 1960s.

"Six other members of the council who are white are opposed to this bill," Barry said. "If you don't tell me its along racial lines, then you must not be able to count. So I urge this council to look at it that way."

That led council member Catania to criticize Barry for being a long-bankrupt politician who fails to offer constructive solutions.

"I was going to remain silent and not take the bait that has been the stock and trade of our colleague for so long," Catania said, adding that Barry "has long, long ago failed to offer constructive solutions for the problems that afflict this city, and I have had it."

The council plans to take up the issue of employment for ex-offenders when it returns next year.

NPR

MacArthur Fellow Terrance Hayes: Poems Are Music, Language Our Instrument

Hayes, a professor of writing at the University of Pittsburgh, was recognized for "reflecting on race, gender, and family in works that seamlessly encompass both the historical and the personal."
NPR

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And The Risk Of Diabetes

There's a new wrinkle to the old debate over diet soda: Artificial sweeteners may alter our microbiomes. And for some, this may raise blood sugar levels and set the stage for diabetes.
NPR

House Passes Bill That Authorizes Arming Syrian Rebels

Even though it was backed by both party leaders, the vote split politicians within their own ranks. The final tally on the narrow military measure was 273 to 156.
NPR

3.7 Million Comments Later, Here's Where Net Neutrality Stands

A proposal about how to maintain unfettered access to Internet content drew a bigger public response than any single issue in the Federal Communication Commission's history. What's next?

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.