David Plouffe and Mark Holden are on different sides of the aisle but have come together to support clean slate legislation that will give millions of Americans a second chance and revitalize the economy. As they write in USA Today, current criminal justice laws fail at ensuring people with criminal records can get jobs, education, and housing after they have paid their debt to society—costing the United States up to $87 billion in gross domestic product every year. Passing legislation that automatically clears the records of certain criminal records is a commonsense solution that is good for individuals, good for families, and good for society.
CAP and More Than 25 Partners Launch National Bipartisan ‘Clean Slate’ Initiative to Automate Clearing of Criminal Records
The Center for American Progress announced the launch of a bipartisan initiative to advance clean slate policies in states across the country, supported by more than 25 organizations across the political spectrum. Founded with investments from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, the clean slate campaign harnesses the momentum of the successful push to enact clean slate legislation in Pennsylvania. Clean slate campaigns are now underway in Michigan, Colorado, and South Carolina, with more states following suit in the near future. The initiative builds on the on early investments from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, an early supporter of the movement to close the second chance gap that keeps too many eligible Americans from clearing their criminal records.
TalkPoverty featured a first-person story from someone who would directly benefit from clean slate in Pennsylvania. Donna Henderson’s criminal record kept her from job opportunities for 30 years, but thanks to the state’s clean slate law, her family now has a second chance. “I was convicted of two nonviolent misdemeanors decades ago, and they have haunted me, and my daughter, ever since,” Henderson writes. “New legislation in my home state of Pennsylvania, passed by the Republican-controlled legislature and signed into law by the Democratic Governor Tom Wolf, would help people like me rebuild our lives.”
The Washington Post covered the launch of a nationwide Clean Slate campaign in an exclusive story—highlighting the involvement of the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, along with organizations on both sides of the aisle. “Groups with ties to technology titan Mark Zuckerberg are getting even more involved in the political arena, throwing their weight behind a new initiative that would automatically clear the criminal records of eligible offenders without them having to go through a lengthy legal process,” the Post writes.
NFL players Malcolm Jenkins and Torrey Smith voice their support for Pennsylvania’s Clean Slate Act. Jenkins and Smith, both players with ties to the Philadelphia community, explain why clean slate is a game-changer for millions of Pennsylvanians and their families. With a clean slate, people who need opportunities will no longer be held back by a past mistake.
U.S. Reps. Lisa Blunt Rochester (D-DE) and Rod Blum (R-IA) announce the introduction of the Clean Slate Act of 2018, a bipartisan bill that automatically seals all federal criminal records for marijuana charges or other minor drug-related offenses. The Clean Slate Act will expand access to employment, housing, and education for everyday Americans with criminal records, and will help employers fill the 6.7 million job vacancies nationwide. And importantly, the Clean Slate Act is a step toward reversing the harmful consequences and long-term barriers created by U.S. drug enforcement policies over the past several decades.