ROCHESTER, N.Y. — Dozens gathered at the Liberty Pole Thursday to demand that lawmakers pass a state bill to seal and expunge old conviction records.
This comes a week before the New York Legislative session is supposed to end.
The Clean Slate bill would establish a two-step process to get rid of conviction records to eliminate the barrier people experience when trying to get a job or housing.
A former felon that started a state job as a peer specialist upon his release says he continues to speak out because everyone deserves the chance he was given.
“The reason they gave me a job is because the job gave me hope,” Greg Hall said. “When they gave me that hope, I couldn’t believe someone had given me an opportunity. I never missed a day of work, I never got written up, but I kept talking about social justice and the gatekeepers letting other people in, and that was too much for them. I was supposed to be the special person, I was supposed to be the pink bunny. But I couldn’t. Because I would walk to work until I bought a car. And I would see my friends that I was homeless with. I would see my friends that I was in the penitentiary with. And they weren’t living the life I lived.”
Clean Slate laws have been passed in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Utah.