published Friday, August 22nd, 2014

Everyone needs a second chance, and a job

Kudos to Chattanooga and one of its contractors for seeking out ways to help felons get work in a depressed area of Chattanooga.

Hendersonville, Tenn.-based Environmental Abatement Inc. assures residents of city ZIP code 37406 that a criminal history will not exclude them from employment when the company tears down the closed Harriett Tubman housing site sometime in September or October.

The construction company submitted its Workforce Projection Form to the city Wednesday. The city attorney's office is reviewing the papers, but preliminary documents stated the company will hire 13 to 16 people for five to six months at $18.75 an hour.

Those 13 to 16 jobs will be resume builders for these people. And this contract likely will be duplicated in other city projects and hopefully in private businesses, too.

After a story by Chattanooga Times Free Press reporter Yolanda Putman appeared in the paper Thursday, Chattanooga Office of Multicultural Affairs Director James McKissic said his phone was "ringing off the hook."

"We've had well over 100 calls and emails today," he said. "I went away for an hour for a meeting and had 27 calls when I got back. This is a major need. It's huge. It would be great if more private employers would get on board and start to give people a second chance."

The 37406 ZIP code is primarily East Chattanooga, including Amnicola Highway, Dodson Avenue, Glass Street and a portion of Tunnel Boulevard. The 14,627 people who live there are 80 percent black and 55 percent female. The 13-square-mile area has a median household income of $27,816, an unemployment rate ranging from 8.26 to 11 percent and the highest infant health risk in the county. Comparatively, the city's median household income is $44,140 and unemployment is 7.6 percent.

The number of unemployed people in Tennessee is the lowest since June 2008, but many East Chattanooga residents say they can't find jobs. Less than 30 percent of East Chattanooga residents age 18 and older graduated from high school and the crime rate is 233 percent above the nation's average, according to realtor.com.

It isn't just this ZIP code, however, that needs help.

A record number of Americans have tangled with the criminal justice system, according to national reports. About one in three adult Americans has some kind of criminal record, including arrests that did not lead to convictions, according to the U.S. Department of Justice. And a national organization known as the National Employment Law Project estimates that one in four Americans -- 65 million people -- has a record that would show up on routine background checks.

We all intuitively know that employment is one of the most effective ways to reduce recidivism and to support low-income communities. There's a plus for employers, too. Workers who get a second chance work harder because they feel they have something to prove.

A national initiative called "Ban the Box," is a campaign to make employers remove questions about criminal history from job applications, postponing such queries until a later stage of the hiring process.

A dozen states have come on board, including Rhode Island and California. There have been no takers in the South, though bills have been introduced in Georgia and several other Southeastern states.

Today, in a tiny community in Chattanooga, we have a local start. And a good one.

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conservative said...

I certainly applaud Environmental Abatement for the willingness to hire those with a record.

I doubt anyone will be handling money or have much contact with the public tearing down buildings and cleaning up.

I vote no on "ban the box."

Forcing "ban the box" on private and small business is an awful idea. An outside government agency will determine if a convicted felon was discriminated against if he is not hired.

I often see and have contact with a convicted felon who did time for drugs and has a maintenance job making $9.00 an hour. He whines that no one will hire him.

Although he is often pleasant to talk to and likable, he works slow, complains about his legitimate back problem and is often late for work.

He is not worth $9.00 an hour in my opinion and I sure would not have him working for me.

August 22, 2014 at 7:39 a.m.

conservative said...

"He is not worth $9.00 an hour in my opinion and I sure would not have him working for me."

Still longing for those good ol' days when your Jehovah encouraged slavery? Maybe you can pray for Jehovah to bring it back again along with His inspired love of incest, rape, torture, and genocide.

Nothing like a Fundy-NutZ spreading that gospel of guilt to give me a hearty laugh.

August 22, 2014 at 11:02 a.m.
sagoyewatha said...

Allah's a$$: since this is a place for opinions I think it is ok for Con to state his. Your overreaction, as usual is just silly... Speaking of a good laugh. I hope you will fall down on the floor at my opinion which is: when people owned slaves they fed them, housed them, saw to any medical needs, got some work out of them and punished them when they misbehaved. Now,taxpayers are still carrying out the tasks of the former slave holders for the same group of people, but NOT getting ANY WORK FROM THEM!

August 22, 2014 at 6:06 p.m.
conservative said...

Well said sagoyewatha.

Most of the same volunteer to be on the government plantation.

August 22, 2014 at 6:25 p.m.

sagoyewatha wrote: "Speaking of a good laugh. I hope you will fall down on the floor at my opinion which is: when people owned slaves they fed them, housed them, saw to any medical needs, got some work out of them and punished them when they misbehaved. Now,taxpayers are still carrying out the tasks of the former slave holders for the same group of people, but NOT getting ANY WORK FROM THEM!"

That's great. When will your family be appearing on the auction block? I promise not to work them too hard. How old are your daughters? Breeding age yet? If they're real nice to the gentlemen callers, I won't separate them.

I promise not to beat them everyday — just every other day as they'll be needing a good whipping to remind them who the bossman is. Be sure and scrub 'em up and they'll fetch a better price. Do they have their own teeth? Don't want any slaves with afflictions.

What do you plan on asking for them?

Thanks for being pro-slavery just like it says in the "Good Book."

August 22, 2014 at 7:18 p.m.
Ki said...

Actually, sago, some slave owners treated their slaves as humanely as possible under the circumstances, but even if only to keep them in line or from trying to escape, some poor old slave who could no longer work the fields was sacrificed. Other slave owners allowed their slaves only he most basic in foods, such as a biscuit and slice if fatback. Any slave caught eating or taking crop in the fields they worked were often brutally punished. And while some slaves were allowed a patch of land to grow their own crop, others were severely punished if caught doing so.

And here's what happened to a slave named Papa Dallas when he was caught around the age of 6 sitting under a tree trying to teach himself to read the Bible: "Daughter, they burned my eyes out, and blinded me". Papa Dallas lived into the early to miid 20TH century to tell the story of why he was blind and had these ugly/permanent scars around his eyes.

His story and the story of other former slaves were recorded during a works project in the early to mid 20TH century, sponsored by the federal gov. and is stored at the Library of Congress.

August 22, 2014 at 9:25 p.m.
sagoyewatha said...

allah'sa$$ & kiwi; slavery has been dead for how long now...since you seem to enjoy giving history lessons? There is no error in what I wrote, it is factual,and remember ladies, it is my opinion. I did not mean to ruffle your delicate feathers...why not take all that OUTRAGE to the street and demand justice for black on black crime and violence?

August 23, 2014 at 10:01 a.m.

"There is no error in what I wrote, it is factual,and remember ladies, it is my opinion. I did not mean to ruffle your delicate feathers."

It didn't ruffle my feathers but you're ignorant about slavery. You defended slavery.

My point was you FundyNutZ Christian hypocrites always seem to think that slavery is/was OK as long as you were the masters.

But somehow when it's you and your family becoming slaves it's not nice.

It's hilarious that the "Do unto others" clause in your Bible doesn't apply when you're being "done as you do others."

But do go to church tomorrow, pray loudly about "loving thy neighbor," then have a mint julep on the front porch while longing for the good ol' days.

August 23, 2014 at 10:21 a.m.
Rickaroo said...

Sag's comment on slavery is just about the most disgusting I have ever heard. There is nothing factual about it. While there were a few slaver owners who showed some compassion for their slaves and treated them with a smidgen of dignity, they were few and far between. Most of them treated them like sub-humans and had more compassion for their pets or farm animals than they had for their slaves. Meting out punishment was common and brutal, consisting of lashings and other forms of torture, and oftentimes they were punished for no other reason than to "keep them in line." Mothers were often separated from their children, with masters selling them to other buyers for the right price. Older and sickly slaves were pushed to the limits and were forced to work until they died, as it was cheaper for a slave owner to buy another slave than it was to nurture them back to health or give them medical treatment. Lynchings by slave owners were commonplace.

Sag makes it sound like slavery was a walk in the park for black people - 3 squares and a roof over their head, and for that they should have been grateful. The award for dumb-ass comment of the day goes to Sagoyewatha. Dumb and disgusting.

August 23, 2014 at 11:40 a.m.
Ki said...

sago, don't go cyber-postal on allah and me. You're the one who tried to make slavery out to be a cakewalk, and just a mild misunderstanding and belief the slaveholders didn't know any better. calm down! retract your claws, buppy! Ha! Ha!

Agreeing wholeheartedly with Rickaroo. Also, the birth of modern day life insurance policies has its roots and origins traced back to slavery, slaveowners having financial problems would kill off or severely injure a slave then file an insurance claim for the money.

August 23, 2014 at 11:47 a.m.
sagoyewatha said...

Girls, including Rickee ... my vote is to return slavery to escape the financial SLAVERY of spending our money to support lazy people who will not work. You don't get to give any awards ,Rickee, just like you never got any awards. You want to see "DUMB?" Stupid and perverse is Allah's a$$ talking about doing things to my daughters! That is a true low. I hope you are all wise enough if YOU had ever tried anything like that you'd have just ended up dead in the dirt. I care absolutely nothing of your moronic concepts of slavery, but am always happy to rattle your pesky little chains. You folk are all smoke and no fire.

August 23, 2014 at 6:17 p.m.

sago wrote: "my vote is to return slavery to escape the financial SLAVERY of spending our money to support lazy people who will not work. You don't get to give any awards ,Rickee, just like you never got any awards. You want to see "DUMB?" Stupid and perverse is Allah's a$$ talking about doing things to my daughters! That is a true low. I hope you are all wise enough if YOU had ever tried anything like that you'd have just ended up dead in the dirt."

Hilarious! Slavery is OK when it's black people, but when it's your family becoming slaves, you get all riled up. Why? As to you defending your family, your a slave and you can't do jack but watch, suffer, and take it. Right, Massa?

How many slaves you want, Massa? Looking for a little hot chocolate so the Massa's Missus don't find out?

See how that works? Slavery is slavery. If it's good enough for others to become slaves, it's good enough for your family to become slaves as well.

Freaking funny!

As a side note, I didn't think that anyone would be for a return to slavery, but your stupidity and ignorance have proved me wrong.

August 23, 2014 at 8:41 p.m.
Ki said...

Allah, we have to show mercy for saggyo who just confessed basically to being a drunkard in another post! Should have known. Lol

August 23, 2014 at 8:53 p.m.
sagoyewatha said...

Not being able to read, consistent prevarication, denial...all symptoms congruent with your syndrome,kiwi. My old grandpappy was a lucky man. He died in his sleep. Unfortunately, the passengers in his car at the time were not so lucky, and died screaming and yelling. Wish you had been there!

August 24, 2014 at 11 a.m.
sagoyewatha said...

ATTN: Allah's a$$, rickee, kiwi, and all other members of your non-reader's cabal. I did not mention, "BLACK, NEGRO,AFRICAN-AMERICAN" in anything I wrote. All of you did, and do so with great perseveration. Slavery has existed as long as mankind. Did you believe only members of one race were held as slaves? Try a little research. What I write is perspicuous for normal people, more difficult for those with twisted agendas. To describe your group in politically correct terms of endearment I would say you are differently-brained, factually-unencumbered, financially inept,intellectually-impaired,and genetically discriminating. You are making great contributions to what is fast growing to be an idiocracy, where you will feel right at home.

August 24, 2014 at 11:41 a.m.
Ki said...

saggy, if you can't be honest with your intent in what you post, at least have the decency to be honest with yourself and your maker, if you ascribe to one. We already know slavery has existed, and continues to exist in many areas throughout the world (even in america), in some form or another. No need to try and back track from the original intent of your words.

August 24, 2014 at 11:52 a.m.
sagoyewatha said...

kiwi, who is this "WE?" Are you pregnant again? You have absolutely no insight. Do you even know what that word means? I was behind you in the check-out lane at the supermarket the other day,Ki. When the cashier asked you, "Paper or plastic?" your response was,"It don't matter none, I'm bisacksual."

August 24, 2014 at 12:13 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Sag, If you can point out any other slavery that has existed as an institution in this country besides whites owning blacks please educate us ignorant, "differently-brained" folk. When anybody talks about slavery in America it is ALWAYS in reference to the ownership of blacks by whites. And you know why that is? Because that is the only kind of slavery that existed here in such heinous and barbaric fashion and that was a defining aspect of life in the U.S. for so long. It is common knowledge that in other countries and at various times past certain peoples enslaved their own race, but that doesn't make slavery any more acceptable, nor does it have anything to do with how you tried to paint such a benign picture of slavery in the first place. There have been countless civil wars in many countries in times past, too, but whenever an American mentions the Civil War, we naturally assume that they are speaking of the war between the North and South that occurred here in the U.S.!

You are nitpicking because you know you can't defend your lame, dumb-ass comment any other way.

August 24, 2014 at 12:23 p.m.
sagoyewatha said...

rickee: your inability to use the language is only exceeded by your couvade of party-line ethnocentrism. I do not feel any need to explain or defend anything to you,because you are such a gaur. Your homologous ethos prevents you from entering polemic with me.

August 24, 2014 at 2:55 p.m.
Ki said...

Your sense of humor is lacking, saggy. Plus you're obviously a chronic liar along with being a chronic drunkard.

(1.) Store clerks don't ask such questions anymore as to what form of payment a customer intends to use.

(2.) I don't use "plastic" of any kind to pay for goods I always use cash preferably, but sometimes will use a check.

(3.) I normally use self-checkout where it's available. ;)

August 24, 2014 at 3:07 p.m.
sagoyewatha said...

Snap! I guess ya got me dead ta rites. I weren't even in dat store, cuz I aint got no money.Thank you,kiwi, fer leading me back to jeezuz on this, the lord's day. Ken I git an AMEN here?

August 24, 2014 at 3:15 p.m.
Ki said...

thankyee, saggy. Glad to be of service. Just the admission I was instrumental in saving such a wretch lak yo' self is amazing. Lol

August 24, 2014 at 3:34 p.m.
Rickaroo said...

Sag, it's laughable how you take pride in using a lot of highfalutin' polysyllabic and esoteric words not commonly used in everyday language. When I was a teenager I was the same way. I had a thing for vocabulary and I loved to impress people with the latest long and intellectual sounding words that I had just learned. But I soon came to realize that people were not impressed with me, they just thought I was being a jerk. And I was. Too bad you haven't learned that lesson yet (maybe you are literally a teenager still? Most of your comments are indeed the level of maturity of an adolescent).

I remember reading from some author many years ago - can't remember who it was - who said that good writing does not consist of using pretentious, bombastic words but simply the ability to write clearly, in a way that you are not misunderstood.

And what's up with this: "Your homologous ethos prevents you from entering polemic with me." WTF? What planet are you from?? Why can't you just speak plainly? It is not my "homologous ethos" that prevents me from "entering polemic" with you; it's the simple fact that you are an idiot and I refuse to butt heads (er, pardon me, I mean "enter polemic") with idiots. I have wasted enough time on this site for today and on you specifically. I'm outa here.

August 24, 2014 at 4:01 p.m.
sagoyewatha said...

Thus quoth rickee,"...they just thought I was being jerk, and I was." Thanks for playing! Lunk!

August 24, 2014 at 5:56 p.m.
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