Maurice Emsellem is Director of the Access and Opportunity Program at the National Employment Law Project (NELP). 

“Ban the Box” Helps Forge Strong Labor-Community Alliances

Maurice Emsellem

At the National Employment Law Project (NELP),  where we advocate for low-wage and unemployed workers, some of our most inspiring moments have come from being involved in campaigns where labor and the community work together for greater economic justice.  

The recent passage of AB218 — Assemblymember Roger Dickinson’s “ban the box” bill — was a shining example of the labor movement working in alliance with the community to expand economic opportunity to people hardest hit by unemployment.  The unions, led by the California Labor Federation and SEIU Local 1000, were an essential partner to the powerful coalition that organized with NELP for more than two years to provide a second chance to the one in five Californians with a criminal record who struggle to find work.