The Illinois legislature this spring passed a "ban the box" bill, which would stop employers from asking about an applicant's criminal history until the final stages of hiring. Here is one of two views on the bill, which Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign.
I have a criminal record and am looking for a job. It's not easy. I believe if Gov. Quinn signs the "ban the box" bill it would help me and others in my situation to find work.
I grew up on the South Side of Chicago, where I lived in the "100s" streets with my mother and four brothers. It was kind of a bad neighborhood; there was a lot of shooting.
After my freshman year at Harlan High School, I got pregnant. I had two beautiful twin girls, Netrice and Neichar. A couple of years later, in 2011, I graduated from Community Christian Alternative Academy.
That summer, I got a job doing door-to-door sales. I sold electricity plans, trying to persuade potential customers to switch from ComEd to Green Mountain Energy.
I did well selling electric service and after a while I was leading a crew of salespeople and training them. But in 2012, I ran into trouble.
I was at a Christmas party after midnight, having fun and drinking a lot. I was getting ready to leave when the police raided the apartment. They said there were drugs and guns there; I didn't know that. There were officers in front and in back. The female officers reported that I resisted arrest and hit them. I was charged with a felony. I pleaded guilty and served four months in Cook County Jail.
Since last year, I have been looking for work, but it is very difficult. The job applications usually have a question asking if you have been convicted of a felony. Answering that question makes me feel like I don't have a chance. I need to support my kids; their father is in prison.
I have applied to work at home health care agencies and at J.C. Penney at Ford City Mall. I have applied for dozens of jobs, and completed two programs teaching me how to write a resume and present myself well in interviews. But I haven't been hired. I may be jobless for some time and not given a chance to work to provide for my family because employers don't want to hire felons.
I think it would be a great idea if they went through with this bill and made it a law. Then people like me will be able to change their lives and live right for themselves and their family. Everyone deserves a second chance.
Moore lives in Chicago's Englewood neighborhood.