LABWC Appointed to Mayor's Blue Ribbon Commission

LA Black Worker Center Appointed to Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity

Los Angeles Black Worker Center members and leaders are very proud to be appointed and have representation on Mayor Garcetti's Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity. Loretta Stevens, Patsy Howard, and Lola Smallwood will serve on the commission. This comes after representatives recently met with the mayor and his staff and presented a comprehensive package regarding best practices and policy recommendations for employment equity that addresses the black job crisis in the city and county of Los Angeles.

The Black Worker Center representatives presented several policy recommendations on employment equity.  Among those is Senate Resolution Bill 511, a bipartisan policy that promotes best business practices which employers are encouraged to adopt. Included in that bill is the Rooney Rule which has been successful in the NFL to promote diversity among football coaches, and the RLJ Rule which was developed by Robert Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television, which encourages employers to establish best practices to identify African-American candidates in the final selection process.

We will continue to participate and advocate for justice and employment equity for all in the city of Los Angeles, the state and beyond.  We look forward to working with this Commission to remove barriers and create a path to gainful employment for those in our community.

Below is a copy of the mandate, call to action and direction for this blue-ribbon commission.



APRIL 29, 2016

As we know the following facts to be true:

(1) It is well-settled that a criminal record creates a serious barrier to employment for millions of workers, especially in communities of color;

(2) Fair-chance hiring policies ensure that job applicants with criminal records are assessed on their merits;

(3) There is considerable evidence supporting the proposition that workerswith criminal records often exceed performance standards in terms of theirwork ethic, company loyalty and overall job performance;

(4) Fair-chance hiring policies do not change an employer’s decision of whether a conviction history inquiry is made, but simply when an inquiry may be made;

(5) Fair-chance hiring policies are always subject to state and federal laws pertaining to disqualifying offenses;

(6) The state recidivism rate is 65%, but the recidivism rates of individuals placed in jobs shortly post-release range from 3 to 8%;

(7) Earning a sustainable, living wage is key to upward mobility and allows an individual to be able to invest in their communities and contribute to society;

(8) Research estimates that U.S. employers’ unwillingness to hire formerly incarcerated individuals costs the U.S. economy between $57 and $65 billion in lost output annually; and

(9) The economic prosperity and longevity of our City depends on our ability to engage our most vulnerable and disconnected residents;

I am forming the Blue Ribbon Commission on Employment Equity calling Los Angeles employers to come together to take the following actions in order to improve the ability of Angelenos with criminal records to achieve gainful employment that puts them on the path to upward mobility and gives them the platform upon which they can achieve

(1) Voluntarily refrain from criminal record inquiries until a conditional offer of employment is extended;

(2) Voluntarily refrain from credit history inquiries unless the position involves public safety, financial fiduciary responsibilities or is an executive position; and

(3) Actively work to develop recruitment and “on-boarding” policies of communities who are historically, disproportionately unemployed and under-employed, including communities of color, youth, veterans, the unsheltered, and people with criminal records.

Eric Garcetti
City of Los Angeles


Chamber of Commerce of Los Angeles County
Los Angeles/Orange Counties Building & Construction Trades Council
Shamya Ullah of Morgan Stanley
National Association of Women Business Owners
Isidore Recycling
Coalition for Responsible Community Development Enterprises
The Actors’ Gang
Sherman Oaks Chamber of Commerce
Roberts Enterprise Development Fund
CAP Alliance
Interior Removal Specialists Inc.
Anti-Recidivism Coalition
Homeboy Industries
Northeast Worksource Center
UCLA Labor Center
Black Worker Center
Friends Outside LA
Revolve Impact
A New Way of Life
Los Angeles Regional Reentry Partnership
The Reverence Project
New Earth 
Root & Rebound
Roy Willis & Associates
Inside Out Writers
Communities in Schools
Five Keys Charter Schools
LA Voice
Amity Foundation
Lyrics From Lockdown
Black Business Association
UCLA African-American Studies Department
Arts for LA
L.A. Kitchen