Put SB 76, 366, HB 2107, 2536, 2657 (the Second Chance for Employment Act) on the agenda
This petition had 821 supporters
My name is Amber Miller and when I was 20 years old, I made a mistake. I am not asking for a get out of jail free card. I already paid my debt and did my time. I am asking for a second chance at life.
Let me explain.
It is still hard for me to talk about what I did over a decade ago.
I was young, dumb and running with the wrong crowd…and I had gotten involved with drugs. One day, I needed money, and I knew my grandmother did not lock her door. I snuck in with a friend, and took $30 from her house. I was soon caught and even though my grandmother ultimately forgave me, I was convicted of daytime burglary, a felony, and sentenced to prison.
I did not know then what a huge impact this mistake would have on the rest of my life.
I am a single mother of two handsome boys. They are the light of my life. All I want to do is provide for them and give them a better life. I went back to school and obtained a degree in Medical Administration, but have been unable to find a job in my field. It seems that as soon as an employer finds out you are a convicted felon, company policy prevents me from being hired. . When I disclosed my charges to CAMC and ResCare, both told me they could not hire me. I wanted to become a social worker so I could help others that find themselves making the same mistakes I did, but that requires a license from the state which convicted felons cannot get.
House Bill 2604, a bipartisan bill introduced in the West Virginia Legislature would give me that second chance. The bill, sponsored by Del. Mike Pushkin, D- Kanawha, would create a process by which first time, non-violent offenders could petition the courts for a clean record five years after they have completed their parole or probation. Applicants would be judged on an individual basis. No conviction involving a gun, sex offense, stalking, domestic violence, malicious wounding, or any crime against a child would be eligible for this program.
The bill would give West Virginians like me the ability to return to being responsible, productive members of society. It would put people to work and keep families together. It would provide an extra incentive for recently released West Virginians to stay clean and out of trouble. And it would allow people like me to provide for my children without government assistance, saving taxpayers’ money.
This is where you come in.
Del. John Shott, the Chair of the House Committee on the Judiciary, is currently the one who decides if this bill is considered. Speaker of the House, Tim Armstead, could also positively influence this bill’s passage. Let them know you support forgiveness, redemption, and giving West Virginians a second chance at life.
I have had doors closed in my face for over 10 years. Please help open them.
Today: Amber is counting on you
Amber Miller needs your help with “the Honorable Delegate John Shott: Put SB 76, 366, HB 2107, 2536, 2657 (the Second Chance for Employment Act) on the agenda”. Join Amber and 820 supporters today.