Priority Issues

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Too often, having a conviction history creates a permanent barrier to employment, housing and economic security for individuals and their families. We are committed to changing that.

We work alongside our partners to change laws so that people are treated more fairly and equitably, and they truly have the opportunity to be successful in our communities. Recent victories include:

  • Fair Housing - We are proud to have been part of the effort to eliminate discrimination in the City of Seattle in 2017 and we are working with our allies to protect the law from legal threat.
  • Legal Financial Obligation (LFO) Reform - We actively supported legislation in 2018 that eliminated non-restitution interest and provided clear standards. We believe that stronger reform is still needed to address the 12 percent interest rate on restitution.
  • Vacating Criminal Records - We actively supported legislation in 2019 that simplified the process for obtaining a certificate of discharge – a barrier to initiating the vacating process – and expanded eligibility criteria.
  • Fair Employment - We have been actively involved in efforts for several years to remove conviction history questions from job applications for all employers at the local, state and federal level.
  • Reentry Council - We are proud to have worked closely with Rep. Eric Pettigrew (D-Seattle) and members of the faith community to shape the bill that created the Statewide Reentry Council in 2016, and ensure that reentry is a priority for our state.
  • Voting rights - We believe if you live in a community you should be able to vote. We actively supported legislation so that people receive voter information when releasing from state prison and we support efforts that expand the right to vote for people with a criminal history.

Our top priority moving forward is to eliminate housing discrimination across the state of Washington. No one should be forced into homelessness or put their family’s housing stability at risk simply because they have a record. And there is no evidence that having a conviction makes someone a bad tenant. We look forward to working with our allies to educate the public about the unfair treatment people face every day, to dispel myths, and to change the laws that allow discrimination to persist.

Resources
Myths and Facts surrounding formerly incarcerated  individuals 
Seattle Office of Civil Rights (Fair Chance Housing)
Columbia Legal Service’s Reentry Clinic (LFO issues in Seattle)
Statewide Reentry Council

We encourage you to contact us with questions and suggestions at communications@p-h-s.com.

Research - Read studies and reports related to, or specifically about, the programs and services offered by Pioneer.