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Photo: NAACP Providence Branch website
Each year, the NAACP Providence Branch officially supports legislation which we feel will make a difference in our community. While we feel there are dozens of legislative bills which will make a difference, this year, we are supporting six bills: Early Voting; Equal Pay; A $15 Minimum Wage; Fair Chance Licensing; Source of Income Discrimination, and the Banning of Sentencing Juveniles to Life Without Parole.
The NAACP Providence Branch believes that Early Voting will make it easier for our community’s eligible voters to vote.
Equal Pay is important because while men make more than women, black women make the least of all women. Our community is disproportionately headed by women of color, making this issue vital.
A $15 Minimum Wage is important because the average person working and receiving a minimum wage is 35 years old with a family. Our community is disproportionately represented by those making a minimum wage and the vast majority of these households are financially struggling.
Fair Chance Licensing would ensure that ex-offenders would be able to gain occupational licenses in fields unrelated to their crime. Many ex-offenders want to start their own businesses and that’s a good thing for everyone.
In Rhode Island, landlords can discriminate against people who receive Section 8, SSI or other sources of income. If you can afford the apartment, that’s all that should matter.
Juveniles are different than adults. The branch opposes the sentencing of juveniles to life without parole. We feel that after 15 years, a juvenile should be able to make their case for release before the parole board.