Oakland Becomes First California City To Ban Background Checks For Prospective Renters

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Following a unanimous vote by the city council Tuesday night, Oakland has now become the first city in California to ban criminal background checks on potential renters. “Indescribable emotions and feelings,” said John Jones III of Oakland, who got out of prison in 2012 and struggled to find a place to live in Oakland despite his well-paying job as an aviation mechanic. Jones said he’s among the many who left prison only to end up on the streets, contributing to Oakland’s homeless crisis. That’s why he’s been lobbying hard for the Oakland City Council to pass the Fair Chance Housing Ordinance, which says landlords will no longer be allowed to turn down potential renters because of criminal convictions.

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