As an advocate for returning citizens, I can truly say Monday was a great day for the city of Baltimore. For individuals to finally be judged by their merits, work experience and skill, gives individuals hope ("Council passes 'Ban the Box' legislation," April 29). The business community will benefit greatly from an untapped labor force — a labor force that is comprised of extraordinarily dedicated workers. When individuals with a criminal background are given a chance in the workforce, they are the first to arrive and the last to leave because they are grateful that someone thought enough about them to give them an opportunity. The city of Baltimore has just created a stream of revenue by increasing the number of tax-paying citizens through the thousands of ex-offenders who have been locked out of the workforce. The positive impact of this decision will be ground breaking as the rest of the country will follow our lead.

Monica Cooper, Baltimore

The writer is co-founder of the Maryland Justice Project.

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