Hundreds on Boston Common
By Christopher Loh, [email protected]

to view CORI Protest Video on BostonNow website go to:

A week of rain cleared just in time for hundreds to march on Boston Common to protest state legislation allowing businesses to search a possible employees criminal history in the state including any time they were arraigned in court on a criminal charge no matter the final outcome.

Protestors are angry that businesses are allowed to perform a CORI check at any time even if the law does not require one - they say the legislation prevents people with troubled pasts who have reformed find work and move on with their lives.

David Jenkins, a youth worker in Boston for six years, has seen the problems with CORI checks first hand with some of the kids he works with.

“Those CORIs have often prevented them from having jobs,” Jenkins said. “The number one thing that we need in this city is for youth to be employed so that we can fight the problems with youth violence. So that we can really have youth build a better tomorrow, they need jobs today.”

Cambridge Mayor Ken Reeves spoke to the crowd gathered on the common.

“It is no mistake that [CORI] hasn’t been ended because it only affects certain people and it is not a mistake that in this country we have decided that young black and Latino boys [that have] been in prison shall not be a part of this society,” Reeves said. “Just as this country took women off of welfare it can take black and Latino men out of CORI hell.”

Carlos Moreno, 19, of Dorchester agreed with Reeves.

“They say that the past is what makes your future, but if you [make] several mistakes in your past does that mean you have less opportunity in your future?” Reeves said.