Anyone involved in the justice system knows that having a record can make life very hard. The stigma surrounding the justice system makes it hard to access jobs, safe housing, education, health, and other opportunities. If you are a person experiencing this, check out the NC Second Chance Alliance website for helpful resources.

In North Carolina we all have a chance to improve this situation. The NC General Assembly is considering the Second Chances Act.  If this bill becomes law, it will make it easier for people to do what they are trying so hard to do: Build a positive and independent life in their communities and families.

In its article, Second Chances Act would help ex-offenders get housing, employment, NC Health News explains the proposed law and how it would impact North Carolinians.

The bill is currently moving through the NC House of Representatives. How do you want your representative to vote on this bill? You can advocate by contacting your representative.It’s actually very easy and only takes about 4 minutes. 

1. Find your representative by clicking here. Type in your address. It will tell you what district you are in and provide a link to your own representative. 

2. Click on the name of your state HOUSE representative. That will take you to that person’s official page. There you will see their office phone number and email address. You can choose to call their office or send an email. 

3. Prepare what you want to communicate. Whether you are calling or emailing, it is a good idea to prepare a few sentences. That way, you’ll be very clear and they will know for sure what you are asking them to do. 

4. Call or email them. Make sure that your voice is counted. As soon as you call or email, your opinion will be added into their records. When a representative knows that many people are contacting their office about an issue, they’ll start paying more attention to the issue. Include your address so that they will know that you are in their district.

sample email to a representative

5. Tell someone. Use social media, text, email, or just word of mouth to share what you did. That way, other people who care about this issue can contact their representatives as well. I shared it on the SAY IT facebook page.

The Second Chances Act could impact you and people in your community. Use your voice to let your representative know what you want. Your voice matters.