Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti is asking companies that design and print college admission papers to stop inquiring about students’ criminal records.
Garcetti, a Democrat, believes “the mere inquiry about criminal history” can persuade a would-be college applicant to forego higher education.
According to the Los Angeles Times, Garcetti joined 32 other mayors in a letter to Common Application Association and Universal College Application, asking them “to remove any box that inquires into a person’s past criminal history from … admissions applications.”
Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Reentry manager Kimberly Guillemet said, “Any box that inquires into criminal history has a strong chilling effect on applications in general. We know that when people see any box asking about their criminal background, a lot of them assume that they won’t have a chance to be admitted on their merits and they won’t pursue the process.”
The Common Application — which provides the applications for Stanford and USC, among others — has already “tweaked” its application for Fall 2016. A question that previously asked the applicant if they had ever been “convicted or judged guilty” of a “felony, misdemeanor, or other crime” will no longer contain the words “other crime.”
College Application senior director Aba Blankson said the words “other crime” were “too ambiguous.”
Garcetti is trying to make amends with the “Black Lives Matter” movement, which has singled him out over the past two years over the Los Angeles Police Department’s treatment of minorities. During the heated controversy over the 2014 shooting of Ezell Ford, Garcetti attended a fundraiser in Washington instead of the inquiry into Ford’s death. He was chased out of a town hall meeting in the black community the following year.
AWR Hawkins is the Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.