Good evening Brothers and Sisters,

There is a group I am a part of and there has been lots of talk about the CNO policy of not hiring felons.  I am here to tell you this policy is wrong.  Now, I know some of you will wonder why I would disagree with such a policy.

First, I must tell you about a young man who is my kin.  At the age of 21 he was smoking a lot of pot.  The crowd he hung around with was doing the same and more.  One night in his own home he and his friends were playing poker and smoking.  One of his friends had brought his wife and small child.  No one at the poker table saw the child leave the apartment and go out into the parking lot.  Thankfully the child wasn’t hurt but the police, rightfully so, were called.  This young man was charged with possession and child endangerment and got ten years probation and was convicted of a felony.  He is now 34 years old and with the felony on his record his twenties and thirties have been spent working a low paying job.  He has been paying for this one mistake most of his adult life.  At least he has been able to find employment but he knows better than to apply at the CNO even though he is Chahta.  He doesn’t know the “right” people to be hired with a felony on his record.

I will tell you something else about this man.  He is honest and is the type of person who wouldn’t/couldn’t hurt a soul.  He is a good, consistant employee one that does his job with little complaint.

I posted in my group that I find it odd that Jesus Christ forgives without another thought if only the person should ask.  The CNO well that’s another story.  I have to wonder how many good Chahta men and women would love to have a chance to work for their tribe?  How many out there could be good productive citizens of our nation if just given the chance?

You see true empowerment doesn’t mean you have to be perfect before you ever walk through the front door.  True empowerment is being given the opportunity to become productive and proud of a job well done.  We will never have true empowerment beneath a Batton administration.