2017, ended on a high note with the development and subsequent empowerment of individuals throughout the State of Florida united in the pursuit of restoration for Florida’s disenfranchised due to the State’s clemency process. Over 1 million signatures were collected in a push to add a Voter Restoration Amendment to the 2018 ballot. 711,746 petitions have been certified to date. Once 766,200 petitions are training the Voter Restoration Amendment will receive a ballot number and be placed on the 2018 ballot, launching the campaign into the next phase.

Meanwhile, Legislative Session has begun in the State of Florida and the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is hosting an Advocacy Day on January 30, 2018. During this time returning citizens, alongside their family, friends, and supporters will be engaging in conversation with legislatures concerning policies that have both a redeeming quality and a path to increase the safety and standard of living for all of Florida’s citizens.

Throughout the State, returning citizens are becoming empowered through education and leadership development. They are being prepared to take advantage of opportunities to advocate for themselves and the policies that affect their ability to fully reintegrate into society. A potential byproduct of successful reintegration is stronger individuals with a higher self-esteem including a stronger sense of responsibility to family and community. Which eventually lead to safer communities due to the stakeholders working together.

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