IN THE NEWS
Committed to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions.
IN THE NEWS
FRRC is making a difference! Check out these news articles from January 2020 to November 2020.
FRRC is making a difference! Check out these news articles from January 2020 to November 2020.
FRRC is making a difference! Check out these news articles from January 2020 to November 2020.
First-Time Florida Voters Share Their Stories From The Polls
November 5, 2020 – Some Floridians headed to the polls for the first time this year for numerous reasons. In some cases, they just turned 18 and were eager to cast their ballot. Others are returning citizens with their voting rights restored thanks to the passage of Amendment 4
Those with felony convictions might be unaware of cleared court fines and fees
November 4, 2020 – In Hillsborough County, more than $2.5 million was paid to clear court fines and fees for nearly 2,000 people with felony convictions.
Thousands of ex-felons (Returning Citizens) in Florida will vote for the first time in a presidential election after completing restitution
November 3, 2020 – This is the first presidential election since Florida restored voting rights to people with felony convictions. It took months of battling in the legislature and courts for ex-felons (returning citizens) to be handed ballots.
Local Labor Organizers Make Swing State Push
November 3, 2020 – Local labor organizer Charlie Delgado returned to an apartment complex in “the slums of Miami” looking for a voter named Robert. He had an important message to deliver: Robert’s fines related to a past felony conviction had been paid off, and, unbeknownst to him, Robert could vote in this year’s election.
Monique Worrell claims State Attorney’s Office in Orlando
In Florida, 87,000 Formerly Incarcerated People Have Registered to Vote
November 3, 2020 – Two years ago, Floridians approved Amendment 4 to restore voting rights to most state residents who had previously served time for felony convictions.
Timeline: Effort to restore former felons (Returning Citizens) voting rights in Florida
November 3, 2020 – Two years ago more than 64% of Florida voters passed an amendment to the state constitution that would restore voting rights to more than 1.5 million former felons, however, a majority of people who have completed their sentences will still not be able to vote in the 2020 Presidential Election.
LeBron James's Donations Help Make Florida Felons (Returning Citizens) Eligible to Vote
November 3, 2020 – LeBron James aided an effort to pay court fines and fees for nearly 13,000 Florida felons in recent months, per The Tampa Bay Times‘ Lawrence Mower and Langston Taylor.
Ex-Felons (Returning Citizens) Turn Out To Vote For The First Time In Florida
November 2, 2020 – In Florida, people with felonies who’ve completed their sentences and paid all outstanding court fees and fines are able to vote in this election.
Billy Strings Shares “Watch It Fall” For Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
November 2, 2020 – On Monday, Billy Strings debuted video of his performance of “Watch It Fall” recorded for the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. Founded in 2011, the FRRC is committed to the restoration of basic civil rights for millions of returning citizens (formerly convicted persons) in Florida.
US Election 2020: The fight to give former felons (Returning Citizens) the vote in Florida
November 2, 2020 – Outside a polling station in Palmetto, Florida, 48-year-old Mike Horne is making a call to arms. “All you former felons come out and vote,” he says, gesturing to his viewers on social media.
‘I felt voiceless’: Thousands of ex-felons (Returning Citizens)in Florida are voting for the first times in their lives
November 2, 2020 – On an early December morning 12 years ago, an unsuspecting man got out of his car in the driveway of his Delray Beach home when a young man named Robert Edwards approached him with a gun and robbed him of his cellphone and cash.
Celebrities Spent Millions So Florida Felons (Returning Citizens) Could Vote. Will It Make a Difference?
November 2, 2020 – The multimillion-dollar effort by Michael Bloomberg, LeBron James and other celebrities to pay off lingering court fines and fees for Florida felons (returning citizens) could make almost 13,000 of them eligible to vote in Tuesday’s election, an analysis by the Tampa Bay Times/Miami Herald and ProPublica found.
Florida’s former felons (Returning Citizens) exercising their right to vote for the very first time
November 1, 2020 – For former felons (returning citizens) in Florida, this election is a milestone. Many of them are casting ballots for the very first time, after the state overwhelmingly passed Amendment 4, restoring their voting rights.
Voting #FreeTheVote Bus Tour Arrives in Sarasota
October 30, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) continues its statewide voting rights bus tour, stopping in Sarasota. They will join with local partners and canvassers to mobilize returning citizens, people with past felony convictions, to the polls for early voting.
State attorney candidate Monique Worrell hired by agency ahead of election
October 30, 2020 – Less than two weeks before voters will decide whether to elect her as state attorney for Orange and Osceola counties, Monique Worrell was hired earlier this month by the woman she’s seeking to replace, Aramis Ayala.
Kemba Smith Pradia says America must work to see humanity in formerly incarcerated people as election approaches
October 30, 2020 – Kemba Smith Pradia knows firsthand what it’s like to be denied the right to vote.
Thousands of felons (Returning Citizens) allowed to vote despite confusion over Florida law
October 30, 2020 – Felons (returning citizens) across Florida are being allowed to vote, despite a court case that raised questions about their right. In an email Thursday, the state elections office gave local supervisors new directives allowing tens of thousands of felons in Florida to cast ballots.
Election 2020: Rights restored under Amendment 4, voters go to polls; 'It feels victorious'
October 30, 2020 – When Carol “Tee” Burgess made her way into the Belle Glade Library on Tuesday, she told those around her it was the first time she was able to vote in a presidential election in more than two decades.
#FreeTheVote Bus Tour Stops In Sarasota Friday
October 30, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition brings its #FreeTheVote bus tour to Sarasota’s Newtown Estates Park, located at Newtown Blvd., Friday at 4:30 p.m.
League of Women Voters of Florida Offers Free Legal Clarity
October 29, 2020 – The League of Women Voters of Florida has launched a pro bono legal effort in which any returning citizen (formerly convicted person) who may be unsure of their eligibility to vote can have their voting rights status checked by a legal representative.
Voting rights group holds bus tour in Tampa while presidential candidates hold rallies
October 30, 2020 – While both presidential candidates made their way across Tampa today, so did a bus tour designed to get people to the polls. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) put a bus on the streets in Tampa Thursday to encourage people to vote.
The 14th Amendment freed slaves — now, it keeps Black voters disenfranchised
October 29, 2020 – Systemic racism in voting has existed since the beginning of voting in this country. Today, millions of Black Americans can’t vote because of past convictions.
Black men's votes courted as some search for political home
October 28, 2020 – For Phillip Agnew, engaging Black male voters ahead of the general election isn’t just about persuading them to choose former Vice President Joe Biden over incumbent Donald Trump.
The Black electorate could decide the 2020 election. Here's why
October 28, 2020 – Black Americans could decide the 2020 presidential election, particularly in key battleground states like Wisconsin and Florida. The battle for the White House approaches as Black Americans face the brunt of an unprecedented national crisis – one in 1,000 have died of the virus and African Americans are twice as likely to have lost a job.
LeBron James Teams with ‘My President’ Barack Obama in Special Election Edition of HBO’s ‘The Shop’
October 28, 2020 – LeBron James spearheaded an effort that created an organization to engage the Black community on voting issues. Now, just days before the 2020 presidential election, James is using his platform for one last push of voters during an in-depth interview with former president Barack Obama.
‘All In: The Fight for Democracy’ Directors Cortés and Garbus Detail How Voter Suppression Factors into the 2020 Election
October 28, 2020 – The dismantling of our postal service. Only allowing one ballot box per county. Five-plus-hour lines in the rain. Armed officers modeling Trump masks. Installing de facto poll taxes in Florida. We’ve all seen the headlines, and these are just some of the ways that voter suppression and disenfranchisement has bled into the 2020 election cycle.
Voting Rights Bus Tour stopped in Gainesville to help ‘free the vote’
October 27, 2020 – A coalition stopped by north central Florida to engage with the community about the power of the vote this election. The Voting Rights Bus Tour made a stop to the Supervisor of Elections Office in Gainesville Tuesday afternoon.
Americans So Far Have Cast Record-Breaking 62 Million Early Ballots
October 27, 2020 – Well, we are exactly one week out from the end of the election season. But we are in a whole new voting world, and at this point, more than 60 million people have already voted either at the polls or with mail-in ballots, which is the most votes ever cast before an election day.
THOUSANDS OF EX-FELON (RETURNING CITIZEN) FIRST-TIME VOTERS IN FLORIDA COULD HELP DECIDE THE 2020 ELECTION
October 27, 2020 – In 2000, with all eyes on Florida, a young lawyer named Amy Coney Barrett helped swing the controversial Bush v. Gore decision, securing a Republican presidency. In 2020, the courts could again be decisive in swing states. Voting rights activist Desmond Meade is working to get court costs paid and ex-felons (returning citizens) registered to vote.
‘I VOTED!’: Florida ex-inmates (Returning Citizens) cast ballots
October 27, 2020 – The sticker on Yraida Guanipa’s sweater exclaimed “I VOTED!”, a badge of honor for her and many other ex-convicts (returning citizens) in Florida who have won back their right to cast a ballot for America’s next president.
In 2018, Florida enfranchised former felons (Returning Citizens). They’re still fighting for the right to vote.
October 26, 2020 – One evening when Marquis McKenzie was in high school in Orlando, he jumped out of a car and robbed a stranger with a .38-caliber revolver. Though he was just 15, he was charged as an adult and convicted of armed robbery, a felony in Florida, where he served two years in prison.
Florida's Felons (Returning Citizens) Getting Help to Vote in the 2020 Elections
October 26, 2020 – Tens of thousands of felon (returning citizen) voters will cast their votes in this election, but getting to the ballot box hasn’t been easy for many of them who owe fines and fees.
‘FREE THE VOTE’ DRAWS VOTERS TO POLLING SITE
October 26, 2020 – On Oct. 24, a “Free the Vote” rally was held at the New Smyrna Beach Regional Library at 1001 S. Dixie Highway. The event consisted of free food, music, prizes, and voting at the library, which is an early voting polling site.
Smart Justice – Making Amendment 4 Work
October 26, 2020 – The recent Federal Appeals Court decision on Amendment 4 reinstating the payment of court fees and costs in order to have one’s voting privileges restored has many people wondering, “What is Next”?
Volunteers, activists volunteer to Get Out the Vote in Tallahassee and Quincy
October 26, 2020 – Across Tallahassee, efforts to Get Out the Vote are ramping up, especially on Tallahassee’s Southside. In celebration of National Early Voter Day and Black Voter Day, hundreds showed out to cast their ballots.
Free the Vote March to the polls
October 26, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition hosts Free the Vote march. A march to the polls consisting of community members, convicted felons, and returning citizens, who cast their ballots for the first time since the passing of Amendment 4.
Returning citizen in Tampa casts ballot for first time on National Vote Early Day
October 25, 2020 – Ladron Porter couldn’t wait until Election Day. “I’m a returning citizen,” Porter told News Channel 8’s Justin Schecker. “I just did five years incarcerated.” On National Early Voting Day, the 32-year-old voted for the first time at the C. Blythe Andrews Library in Tampa.
Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s Desmond Meade Votes
October 25, 2020 – The Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Desmond Meade, cast a ballot at an early voting site at the Amway Center in Orlando Saturday.
Tallahassee, Quincy Residents Rally To Encourage Felons (Returning Citizens) To Vote
October 24, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition rallied in Tallahassee and Quincy today to encourage felons (returning citizens) to vote. Outside the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition members set up big white tents, unfolded tables, and got a generator running. They’re preparing for a rally.
Gainesville group holds rally to encourage former felons to vote
October 24, 2020 – Hundreds gathered today at the “Free to Vote” Rally and March to the Polls event organized by the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition. The organizers hoped to encourage members of Alachua County, especially those who have been incarcerated, to get out and vote.
With 10 days to vote, special events in Gifford, Stuart spur turnout at the polls
October 24, 2020 – Tony Brown saw his 53-year-old friend be able to vote for the first time. Elizabeth Jackson helped a mother of six get to the polls Saturday.
Returning citizens march, vote in downtown West Palm Beach
October 24, 2020 – For the first time in history, Floridians with past felony convictions are voting in a general election. People with past convictions, also known as returning citizens made sure the world knew they would speak up.
Legislature ignored mandate from voters
October 22, 2020 – Let me start out by stating I am neither a Republican or Democrat. I am an independent voter. However, I am very concerned about the efforts of the Republican Party to suppress the constitutional right of American citizens to vote. As an example lets look at our home state of Florida.
Voter suppression was spark that ignited Ocoee Massacre. A century later, Florida’s Black voters are still facing obstacles
October 22, 2020 – On Nov. 2, 1920, July Perry was lynched by a mob during the Ocoee Massacre, the worst election day violence in U.S. history. The trouble began when a Black man named Moses Norman was denied his right to vote, being told that he could not vote because he had not paid his poll tax.
Grassroots organization urging eligible voters to cast their ballots in upcoming election
October 21, 2020 – A local organization is going on a bus tour across Florida to urge people to vote in the upcoming election. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, a grassroots organization, arrived in Fort Pierce on Wednesday as part of the Free the Vote bus tour.
Florida accused of sowing confusion with last-minute voting changes
October 21, 2020 – Florida’s top election official is facing accusations of voter suppression after two last-minute moves critics say will lead to intimidation and confusion.
‘Free the Vote’ events encourage those with past felony convictions to vote
October 21, 2020 – Amendment 4, which passed in Florida in 2018, restored voting rights for people with past felony convictions after they have completed their sentences including parole or probation.
Group says 67,000 Florida felons (Returning Citizens) registered to vote in Nov. 3 election
October 20, 2020 – More than 67,000 people with felony convictions have registered to vote since Florida ended its lifetime ban on felon (returning citizen) disenfranchisement.
'Exciting and Historical Moment': Their Rights Restored, 67,000+ Former Felons (Returning Citizens) Set to Vote in Florida Amid Record Early Turnout
October 20, 2020 – There are thousands upon thousands of energized and inspired returning citizens throughout the state that will not be denied, that will be a voice, and will have an impact in determining who wins Florida.
Women's March Fort Myers sponsors a Call to Action Sidewalk Demonstration
October 19, 2020 – Lining up along Mcgregor and Martin Luther King Boulevard in Fort Myers, people from all walks of life came together fighting for what they believe is right.
Former felons (Returning Citizens) prepare to vote for first time in Florida as early voting begins
October 19, 2020 – Early voting started in Florida on Monday as this presidential election is the first since Florida voters passed Amendment Four in 2018.
Felons (Returning Citizens) voting for the first time in Florida
October 19, 2020 – Thousands of felons (returning citizens) are casting their ballot this election for the first time since being incarcerated or charged, but the state isn’t making it easy.
Final tally: Group says 67,000 felons (Returning Citizens) registered in Florida after Amendment 4
October 19, 2020 – A group that pushed to restore voting rights to Florida felons (returning citizens) said Monday that slightly more than 67,000 people registered to vote after passage of its citizen initiative.
RESTORING THE VOTE TO AMERICANS WITH FELONY RECORDS
October 17, 2020 – Mass incarceration has fueled Black voter disenfranchisement for decades in the U.S. More than 5 million Americans are unable to vote because of a felony record, and they are disproportionately Black.
"March For Justice"
October 17, 2020 – Pam Armstrong Escarcega, with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, speaks to the crowd at the “March for Justice” rally on the downtown square in Ocala, Florida, Saturday, October 17, 2020.
3 questions: Ariel White on voter rights and the US criminal justice system
October 16, 2020 – Ariel White is the Silverman (1968) Family Career Development Associate Professor of Political Science at MIT, where she researches voting and voting rights, race, the criminal legal system, and bureaucratic behavior.
Florida acts to remove felons (Returning Citizens) from voter rolls as election looms
October 15, 2020 – Florida will seek to push former felons (returning citizens) from voter rolls if they have outstanding court debts, a surprise, late-hour move that comes after more than 2 million people already have voted in the presidential battleground.
A Show for Civic Duty: Whose Vote Counts, Explained
October 15, 2020 – In 1776, 56 men signed a document stating that “All men are created equal,” but in reality, they have not always been treated as such when it comes to voting. In terms of voting, being able to express your opinion at the ballot box has not always been a right, but rather a privilege.
Nearly 5.2 Million Americans Can't Vote In The 2020 Election Due To A Felony Conviction
October 14, 2020 – More than 5 million Americans won’t be allowed to vote in the 2020 election, one of the most consequential in recent history, because of a felony conviction, according to a new study released Wednesday.
Florida Rights Restoration Coalition tours Big Bend area preparing former felons (Returning Citizens) to vote
October 14, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration is rolling through Big Bend counties helping ex-convicts (returning citizens) prepare for voting. The bus tour brought education rights into Tallahassee and Gadsden County, from letting people know how they can vote to and helping them pay off their fines and fees.
Group advocating for voting rights for ex-felons (Returning Citizens) hosting rally in Fort Myers
October 14, 2020 – Voters will be marching to the polls in Fort Myers, and many of them will be casting their ballots for the first time. A non-profit that advocates for people with past felony convictions is hosting a “Free The Vote” rally in 10 days.
Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Makes North Florida Stops On Bus Tour
October 14, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is swinging through North Florida this week on a statewide bus tour. The group is running a high-profile fundraising effort to pay fines and fees for felons (returning citizens), so they can again vote in elections.
State attorneys fight alongside former felons (Returning Citizens) to restore voting rights before election
October 12, 2020 – Two different paths led Ernest Johnson and Ronnie Reddish down the same road. Just a few weeks from Election Day, the two men met at a park in Tampa, Florida, to talk life, liberty and voting rights as a former felon (returning citizen).
The Rocky Road Towards Restoring Voting Rights To Florida Felons (Returning Citizens)
October 11, 2020 – Florida was supposed to see hundreds of thousands of formerly banned voters at the polls this election. Two years ago, voters there approved restoring voting rights to people with past felony convictions, nearly a million and a half of them.
Steve Clifford Assists Let Your Voice Be Heard, Inc. and Other Organizations in Community Bookbag Distribution Event
October 10, 2020 – Increasing voter turnout and encouraging more community involvement has been a major focal point for the Orlando Magic during these tough, uncertain times.
Amendment 4 and the vote was pretty simple
October 8, 2020 – Tallahassee has been in hand-wringing harrumphing high dudgeon of late over the prospect that former convicted felons (returning citizens) might possibly be able to cast a ballot in the November election.
How LeBron James and his NBA generation grew their voices, influenced the next ones
October 8, 2020 – Sports and social activism have long gone hand-in-hand: Often in America’s history, the field or the court has been a more level playing field for Black Americans than in civil rights, housing, justice and government.
Florida ruled felons must pay to vote. Now, it doesn’t know how many can.
October 7, 2020 – Nearly two years after Florida voters approved a landmark constitutional amendment allowing felons (returning citizens) to vote, state officials don’t know how many have registered.
Florida voting rights organization to hand out 1 million face masks ahead of general election to keep voters safe
October 7, 2020 -The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition plans to hand out 1 million masks at polling locations across the state before the November general election.
A Closer Look at the First and Second round Grant Recipients
October 7, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) is a grassroots membership organization run by returning citizens who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions, and creating a more comprehensive and humane reentry system that will enhance successful reentry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety.
Orlando Magic Recognized as a 2020 Diversity in Business Award Winner by Orlando Business Journal
October 7, 2020 – The Magic believe sports has the ability to bridge divides and bring people together and are committed to creating an inclusive environment in which fans, community partners and employees feel welcomed, valued and appreciated.
Donations From Michael Jordan, LeBron James To Help Felons (Returning Citizens) Vote
October 6, 2020 – Following a federal court ruling, a statewide nonprofit has received a surge in donations to help convicted felons (returning citizens) have their voting rights restored in Florida.
For Mike Vick, The Long Road To Redemption Leads to Fighting For Voting Rights
October 6, 2020 – Redemption is a subject that Michael Vick is intimately aware of. Indeed, it is a concept that many of us feel is every person’s right. After all, salvation is a pillar of the western world’s concept of spirituality.
DESMOND MEADE NO ONE'S BUYING EX-FELON (RETURNING CITIZEN) VOTES IN FL ... Not Bloomberg or Anyone Else!!!
October 6, 2020 – Desmond Meade of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition joined us Tuesday on “TMZ Live,” and told us the $25 million his organization raised to allow former felons (returning citizens) to vote in the election came from folks across the country … and before Bloomberg donated a dime.
Free but in debt: Florida ex-inmates (returning citizens) unable to vote
October 6, 2020 – Davion and Maria have paid their debt to society by serving prison sentences in the US state of Florida, but they’re still paying back monetary debts from their cases – and until they do, they won’t be allowed to vote.
Coalition donates $1.8 million to PBC felons, $25 million statewide
October 6, 2020 – For the last two years, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition embarked on a mission to help millions of felons in the state restore their right to vote.
Heat, NBA donate $45,000 to Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
October 6, 2020 – The Miami Heat, NBA and State Farm announced on Tuesday a $45,000 contribution to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s Current Fines & Fees Program.
Generosity, county clerk of courts hustle to restore voting rights for ex-felons (Returning Citizens)
October 6, 2020 – Gerald McDonald feels like he matters now, but it wasn’t always like that. “I just felt like I wasn’t a part of the community, ” explained McDonald.
Best Life: Ways to get involved with election protection
October 6 – COVID-19 has changed everybody’s way of life, affecting jobs, homes and livelihoods. But now COVID-19 is threatening the heart of American society—free and fair elections. So, what are some ways to get involved with protecting democracy despite the dangers of the pandemic?
Organization paying millions for returning citizens to vote in general election
October 5, 2020 – As the deadline arrives to register to vote in Florida, an organization is working to help make sure more returning citizens get the chance to vote next month in the general election.
Desmond Meade Talks Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Felon (Returning Citizen) Eligibility + More
October 5, 2020 – Desmond Meade Talks Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Felon (Returning Citizen) Eligibility + More
Comedy Central, MTV and VH1 to Florida: Let People Exercise Their Voting Rights
October 5, 2020 – In the 2018 election, Florida voters by almost a 30-point margin approved Amendment 4, which reinstated voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million Sunshine State residents who had past felony convictions.
Group to help ex-felons (Returning Citizens) delivers $1.8 million check
October 5, 2020 – The Florida organization formed to help ex-felons (returning citizens) restore their voting rights hopes to make a difference in Palm Beach County.
Political Group Pays $550,000 In Fines To Give Brevard Felons (Returning Citizens) Right To Vote
October 5, 2020 -The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition political group paid just over $550,000 in fees, fines, and restitution to give Brevard County felons the right to vote in the 2020 Presidential General Election.
How to Help Enfranchise Florida Voters With Past Felony Convictions
October 4, 2020 – With so much uncertainty surrounding what’s going to happen over the next few weeks, a lot of us are feeling pretty anxious about the upcoming elections.
Voting rights groups speed payments to help ex-felons (Returning Citizens) in Florida ahead of registration deadline
October 4, 2020 – A group working to restore voting rights to former felons (returning citizens) in the battleground state of Florida is racing to deliver money to court clerks to help pay off court fees and fines as a voter-registration deadline and Election Day itself fast approach.
‘Real Change’: A Race Is On to Register Ex-Felons in Florida
October 4, 2020 – For Lucas Melton and his team of field organizers, their all-out campaign to register former felons to vote in Florida before the Monday deadline begins with informing them that they are eligible in the first place.
For the first time, former felons (Returning Citizens) can vote in Florida but there’s a catch
October 4, 2020 – Voters approved a change back in the 2018 election stating that former felons (returning citizens) can now vote for president or in any other election. So this, for many, is the first time they can vote! However, they have to pay off all fines and fees first.
Vote or eat? Coalition supporting felons' (Returning Citizens') voting rights gives $600,000 to help pay off fines, fees in Lee County
October 4, 2020 – The $25 million collected by a statewide organization to pay fines and fees for former felons (returning citizens) will keep them from having to choose between food, rent or the ballot box, the leader of the effort said Sunday in Fort Myers
We refuse to let Florida hold democracy hostage by denying ex-felons a right to vote
October 2, 2020 – The late John Lewis said, “Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part to help build what we called the Beloved Community, a nation and world society at peace with itself.”
‘We are tired of talking:’ Community leaders bring proposals to stop violence
October 1, 2020 – More than 30 community leaders packed inside a room at The Experience Christian Center Thursday morning to find solutions on how to stop the violence in Orange County.
In 2020 Election, Florida Felon (Returning Citizen) Voting Limits Could Sway State Outcome
September 30, 2020 – As the election nears in hotly contested Florida, restrictions affecting felon (returning citizen) voting rights could block thousands from casting ballots, potentially altering the state’s outcome in the presidential race, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.
The fight to restore felons' (Returning Citizens') voting rights in Florida continues
September 28, 2020 – The battle over felon (returning citizen) voting rights in Florida is getting national attention. In 2018, voters passed Amendment 4 in a landslide.
Felons can call hotline for help regaining voting rights
September 28, 2020 – Celebrities like Michael Jordan, LeBron James, and Ariana Grande have donated to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s Fines and Fees Fund, according to Executive Director Desmond Meade.
Cashing Bloomberg’s Checks
September 28, 2020 – I have one small piece of advice to offer the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, to which Michael Bloomberg has promised to deliver $16 million for its fund to clear former felons’ monetary debts so they can vote: Cash the check before you spend the money.
Winner and Loser of the Week in Florida politics — Week of September 20, 2020
September 27, 2020 – More than 20 years ago, Desmond Meade was convicted of drug dealing and spent three years in prison. For many people in his situation, that starts a cycle of prison, to the streets, and to prison again. Meade, though, beat the odds.
LeBron James Partners With The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition To Help Formerly Incarcerated People Vote
September 26, 2020 – Three-time NBA Champion LeBron James has reportedly partnered with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to help formerly incarcerated people vote.
6 organizations working to get people to vote — and how to help them
September 25, 2020 – Time is running out to make sure everyone is registered to vote in the United States presidential election on Nov. 3. The stakes have heightened even further given the recent death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which leaves five conservative-leaning judges and three liberal ones.
Mike Bloomberg Raises $16,000,000 To Restore Voting Rights To Florida’s Ex-Convicts (Returning Citizens)
September 25, 2020 – I hold no punches when it comes to delivering a referendum on Michael Bloomberg’s failure to connect with the African American community.
Only a fraction of felons (Returning Citizens) will be able to vote in November
September 25, 2020 – With Florida’s Oct. 5 voter-registration deadline looming, convicted felons (returning citizens) and their advocates are scrambling to clear up outstanding court-related debts or take advantage of special programs so that people who have served their time behind bars can cast ballots in this year’s presidential election.
John Legend, Camila Cabello Launch Campaign For Florida Voting Rights
September 24, 2020 – With the 2020 presidential election quickly approaching, John Legend and Camila Cabello have teamed up for crowdfunding campaign Free the Vote, which aims to restore voting rights in Florida for the formerly convicted.
Under growing scrutiny, felon (Returning Citizen) voting group defends Bloomberg's expected donation
September 24, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition says it hasn’t even received a donation from Mike Bloomberg, but they are defending the expected $16 million donation to help pay fines and fees for convicted felons (returning citizens) to register to vote as a proper and “righteous” effort.
Pardon blocked for man who led crusade to restore voting rights to felons (Returning Citizens) in Florida
September 24, 2020 – Desmond Meade graduated from law school, made it onto Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people and was at the forefront of a successful crusade to restore voting rights to convicted felons (returning citizens) in Florida.
Orlando's Desmond Meade says his 'resolve' is strengthened after Gov. DeSantis' pardon decision
September 24, 2020 – After his bid for a pardon was blocked Wednesday, Florida felons’ (returning citizens’) voting-rights leader Desmond Meade said the decision made him even more committed to continuing his work.
Florida campaign underway to pay ‘poll taxes’ for the formerly incarcerated
September 24, 2020 – A rapidly growing movement is urgently scrambling to pay thousands of fines, restitution charges, and legal fees to allow returning citizens or ex-felons in Florida to register to vote and cast ballots in the 2020 elections.
Gallery Partners With Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to Help People Vote
September 24, 2020 – 700,000 citizens who completed prison time and parole in Florida may be ineligible to vote. With only a week until Florida’s bail payment deadline, the New York-based gallery Canada wants to help.
Pardon Blocked For Florida Felons’ (Returning Citizens') Rights Leader Desmond Meade
September 23, 2020 – Desmond Meade graduated from law school, made it onto Time magazine’s list of the 100 most influential people and was at the forefront of a successful crusade to restore voting rights to convicted felons (returning citizens) in Florida.
Bloomberg, others rack up $20M to register Florida felons (Returning Citizens) after time served
September 22, 2020 – A group trying to help felons (returning citizens) sign up to vote in Florida says it has raised more than $20 million to pay off outstanding court debts for thousands of former prisoners seeking to register in a battleground state crucial to President Donald Trump’s reelection.
Working to restore voting rights to returning citizens ahead of the general election
September 21, 2020 – As the November election draws near and demonstrations for racial justice continue to unfold across the country, it is important to remember Black people in the United States are disenfranchised from voting because of previous criminal convictions at four times the rate of all other racial groups combined.
Getting Black communities to vote is personal for LeBron James, other NBA stars: 'We've seen our voices muted our whole lives'
September 20, 2020 – When he became eligible to vote, LeBron James did not consider it to be important. At 18 years old, James cared about other things.
'A Day of Action' in Palm Bay registers voters, helps felons (returning citizens) restore voting rights
September 19, 2020 – For Jason Morice, restoring his right to vote will be an important step in rebuilding his life as a convicted felon.
National cable networks join effort to aid Florida felons (Returning Citizens) voting effort
September 19, 2020 – An effort to pay court-ordered costs for felons (returning citizens) who have served their time behind bars is getting a $250,000 boost from MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central, the cable networks announced on Friday.
MTV, VH1 And Comedy Central Join Forces To Help Formerly Incarcerated People Vote In Florida
September 19, 2020 – Now, MTV, VH1 and Comedy Central joined the efforts of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition by donating $250,000 to help their efforts to increase voter access by helping this community pay off fines and fees that keep them from voting.
FRRC Announces Voteteenth: It’s Time to Free the Vote!
September 19, 2020 – Today, September 19th, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) is hosting Voteteenth, a day of action and celebration to advance the modern day struggle for voting rights in America.
Michael Vick And Desmond Meade Wants Florida Citizens Returning From Incarceration To Know They Have Voting Rights, Too
September 19, 2020 – Our nation is at a reckoning. We are deep in a social justice movement that is changing our nation, power structures and the status quo as we know it.
MTV, Comedy Central And VH1 Join Last Minute Push To Register Florida's Returning Citizens
September 19, 2020 – Thirty years after MTV launched its Rock The Vote campaign, the brand is helping in an eleventh-hour push to help Floridians with felony convictions register to vote in time for the November election.
Ad Council, ViacomCBS Launch Campaign To Get Out The Youth Vote
September 17, 2020 – The Ad Council, ViacomCBS and other partners are joining forces to launch Vote For Your Life, a nonpartisan national campaign urging young people to vote in this year’s election on Nov. 3.
Voter suppression tactics in full force as Election Day nears
September 17, 2020 – The general election is less than two months away and reports of voter suppression tactics being used to prevent certain groups from casting their ballots are in full swing.
Amendment 4 hopes dashed many returning citizens can’t vote
September 16, 2020 – Felons who have completed their sentences will not have their voting rights restored as intended by the voters who passed Amendment 4, until all fines, fees, costs and financial terms of those sentences are met.
In Florida, if you have a felony conviction, voting will cost you
September 15, 2020 – Florida can require people who have been convicted of a felony to pay all outstanding fines, fees and restitution before they’re allowed to vote, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit has ruled.
‘It’s voter suppression:’ Ex-felon (Returning Citizen) reacts to court ruling
September 14, 2020 – Ex-felons (returning citizens) in Florida are reacting to a federal appellate court ruling that requires all felons (returning citizens) to pay all fines, restitution and legal fees before they can vote again. That ruling reverses a lower court judge’s decision that gave Florida felons (returning citizens) the right to vote regardless of outstanding financial obligations.
Poverty continues to prevent many ex-felons from voting
September 14, 2020 – Last month, Desmond Meade voted for the first time in 30 years, casting a ballot in his home state of Florida. His status as a former felon had prevented him from doing so before under the state’s previous felony disenfranchisement laws.
Court imposes a modern-day poll tax. Floridians can, and should, intervene
September 13, 2020 – Looks like it’s up to the majority of Florida voters to help ex-felons — “returning citizens” — cast a ballot in November. The state’s Republican leaders have long made clear that it’s better for the GOP if ex-felons are denied that chance.
Appeals court upholds felons (Returning Citizens) voting law
September 13, 2020 – Delivering a victory to Gov. Ron DeSantis, a divided federal appeals court on Friday upheld the constitutionality of a Florida law requiring felons (returning citizens) to complete all financial terms of their sentences — including paying fines, fees, costs and restitution — to be eligible to vote.
DeSantis & Co. don’t want ex-prisoners (returning citizens) to vote.
September 13, 2020 – Looks like it’s up to the majority of Florida voters to help ex-felons — “returning citizens” — cast a ballot in November. The state’s Republican leaders have long made clear that it’s better for the GOP if ex-felons are denied that chance.
Judges: Florida felons (Returning Citizens) can't vote until they pay fines, fees
September 12, 2020 – Florida felons (returning citizens) must pay all fines, restitution and legal fees before they can regain their right to vote, a federal appellate court ruled Friday in a case that could have broad implications for the November elections.
LeBron, Athletes Wielding Peashooters in Gunfight — Need Help to Fix Rigged Game
September 12, 2020 – It’s hard to win a game when the rules were made for you to lose. This is a reality that many athletes are facing as they take on the challenge of helping to bring equality to a nation that has never practiced the principles it preaches.
Appeals court upholds felons (Returning Citizen) voting law
September 12, 2020 – Delivering a victory to Gov. Ron DeSantis, a divided federal appeals court on Friday upheld the constitutionality of a Florida law requiring felons (returning citizens) to complete all financial terms of their sentences – including paying fines, fees, costs and restitution – to be eligible to vote.
Ruling on Felons' (Returning Citizens') Voting Rights Doesn't Deter Advocates
September 11, 2020 – The 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Friday that convicted, non-violent felons (returning citizens) in Florida who have completed their sentences cannot exercise their right to vote until they have paid off any owed legal fees, fines or restitution.
Federal court rules that felons cannot vote in Florida if they owe fines or fees
September 11, 2020 – As many as 775,000 former felons in Florida will not be able to vote if they haven’t paid back all fines, fees and restitution, a federal appeals court ruled Friday, overturning a lower court’s decision that they could go to the polls this year.
Federal court rules felons cannot vote in Florida if they owe fines or fees
September 11, 2020 – As many as 775,000 former felons in Florida will not be able to vote if they haven’t paid back all fines, fees and restitution, a federal appeals court ruled Friday, overturning a lower court’s decision that they could go to the polls this year.
Judge rules on felons paying fines before voting
September 11, 2020 – Almost 800,000 Floridians will be affected by the new ruling regarding felons paying fines and fees before voting.
Federal appeals court blocks hundreds of thousands of felons in Florida who still owe fines and fees from registering to vote
September 11, 2020 – A federal appeals court on Friday ruled that hundreds of thousands of felons in Florida who still owe fines and fees may not register to vote, making it unlikely that they will be able to cast ballots in the upcoming presidential election.
Court Ruling Deals Blow to Ex-Felons’ Voting Rights in Florida
September 11, 2020 – In a significant reversal, the United States Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit in Atlanta ruled on Friday that a Florida law requiring people with serious criminal convictions to pay court fines and fees before they can register to vote is constitutional.
Judges: Florida felons can't vote until they pay fines
September 11, 2020 – Florida felons must pay all fines, restitution and legal fees before they can regain their right to vote, a federal appellate court ruled Friday.
In Key 2020 Election Decision, Judges Rule Florida Felons Can’t Vote Until They’ve Paid Fines
September 11, 2020 – Felons in Florida can only regain the right to vote once they’ve paid all fines, restitution and legal fees, a federal appellate court ruled Friday, reversing a decision from a lower court that declared Florida’s “pay-to-vote” law unconstitutional.
Florida felons lose voting rights case in federal appeals court
September 11, 2020 – A federal appeals court on Friday overturned a judge’s ruling that people with felony convictions don’t have to pay off all court fees and fines before voting, dealing a setback to advocates for 2018′s Amendment 4.
Felons have the potential to swing close 2020 races
September 11, 2020 – As many as 2 million formerly incarcerated felons are poised to regain their voting rights ahead of the November election, an influx that could swing critical elections in states like Florida, Nevada, North Carolina and Iowa.
Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee Gives $100,000 to Florida Rights Restoration Coalition's Fines and Fees Program
September 11, 2020 – The Miami Dolphins Social Impact Committee announced a series of initiatives designed to increase voter awareness and engagement throughout South Florida.
Orlando Magic Celebrate ‘Desmond Meade Day’ With City Tour
September 10, 2020 – Lifting the spirits of others is something the Orlando Magic take pride in doing. The organization’s work in the community has helped countless people make strides in their lives.
Poverty continues to prevent many ex-felons from voting
September 9, 2020 – Last month Desmond Meade voted for the first time in 30 years, casting a ballot in his home state of Florida.
Amendment 4 in Action: Meet the Man Who Voted for the 1st Time in 30 Years
September 9, 2020 – In this week’s Central Florida: Beyond the Soundbite podcast: Amendment 4, or better known as the felon voting rights. This topic has been the subject of continued fiery debate.
Former felons in Florida still face hurdles registering to vote weeks before election
September 8, 2020 – People from across the country flock to Florida for the endless warm weather and miles of beaches, but as the November presidential election inches closer, people are turning their heads to the state for another reason.
'All In: The Fight for Democracy': Film Review
September 4, 2020 – Rising political star Stacey Abrams of Georgia serves as both interviewee and producer for Liz Garbus and Lisa Cortes’ doc about the struggle to attain and maintain voting rights in America.
Orlando Magic, City of Orlando will open Amway Center for early voting
September 3, 2020 – The home of the Orlando Magic will be open for early voting this election season as teams around the league try to urge fans and citizens to vote.
Man wants to vote, but mountainous fines stand in way
September 3, 2020 – Over $95,000 stands between Robert Coleman and a voting booth.
Orlando Magic, city and county announce Amway Center to be polling location
September 2, 2020 – With a push from the Orlando Magic, Amway Center is about to become the largest early-voting site in Orange County. And one of the Magic’s tallest players could be welcoming voters as they walk in.
Orlando Magic have a ‘superstar’ in their corner helping fight racial injustice
August 2, 2020 – Desmond Meade will not forget the first time he spoke with Orlando Magic Players. When Meade asked them about current events, specifically referring to the deaths of unarmed Black men George Floyd and Ahmaud Arbery, one of the Magic players spoke with utter anguish in his voice and despair on his face.
Ex-felons are facing new hurdles when registering to vote
September 1, 2020 – Christine Vincent was hopeful in November 2018 when she thought she could vote again. Florida had just passed a historic amendment giving former felons the right back after the completion of their sentence, and she felt like she could be a “normal” member of society again.
More People With Felony Convictions Can Vote, but Roadblocks Remain
August 31, 2020 – Another group working on outreach is the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, which has raised $4 million to cover fees and restitution costs that might keep people from voting. The nonpartisan group so far has donated up to $1,500 each to 3,000 people, according to its president, Desmond Meade.
Who Gets to Vote in Florida?
August 31, 2020 – With the election hanging in the balance, Republican leaders continue a long fight over voting rights. Betty Riddle grew up in Sarasota, Florida, in a segregated neighborhood that people back in the nineteen-sixties called Black Bottom.
Orlando Magic will continue social justice questions, endeavors long after leaving the bubble
August 30, 2020 – The Orlando Magic’s season is over, but their fight to be part of positive change in their community will continue even after the season ends. The first part of diagnosing or solving a problem is education and discovery.
LAW FIRM HELPING FELONS PAY LEGAL DEBTS
August 30, 2020 – Orlando attorney John Morgan and his firm Morgan & Morgan launched a fundraising campaign Monday to help felons regain the right to vote.
‘All In: The Fight for Democracy’ – meet the women behind new voter suppression documentary, mobilization campaign featuring Stacey Abrams
August 29, 2020 – If not for systematic voter suppression in 2018, Stacey Abrams might today be the governor of Georgia – and the first Black woman governor in American history.
Orlando Magic Players, Coaches Meet With Orange County Sheriff John Mina as Push for Social Reform Continues
August 28, 2020 – The Orlando Magic and its players are fully committed to doing everything in their power to create real, systemic change. A key to that happening is good communication.
These philanthropists are donating 1% of their net worth to expand and protect the vote
August 28, 2020 – Philanthropists are assembling significant sums to expand and protect voting rights ahead of an uncertain 2020 election.
LeBron James Is Helping Spearhead a Multimillion-Dollar Effort to Recruit Poll Workers for the Election
August 27, 2020 – LeBron James is doing what he can to bring people to the polls. The NBA star is helping to spearhead a multimillion-dollar effort to recruit poll workers ahead of the election in November.
NBA Postpones Game 5 Amid Continued Push for Social Justice
August 27, 2020 – Heading into the NBA campus, the Orlando Magic hoped to leverage their participation in the league’s restart to amplify their efforts to combat racism and bring about social change.
Florida pays $1.7 million, so far, to defend felons voting law
August 26, 2020 – Florida taxpayers have spent more than $1.7 million — and are on the hook for hundreds of thousands more — in the state’s defense of a 2019 law requiring felons to pay “legal financial obligations” to be eligible to vote, according to state records.
Magic coach Steve Clifford sees voting as key to ending police shootings
August 26, 2020 – About 90 minutes before the start of what could be his team’s last game of what’s been arguably the most challenging season in NBA history, Orlando Magic coach Steve Clifford spent some time talking about something not related to basketball.
Anquan Bolidin Tells Us How Players Coalition Is Attacking Voter Suppression In Florida
August 26, 2020 – In support of a fair and all-inclusive voting process for 2020, the Players Coalition is donating $20,000 towards efforts to restore the right to vote for people with past felony convictions in Florida.
LeBron James' More Than a Vote coalition to fund recruitment efforts of poll workers in swing states
August 26, 2020 – More Than a Vote partnered last month with teams in Atlanta, Detroit, Milwaukee and Los Angeles to transform arenas into polling sites. The group also donated $100,000 to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s efforts to pay outstanding court debts of former felons so they can register to vote.
Morgan touts effort to help felons pay legal debts
August 24, 2020 – Orlando attorney John Morgan and his firm Morgan & Morgan launched a fundraising campaign Monday to help felons regain the right to vote. As part of an effort to help the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition’s Fines and Fees Fund, Morgan announced he will match the first $100,000 in donations to his “Voice for Voters” campaign.
'We have to continue to fight:' Voting rights advocates await Amendment 4 'poll tax' decision ahead of November election
August 23, 2020 – Voting rights advocates in Florida are closely watching an ongoing case in federal appeals court that could determine the constitutionality of the state’s requirement that released felons pay legal fees before being able to vote.
Explained: How NBA stars are campaigning to restore ex-convicts’ voting rights
August 19, 2020 – Up against a state legislature that makes it difficult for almost 1.5 million disenfranchised Floridians to register to vote in this swing state, More Than a Vote has helped re-enfranchise a population with donations to Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, the chief voting rights organization.
Florida attorneys: If felon voting law is unconstitutional, so is Amendment 4
August 19, 2020 – Attorney Charles Cooper argued Amendment 4, as presented to voters, specifically said the right to vote would be restored after all “all terms of sentence” were completed. “The voters decided that the right to vote of a person who lost it as a consequence of his conviction of a felony should be restored only if he has paid the full debt he owes to society,” he said.
PROGRESSIVE CANDIDATE WINS ORLANDO’S PRIMARY FOR PROSECUTOR, AND FOUR OTHER FLORIDA TAKEAWAYS
August 19, 2020 – Florida’s Aug. 18 primaries were marred once more by the exclusion of hundreds of thousands of voters due to harsh felony disenfranchisement statutes and to the confusion wrought by the state’s 2019 mandate that people with felony convictions pay off their court debt before voting.
Criminal justice reformer Monique Worrell wins Orlando’s State Attorney primary
August 19, 2020 – Another shockwave went through Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit Tuesday as yet another outsider candidate running on a criminal justice reform platform upset the establishment in the race for the State Attorney’s office.
Federal appeals court considers whether to uphold Florida felon voting law
August 19, 2020 – A federal appeals court on Tuesday spent more than two hours weighing whether to overturn a contentious Florida law restricting felon voting rights, with one judge suggesting that doing so would paradoxically require the court to strike down a public referendum that eliminated the state’s ban on felon voting.
COVID-19 Presents New Re-Entry Barriers for Former Inmates
August 19, 2020 – The COVID-19 pandemic has created unprecedented barriers to the already difficult process of former inmates navigating their return to society, leaving advocates scrambling for new ways to help.
Over 1 million former convicts in Florida regained the right to vote — and this group is trying to register them for the 2020 elections
August 18, 2020 – Former convicts in Florida — more than 1 million people — will be allowed to vote in the 2020 elections. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is canvassing door to door trying to register voters, despite hurdles from the state’s Republican-controlled legislature.
Florida Felon Voting Law Questioned by US Appellate Court
August 18, 2020 – An attorney representing the state of Florida told a federal appeals court Tuesday the state can legally require felons to fully pay all fines, fees and restitution before allowing them to vote, while attorneys representing some felons argued that constitutes an illegal poll tax and discriminates against the poor.
Local ex-felon casts first ballot in 16 years after voting rights restored in Florida
August 18, 2020 – It’s a day for second chances as thousands of ex-felons take part in Florida’s Primary Election. Tuesday, many are experiencing a first at the polls under Florida’s Amendment Four for felon voting rights.
Hearing held to decide whether ex-felons should pay fees, fines before being allowed to vote
August 18, 2020 – A hearing was held on Tuesday in the ongoing battle to restore voting rights to Florida’s ex-felons. At the center of the hearing was whether ex-felons should have to pay fines and fees from their conviction before going to the polls.
Desmond Meade’s new PAC pours $1.5 million into Orlando’s State Attorney race
August 18, 2020 – A new political action committee created by Amendment 4 backers to support State Attorney candidate Monique Worrell has received more than $2.2 million and spent more than $1.5 million, mostly on television commercials in the Orlando market.
Voting In Tuesday’s Primary Will Be ‘Bittersweet’ For Desmond Meade
August 17, 2020 – Among those casting a ballot in Florida’s primary election Tuesday is Desmond Meade. Meade, who is the executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, has become the face of the movement for Floridians who have completed felony sentences, and it’s the first time he’ll be voting himself in thirty years.
Former felons continue to fight for voting rights hours ahead of Florida primary
August 17, 2020 – The fight to restore felon voting rights continues in the state of Florida just ahead of the state primary on Tuesday. Two former felons say the state can do more to make sure everyone’s vote counts.
Orlando City Commissioner Regina Hill Pushes For New Legislation Following Her Brother’s Death From COVID-19
August 17, 2020 – State Sen. Randolph Bracy says he plans to introduce new legislation next session to give families of prisoners better access to health care information during their incarceration.
‘Won’t miss it for the world.’ Miami groups mobilize Black voters in ‘Souls to the Polls’
August 16, 2020 – Voters gathered in the parking lot of the Calder Casino around Noon and drove over to the North Dade Regional Library about an hour later, led by a charter bus from the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, leaders of the movement for Amendment 4 in Florida, which restored voting rights for some felons.
Coronavirus, fees hinder drive to register Florida felons to vote
August 16, 2020 – When Floridians overwhelmingly approved a measure allowing most felons to vote after completing their sentences, many expected Democrats to benefit most from the participation of up to 1.4 million newly eligible voters in this year’s election.
Players Coalition Pledges $20,000 to Combat Felony Disenfranchisement in Florida
August 14, 2020 – Players Coalition is donating $20,000 towards efforts to restore the right to vote for people with past felony convictions in Florida. The donation will go towards Florida Rights Restoration Coalition‘s (FRRC) Fines and Fees program, which assists returning citizens who have outstanding fees to complete their sentences and become eligible to vote.
The ‘sacred right to vote’: Ex-convict fights to cast ballots in Florida
August 14, 2020 – Ángel Sánchez considers voting in elections a “sacred right” — even if this Cuban-American resident of Miami may not achieve that blessing in the Tuesday primary.
Florida felons’ vote hangs in balance as elections near
August 14, 2020 – Florida voters are heading to the polls Tuesday, August 18 for the primary elections. But hundreds of thousands of felons, who thought they would be able to vote once again, cannot cast their ballots next week.
Florida felons voting clarification comes too late for the primary
August 13, 2020 – The Florida Secretary of State quietly published guidance for people with felon convictions to determine whether they are eligible to register to vote.
Felons, lawyers in Florida face 'tremendous confusion' on voting rights
August 13, 2020 – Angel Sanchez lost his right to vote before he was old enough to even cast a ballot. But after his release from prison in 2011, he did everything he could to turn his life around.
Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Raises Funds to Restore Voting Rights
August 13, 2020 – Desmond Meade and Neil Volz are counting down the days to Aug. 18 — it’s the midterm election, and it will be the first time both men have been allowed to vote in decades.
Florida quietly gives voting advice to ex-felons
August 13, 2020 – Here’s an unexpected development in the battle over felon voting rights. Nearly two years after voters got rid of the state’s lifetime voting ban for most ex-felons the state has released instructions/guidance/standards on how eligibility works for those covered by Amendment 4.
Get the Facts: New PAC supports Monique Worrell with ad
August 13, 2020 – In Commitment 2020, more money is pouring into a local State Attorney race. Footing the bill is a new political action committee, and it’s paying for a new political ad that supports candidate Monique Worrell.
Florida Rights Restoration Coalition leaders create new PAC, support Monique Worrell
August 12, 2020 – Desmond Meade and Neil Volz, leaders of the Florida Rights RestorationCoalition that ushered a state constitutional amendment to restore felons’ voting rights in Florida, launched a political committee to support candidates.
100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment: Unpacking the Legacy | August 2020 Cover
August 11, 2020 – August 18 marks the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment — the largest expansion of the franchise in the country’s history.
Teen Vogue’s August issue tackles voter suppression
August 11, 2020 – “The Uncounted,” launched on Tuesday by the Condé Nast-owned magazine, is a series about disenfranchised voters that specifically highlights the stories of women of color.
SWFL man votes for the first time after rights are restored
August 11, 2020 – This 2020 primary election comes as a first for some voters — as it is in the case of a Southwest Florida man who voted on Tuesday for the very first time.
Amendment 4 backers announce $2 million will go towards paying fines and fees of past felony convictions
August 10, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition gathered on Monday to announce that they are have raised $2 million to pay off funds for people with past convictions.
$2 million raised to help ex-felons vote in Florida
August 10, 2020 – For Richea Hampton, filling out a ballot checks off a life goal. “This will be my first time ever voting,” Hampton said.
Orange-Osceola state attorney debate
August 7, 2020 – WESH 2 News presents the debate for the state attorney for Florida’s 9th Judicial Circuit. The circuit covers Orange and Osceola counties, more than 2,000 square miles and serves more than 1.3 million residents, making it one of the largest circuits in Florida.
Florida’s Desmond Meade talks about the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act
August 6, 2020 – Thursday is the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act. For an update on Florida’s legal battle on restoring voting rights to many ex-prisoners, WMNF spoke with the main proponent of Amendment 4, Desmond Meade.
Business owner, nonprofit founder overcame his past to succeed, mentor others
August 5, 2020 – Becoming successful for many business owner means overcoming your past. August is National Black Business Month and News 6 is honoring them by putting a spotlight on the ones right here in our community.
FRRC, Demos File Amicus Brief In Support of Fla. Returning Citizens at the 11th Circuit
August 5, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), with legal support from Dēmos, filed an amicus brief at the 11th Circuit in support of the late-May ruling in Jones v. DeSantis, which protects the promise of Amendment 4 by guaranteeing returning citizens can access the ballot—a decision being challenged by Fla. Governor Ron DeSantis in the pending appeal.
More than 1 million former felons in Florida regained the right to vote — and this group is trying to register them for the 2020 elections
August 4, 2020 – Former convicted felons in Florida – more than 1 million people – will be allowed to vote in the 2020 elections.
36 Former DOJ Civil Rights Attorneys Urge Court to Scrap Florida's 'Pay-to-Vote' System
August 3, 2020 – “Though cloaked in new labels, Florida’s pay-to-vote system is simply another poll tax substitute imposing a financial bar to voting that the Constitution bans and that courts rejected long ago,” lawyers from K&L Gates said in an amicus brief for the former DOJ attorneys.
VOTER RIGHTS NBA Players, Teams Throw Their Support Behind Voter Rights
July 30, 2020 – Big basketball names like the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers star Lebron James are raising awareness and money for ex-felons’ ability to vote.
Florida's League of Women Voters Working on Ex-Felons' Voting
July 29, 2020 – Volunteers with the League of Women Voters of Florida will begin this week to start contacting about 80,000 former felons who don’t owe any fines and fees to help them get registered to vote.
South Florida motorcyclists come together Saturday to ride for social justice
July 25, 2020 – Dozens of motorcyclists from across South Florida gathered in Miami Gardens Saturday morning for what’s being called a ride for racial justice.
Lebron James' voting rights group to help Florida's ex-felons who owe fines and fees register to vote
July 25, 2020 – An organization started by NBA superstar LeBron James and other Black athletes and entertainers announced Friday that it will help Floridians with prior felony convictions register to vote in the November election.
More Than a Vote, founded by LeBron James, donates to help ex-felons register to vote in Florida
July 24, 2020 – LeBron James’ group More Than A Vote plans to donate $100,000 to help register Florida voters with felony records by paying their court debts and fees. More Than A Vote said it will donate the money to the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition.
LeBron James’ More Than A Vote Group Raising $100,000 For Florida Rights Restoration Coalition To Pay Fines, Fees To Allow People To Register To Vote
July 24, 2020 – More Than A Vote announced a partnership Friday with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition that is aimed at securing voting rights for Florida citizens with past felony convictions.
LeBron James joins push to turn out ex-felon vote in Florida
July 24, 2020 – A group founded by NBA superstar LeBron James and other Black athletes and entertainers is stepping into the fight to register Florida voters with felony records, saying it will help pay court debts and fees so they can cast ballots in the November presidential election.
Point of View: Hone Lewis’ legacy by allowing Florida ex-felons to vote
July 22, 2020 – Perhaps it is reasonable to argue that a fine associated with a sentence should be paid and that restitution for a victim should be honored.
Meet the Real Talk: A Candid Conversation on criminal justice reform panelists
July 22, 2020 – The conversation about criminal justice reform is both important and ongoing in our country right now.
Ten Takeaways from the Magic’s First Two Weeks in the NBA Campus
July 21, 2020 – The Magic have remained steadfast in their belief that they can use the resumption of the NBA season to amplify their efforts to combat social injustice and inspire others to join them in seeking equality for all.
Supreme Court declines to overturn Florida voting rules for felons
July 20, 2020 – The U.S. Supreme Court declined to make it easier for convicted felons in Florida to vote if they haven’t paid all their court fines. Critics fighting for the right to vote say requiring payments is a twist on old Jim Crow laws.
Florida bikers hit the streets for the 'Ride for Racial Justice'
July 18, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition hosted the Ride for Racial Justice. Organizers say the goal is to bring awareness to the reforms needed to prevent police brutality.
US Supreme Court's Decision a Blow to Felon Voting Rights Advocates
July 17, 2020 – A U.S. Supreme Court decision is impacting upcoming elections in Florida. Voters approved Amendment 4 in 2018, restoring voting rights to most felons who finished their sentences.
Supreme Court leaves stay in place that hampers voting by Florida ex-felons
July 17, 2020 – A federal judge’s ruling that had expanded the number of felons in Florida who may vote remains on hold following the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to intervene on Thursday.
Supreme Court ruling threatens voting rights for one million ex-felons in Florida
July 17, 2020 – A Supreme Court ruling Thursday threatened the voting rights of one million ex-felons in the state of Florida.
Setback for Florida felon voting rights
July 17, 2020 – Neil Volz was previously convicted of a felony crime. He joined a million other Floridians as an eligible voter after Amendment 4 passed in 2018.
Court’s decision impacts voting right of Sanford business owner who still owes $48,000 in fines
July 16, 2020 – The high court refused to weigh in on a federal appeals court decision blocking felons from voting before paying their court fees. The ruling decided in a 6-3 vote has created another obstacle for some felons in Central Florida.
Supreme Court deals blow to felons in Florida seeking to regain the right to vote
July 16, 2020 – The U.S. Supreme Court declined on Thursday to overturn a federal appeals court’s decision that blocked some Florida felons’ eligibility to participate in elections — a major blow to efforts to restore voting rights to as many as 1.4 million people in the battleground state.
Supreme Court allows limits on felon voting in Florida
July 16, 2020 – In a blow to voting rights that could have consequences for the presidential election, the U.S. Supreme Court let stand for now a Florida law that restricts the ability of felons to cast ballots at the polls.
What Black Mothers Must Do in This Moment
July 15, 2020 – Like every mother, I want my children to have the chance to achieve their dreams and accomplish that which their heart desires. My hopes for my children are no different than those of most mothers.
News 6 hosts Real Talk town hall on criminal justice reform
July 15, 2020 – The criminal justice system is an integral part of our society but it’s not without its faults. While acknowledging the flaws is the first step, it will take more than that to spark real change and create a system that’s fair and equal to all of its participants, regardless of their race or socioeconomic status.
Ride for Racial Justice Encourages Voter Participation
July 15, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) assembled hundreds of motorcycle riders from across the country to “Ride for Racial Justice” in Florida. After the success of their Orlando event, FRRC traveled to different cities throughout the state to raise awareness about police accountability, racial disparities in the criminal legal system and encourage voter participation.
Powerful resources for SWFL Virtual Job Fair
July 14, 2020 – Fox 4 is putting a lot of resources into a new project. We’re joining a number of local organizations to put on the SWFL Virtual Job Fair. And when we asked our anchors and meteorologists to volunteer to help out, Eric Stone had a personal reason to step up.
NFL wide receiver Sammy Watkins encourages convicted felons with restored rights to register to vote
July 14, 2020 – During Fort Myers resident Neil Volz’s successful years-long battle to restore voting rights to over 1.4 million convicted felons in Florida and his subsequent quest to raise awareness amongst those whose rights have been restored, he is frequently reminded of a quote from Nelson Mandela.
Filming Interview for Nelson Mandela International Day
July 10, 2020 – Kevin Gay, Founder/CEO of Operation New Hope, sat down with Khalil Osiris of the Reflecting Freedom Network and Desmond Meade of Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to discuss the legacy of Nelson Mandela Nelson as part of this year’s Nelson Mandela International Day (#NMID2020).
Magic Release "Walk With Us" - It's Time to Come Together
July 10, 2020 – With hopes of bringing about social change and ultimately ending racism in Central Florida and beyond, nearly two dozen members of the Orlando Magic participated in a powerful video asking others seeking equality for all to, “Walk With Us.”
Let's Take Big Money Out of America's Justice System | Opinion
July 10, 2020 – Onscreen, one of us portrayed a prisoner. In real life, one of us was actually a prisoner.
A poll tax by any other name
July 9, 2020 – Robert Peoples remembers when African Americans won the right to vote in Alabama back in 1965.
Voting rights of some felons in Florida in question after appeals court ruling
July 8, 2020 – Voting rights advocates scrambled this week to understand the impact of an appeals court decision blocking some Florida felons’ eligibility to participate in elections.
Voting rights of some felons in Florida in question after appeals court ruling
July 8, 2020 – Voting rights advocates scrambled this week to understand the impact of an appeals court decision blocking some Florida felons’ eligibility to participate in elections – a blow to efforts to restore voting rights to as many as 1.4 million people in the state.
Tampa Bay area prisons experiencing surge in coronavirus cases
July 8, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is calling on the governor to enforce more testing inside Florida prisons. On Wednesday, ABC Action News discovered at least one prison, Avon Park Correctional, to be entirely in medical quarantine.
Magic trying to produce, sell popular T-shirts that encourage voting
July 8, 2020 – The Orlando Magic arrived Tuesday at Walt Disney World to enter the NBA bubble with some players wearing T-shirts to promote their recently unveiled “Get off the bench and in the game” voting-awareness campaign.
Voting In The Sunshine State
July 5, 2020 – On this week’s program, we took a closer look at voting in Florida and how the election might play out here this fall. First, we discussed the ongoing battle over Amendment 4 – and who is eligible to vote –
Book on grass-roots efforts to save representative democracy recognizes Reclaim Idaho and tells the story of Desmond Meade
July 4, 2020 – “Unrigged,” by investigative reporter David Daley, is the story of local citizens rising up at the state and local level with ballot initiatives to restore representative democracy across America.
ADVERTISEMENT MIKE BIANCHI SPORTS Orlando Magic to voters: Get off the bench and in the game! | Commentary
July 4, 2020 – Who would have ever thought that Desmond Meade would also become an NBA coach? But that’s exactly what he’s doing now. He’s coaching the Orlando Magic.
The Future of Amendment 4 Moves to Appeals Court
July 3, 2020 – This weekend, Americans celebrate the country’s birthday—and the rights and freedoms many of us often take for granted—including the right to vote.
Voting In The Sunshine State
July 3, 2020 – On this week’s program, we took a closer look at voting in Florida and how the election might play out here this fall.
Felons’ voting rights in limbo again after federal appeals court ruling
July 3, 2020 – It remains unclear if hundreds of thousands of Floridians who served their time for non-violent crimes will be able to vote this fall.
Federal appeals court intervenes in Amendment 4 fight, casting doubt on felon re-enfranchisement
July 2, 2020 – A federal appeals court threw a bomb into preparations for Florida’s August primary and November general election this week when it blocked a lower court order that would have allowed thousands of former felons to participate in the voting.
Steve Clifford Sees Season Restart as Opportunity for NBA to Influence Social Change
June 30, 2020 – Clifford recently took part in a Zoom call with social justice activist Bryan Stevenson, leaders of the Obama Foundation and Desmond Meade, the Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition who led a successful campaign to restore the voting rights to 1.4 million Floridians with prior felony convictions.
Clifford discusses social justice, NBA ‘re-start’ as bubble plans creep closer
June 30, 2020 – “Last week, Desmond Meade – who I’m sure many of you know from Florida Rights Restoration Coalition – spoke to our group (our players, basketball operations, etc.) and he zeroed in on voting (the importance of voting), which speaks directly to the question that I think most of us have at this time – which is,what can I do to help? Voting is obviously a very important part of that for everybody.”
The Fight To Vote Part 2: History Of Florida's Voter Disenfranchisement
June 30, 2020 – Opponents of the Florida law requiring felons to repay fines, fees and restitution have argued from the start that it’s a poll tax, something banned by the U.S. Constitution. That argument has its roots in the 24th amendment which stopped governments from charging people to vote.
The Fight To Vote Part 1: Florida Felons Battle For Re-Enfranchisement
June 29, 2020 – Voter registration advocates are rushing to register new voters in the run-up to the August primary and November presidential election. In Florida, the effort has been slowed as the state fights a lawsuit over whether felons have to repay fines and fees before they can vote.
Omar Epps Takes On Prisons as For-Profit Businesses in ‘Unbreaking America: Justice for Sale’
June 24, 2020 – Omar Epps’ new short film “Unbreaking America: Justice for Sale” has caught the attention of stars like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Lawrence for its raw look at prison corruption. In the film, Epps and voting rights activist Desmond Meade are demanding change to the criminal justice system in America.
New film argues political corruption prevents criminal justice reform
June 19, 2020 – Current events have turned everyone’s attention to the nation’s criminal justice system. Most Americans agree that the system is broken. Yet, in a new “Unbreaking America” film, RepresentUs makes the case that the criminal justice system remains broken because the broken U.S. political system keeps it that way.
Jennifer Lawrence joins Twitter to demand justice for Breonna Taylor: ‘We must not allow the erasure of Black women'
June 18, 2020 – Jennifer Lawrence has joined Twitter this week — which she formerly vowed to never do — for a good cause: demanding racial justice.
Cynics Are Wrong: Protests Can Change the World
June 18, 2020 – Desmond Meade pumped his fist in the air and Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” blasted from the speakers. Many of the former felons — liberal and conservative, black and white, radical reformers and deplorables alike — who packed this Orlando hotel conference room mouthed the words along with him.
Sheriff candidates go head-to-head in online forum
June 16, 2020 – The temperature is heating up, and so is the race for Alachua County Sheriff. Current Alachua County Sheriff Sadie Darnell and Florida State Rep. Clovis Watson Jr. are both vying to be the county’s sheriff and will go head-to-head in the upcoming Aug. 18 primary election.
Federal judge denies state’s request to put felons voting rights ruling on hold
June 16, 2020 – Could hundreds of thousands of former felons in Florida who are now eligible to vote tip the scale in the 2020 presidential election?
As protests continue in Tampa and St. Pete, voting becomes a focus
June 14, 2020 – Nebula Jackson, 24 of the Florida restoration rights coalition talked with the crowd about registering to vote. A group of about 100 gathered in downtown Tampa to protest against racism and police brutality on Sunday, June 14, 2020 in Tampa.
Orlando Ride for Justice Calls for Reform, Leadership Change
June 13, 2020 – As people continue to hit the streets and call for change across the country following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, motorcyclists in Orlando are joining in with a Ride For Justice.
Protests against racism, police violence continue throughout Central Florida as Zimmerman acquittal anniversary looms
June 13, 2020 – Thousands gathered in cities and towns across around Central Florida to protest police violence following the killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer, including hundreds in Sanford, often considered the birthplace of the Black Lives Matter movement.
‘We’re throttling for change:’ Motorcycle ride calls for racial justice
June 13, 2020 – A large group of motorcyclists hit the road Saturday morning calling for change and to protest police brutality. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and Central Florida Motorcycle Council held the “Ride for Racial Justice.”
Hundreds of motorcyclists ride through Orlando in protest against police brutality
June 13, 2020 – Hundreds of motorcyclists made their way through Orlando Saturday to protest police brutality. They rode from Florida Rights Restoration Coalition headquarters to the Orange County courthouse in an event called Ride for Racial Justice.
Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and local motorcyclists to 'Ride for Racial Justice' and protest police brutality in Orlando on Saturday
June 12, 2020 – This weekend, local bikers and motorcyclists are teaming up with the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition to ride out to the Orange County Courthouse. The ‘Ride for Racial Justice” will protest police brutality and highlight the continuing fight over ex-felons’ voting rights in the state of Florida.
As elections near, Florida legal battles over felon voting, ballot design continue
June 5 , 2020 – As August’s state primaries and November’s general election near, legal battles continue in Florida over access to the ballot box and the ballots.
Teddy Riley and Wyclef Jean Support #TimeDone Day Rally
June 5, 2020 – Desmond Meade, President of the Florida Rights Restoration Committee, was awarded the first #TimeDone National Achievement Award and had one of the most compelling stories I have ever heard.
Killer Mike Implores White America To Do Their ‘Homework’ On Combating Racism
June 4, 2020 – Killer Mike implores white America to confront their own historical oppression of Black people during an appearance of the Late Show With Stephen Colbert.
OPINION | Killer Mike: Now’s time to plot, plan, mobilize, strategize
June 3, 2020 – In 1991, 14 Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) police officers brutally beat Rodney King, an African American motorist. Calling what these officers did to King “police brutality” paints a partial picture but is inadequate to explain their impact.
KILLER MIKE & GRASSROOTS LEADERS SPEAK UP ... Here's How We're Battling Racism
June 2, 2020 – Killer Mike’s call with the community leaders and grassroots organizers has wrapped up, and his mission was accomplished … they had a large platform to inform the public of vital work being done to end racism, and how people can help.
Our View: Ruling infuses new life into felon voting
May 29, 2020 – The injustice can’t be much plainer than this: “The state of Florida has adopted a system under which nearly a million otherwise-eligible citizens will be allowed to vote only if they pay an amount of money.”
Enough already - Florida needs to accept judge’s ruling on Amendment 4
May 28, 2020 – It was no shock Sunday when a federal judge ruled that Florida’s law restricting voting rights for ex-felons was unconstitutional. The only surprise was the state waiting all of 48 hours to announce it would appeal. Its determination to keep ex-felons away from ballot boxes is such you’d think nothing would slow it down.
COVID-19 Stalls Efforts To Help People With Felony Convictions Register To Vote
May 28, 2020 – In six states, reforms have restored voting rights to more than one million people since 2018. But many public agencies aren’t doing enough to assist them, and the pandemic dealt a blow to grassroots plans to pick up the slack.
Planet America US Election 2020
May 27, 2020 – President Trump tees off at his critics while accusing a famous TV host of murder. Meanwhile, Biden’s unique approach to the campaign trail insults his biggest supporters. And battlelines are drawn over mail-in voting … is it really a Democrat scam to rig the election?!
Judge Rejects Florida Law Restricting Voter Registration For Felons
May 26, 2020 – Florida felons who have completed their prison sentences and parole terms are one step closer to regaining their right to vote after a federal court ruled against a state law that would have denied felons the right to vote until they paid off outstanding fines and court fees.
Judge rules against Florida on felons paying fines to vote
May 25, 2020 – A Florida law requiring felons to pay legal fees as part of their sentences before regaining the vote is unconstitutional for those unable to pay, or unable to find out how much they owe, a federal judge ruled Sunday.
’A game-changer’: Five takeaways from Sunday’s ruling on felon voting
May 25, 2020 – A federal judge’s ruling on felon voting in Florida was a bombshell. The state can’t stop felons from voting if they’re too poor to pay back court-ordered fees, fines and restitution to victims, U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle wrote in a ruling issued Sunday.
Federal judge guts Florida law requiring felons to pay fines before they can vote
May 24, 2020 – A federal judge has gutted a Florida state law requiring felons to pay all court fines and fees before they can register to vote, clearing the way for thousands of Floridians to register in time for the November presidential election.
Former felons in Florida still fighting for voting rights
May 23, 2020 – Florida voters in 2018 overwhelmingly approved a proposition to allow roughly 1.5 million felons in the state to be given back their right to vote.
Is COVID-19 delaying the fight for voting rights in Florida?
May 16, 2020 – In Florida, people with felony records are fighting to regain their voting rights. But the coronavirus has made that struggle more difficult. NewsHour Weekend’s Ivette Feliciano spoke to Desmond Meade of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition about what effect the virus has had on their chances of voting in November elections.
In Florida, felons must pay court debts before they can vote. But with no system to do so, many have found it impossible.
May 13, 2020 – The promise of an amendment to Florida’s state constitution seemed huge when it was overwhelmingly approved in November 2018: As many as 1.5 million felons previously barred from casting ballots in the state would soon be able to vote.
"Let the people out who are due for release": a proposal seeks to reduce the effect of the pandemic in prisons
May 11, 2020 – Ángel Sánchez spent 12 years in prison and is now about to graduate as a lawyer and he argues that the prison system is not ready to deal with the pandemic. He proposes that those who are close to their release date be let out early.
PASSING OUT MASKS AND MORE
May 9, 2020 – To help combat the spread of COVID-19, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition partnered with Orlando Commissioner Regina Hill and Onyx Magazine on April 21 to distribute 3,000 masks to Orlando residents. Masks were distributed at the Coalition for the Homeless, the Salvation Army and two apartment complexes.
FRRC leaders donate masks to Highlands County Jail
May 6, 2020 – Leaders from the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) visited the Highlands County and Broward County Jails on Tuesday to donate thousands of protective masks to both facilities in response to recent reports of lack of personal protective equipment (PPE).
How Desmond Meade built a movement that restored voting rights in Florida — almost
May 3, 2020 – One ex-felon launched a grassroots drive against Florida’s Jim Crow-style voting laws — but the fight’s not over.
Former inmates deliver masks to Lee County Jail
May 3, 2020 – A group of former inmates are helping to protect guards and inmates in our community. The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition purchased twelve hundred masks.
FGCU Journalism Students Profile Former Felons About to Vote Again
April 28, 2020 – A federal trial began April 27 in Tallahassee concerning the restoration of voting rights for most non-violent former felons in Florida.
Guest opinion: There is a better way to help the homeless in Lee County
April 28, 2020 – Seeing our community respond to COVID-19 has been both inspiring and heartbreaking.
Florida Felons' Voting Rights Case to Begin on Monday
April 26, 2020 – A federal court will begin hearing a case on Monday that could decide whether hundreds of thousands of newly enfranchised felons in the key swing state of Florida will be able to vote in November’s election.
‘People first’ policies needed to confront COVID-19 in prisons, jails. It’s not about politics. | Opinion
April 14, 2020 – When partisan politics take over the policymaking process, it is ultimately the most vulnerable in our society who lose.
Federal judge expands voting decision to apply to all ex-felons in Florida
April 7, 2020 – The federal judge overseeing the ongoing dispute between Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and released felons who want to vote handed the Republican governor another defeat Tuesday.
Florida judge offers new hope to former criminal offenders for voting rights restoration
April 5, 2020 – In the quest to restore voting rights to the nearly 1.4 million Floridians with prior felony convictions, there is new hope that a class action designation will make that possible.
Florida loses a federal appeals court ruling on the state’s felon voting law
March 31, 2020 – A federal appellate court on Tuesday rejected Gov. Ron DeSantis’ request to have the court reconsider a ruling that found that Florida felons who have served their time but can’t pay outstanding financial obligations must be allowed to vote.
Florida’s Former Felons Fight Voter Suppression
March 27, 2020 – In Eatonville, Florida, a recount confirmed that incumbent town councilman Tarus Mack beat challenger Marlin Daniels by one vote in the March 17 election in the country’s first incorporated black municipality.
Re-Enfranchised Florida Voters Could Decide the Presidential Election
March 19, 2020 – Desmond Meade, President of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, said he was feeling “positive” as he spoke to Colorlines on March 17.
Ahead of Florida primary, 1.4 million former felons unsure whether they can vote in 2020
March 16, 2020 – It’s been 16 months since Floridians voted to restore voting rights for roughly 1.4 million felons who had been permanently banned from casting a ballot by a law passed during the Jim Crow era.
In Florida, path to restoring felons’ voting rights has been fraught with challenge
March 12, 2020 – Until 2018, Florida was one of only a few states that banned felons from voting for life.
Florida ex-felons voting in 2020 for 'second chance'
March 12, 2020 – Floridians are next in line to vote this Presidential primary season, with the primaries scheduled for Tuesday, March 17.
State Lawmakers Fight Citizen Initiatives
March 11, 2020 – Angie Nixon racked up tons of unpaid overtime to help put Medicaid expansion on the 2020 Florida ballot.
Florida Rights Restoration Coalition president dispels Amendment 4 myths
March 9, 2020 – Desmond Meade has been fighting for rights restoration for Florida’s returning citizens for decades. The President of Florida Rights Restoration Coalition spoke to that fight Monday morning at a panel conversation hosted by Rep. Charlie Crist.
Make it easier for felons to earn occupational licenses | Column
March 9, 2020 – Floridians with past criminal convictions experience significant barriers when entering the workforce. For those pursuing an occupational license, these challenges are more pronounced.
Voting Rights Activist Desmond Meade Admits Amendment 4 Language "Was Not Perfect"
March 9, 2020 – This month’s presidential primary election is the first statewide vote in Florida since the passage of Amendment 4, the 2018 constitutional amendment that aimed to restore the voting rights to an estimated 1.4 million people with felony convictions.
Over 1 million former felons still face hurdles after being given right to vote
March 8, 2020 – It’s been more than 10 years since Gary Daughtry Sr., 66, had the right to vote and since he was released from prison. Previously in the state of Florida, anyone who committed a felony lost his or her right to vote and had to petition the governor to become re-enfranchised.
Desmond Meade On Restoring Voting Rights w/ Felony Convictions in Florida + The Challenges Ahead
February 25, 2020 – Voting rights activist & Executive Director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition Desmond Meade sits down with Ebro int he Morning to discuss the push to make voting rights legal after they complete all terms of their sentence including parole or probation.
Amendment 4′s top advocate isn’t celebrating this week. Here’s why.
February 22, 2020 – Florida’s felon voting rights initiative, known as Amendment 4, scored a big victory Wednesday when a federal appeals court ruled that the Legislature’s effort to limit voting to only felons who have paid off all their court debts was unconstitutional.
Rights Restoration Coalition Looks To Florida Clemency Board Reforms
February 20, 2020 – The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition is pushing the state clemency board to ease its rules and clear the way for more felons to regain their rights.
Florida loses appeals court ruling on felon voting law
February 19, 2020 – A legal and political battle over voting rights in Florida reached another milestone on Wednesday when a federal appeals court ruled that a law limiting the voting rights of people with felony convictions as unconstitutional.
Appeals court slaps DeSantis, GOP on felons voting law
February 19, 2020 – A federal appeals court rocked Florida, the nation’s biggest presidential battleground state, by ruling Wednesday that felons cannot be barred from voting because they failed to pay all fines, fees and restitution stemming from their cases.
Florida Rights Restoration Coalition group advocates for clemency reform at Capitol
February 17, 2020 – A Florida group advocating for clemency showed up at the Capitol in big numbers to campaign for the restoration of civil rights.
Neil Volz has a new lobbying tool, voters, available this Advocacy Day
February 17, 2020 – Neil Volz two years ago spent his time in Tallahassee hoping to turn returning citizens into registered voters. That mission succeeded — for the most part — with passage of Amendment 4.
The biggest voting rights win in recent US history – and the Republicans trying to thwart it
January 9, 2020 – One year ago, Florida enacted the biggest expansion of the right to vote in America in a generation.
Florida Faces A Rocky Rollout To Restore Voting Rights After Felony Convictions
January 8, 2020 – Florida passed an amendment in 2018, promising to restore voting rights for over a million Floridians with felony convictions. But that hope turned to confusion soon after.