Space Coast Progressive Alliance

The Future of the American Experiment is in Your Hands
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 11:39

SCPA 2nd Thurs: Voting Rights!

Written by  Team SCPA

SCPA 2nd THURSDAY / Note: program moved to 2nd Thursday in May and July 2015)


6:30pm Thurs. May 14, 2015


LOCATION: 
Front Street Civic Center, 2205 Front Street, downtown Melbourne FL 32901


Free and open to the public. Donations gratefully accepted.


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PROGRAM: The Campaign to Restore Voting Rights in Florida

OUR SPEAKERS
followed by Q&A from the audience

The Campaign to Restore Voting Rights in Florida
by Desmond Meade
President, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition

The mission of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) is to have Florida join the 40 states in the nation that automatically restore the civil rights of all individuals with past felony convictions upon completion of non-monetary terms of their sentences.

Online Voter Registration in Florida
by Tony Dutton
League of Women Voters of the Space Coast

Voter Disenfranchisement in Florida and ACLU's Efforts to Combat
by Chris Curtis
President, Brevard Chapter ACLU of Florida

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BACKGROUND

Most states in the USA restore voting rights automatically when felons complete their sentences. Not Florida -- one of the nation's worst for restoring voting rights.

Under Gov. Rick Scott, restoration of felon's voting rights have slowed to a trickle. Only two other states in the USA are as bad as Florida. Therefore, a statewide movement is building to put the issue on the 2016 ballot.

“After someone has served their sentence, they shouldn’t keep being punished for the rest of their life,” said Jessica Chiappone, a Boca Raton lawyer who chairs the political committee Floridians for a Fair Democracy, as reported in Sun Sentinel.

About 1.6 million Floridians cannot vote, hold office or serve on a jury, according to The Sentencing Project. Florida law prohibits convicted felons from practicing law here.

In the state of Washington, convicted felons that wish to take the bar exam to practice law, must testify and argue why they are fit to practice law, thus making possible a "second chance."

Florida makes it harder for felons to "get a second chance" to become a part of their community. Fair democracy suffers.

Desmond Meade, President, Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, is a leader in the campaign to restore the rights of convicted felons.

Meade ''went from serving as a soldier, to an inmate and even experienced homelessness. But despite those challenges, he managed to earn a law degree from Florida International University" writes Jessica Dickerson for The Huffington Post.

Desmond Meade is our featured speaker -- he has an inspirational story to tell.

Tony Dutton and Chris Curtis will update us on related voting issues in Florida -- in the time of Rick Scott.

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LINKS

Floridians for a Fair Democracy / Say YES to Second Chances
The Voting Restoration Amendment
Help put the Amendment on the 2016 ballot!
http://www.floridiansforafairdemocracy.com/

Sign the petition
In order to make sure the Voting Restoration Amendment appears on the 2016 ballot, we need nearly 700,000 Florida voters to sign this petition. You'll need to download PDF, print it out, sign it, and mail it to:

 Floridians for a Fair Democracy Inc.
 3000 Gulf to Bay Blvd.
 Suite 503
 Clearwater FL 33759

http://www.floridiansforafairdemocracy.com/#!sign-the-petition/c1pt6

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Florida among nation's toughest places to have voting rights restored
Orlando Sentinel, by Dan Sweeney and Ann Choi, Jan. 25, 2015

Commit any felony in Florida and you lose your right to vote for life — unless the governor and the clemency board agree to give that right back to you.

The result: more than 1.6 million Floridians — about 9 percent — cannot vote, hold office or serve on a jury, according to The Sentencing Project, a prison-reform group. In most states, the percentage is less than 2.

Only two other states have that tough a policy. ...

http://touch.sun-sentinel.com/#section/-1/article/p2p-82589461/

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The Sentencing Project...
... works for a fair and effective U.S. criminal justice system by promoting reforms in sentencing policy, addressing unjust racial disparities and practices, and advocating for alternatives to incarceration.

http://www.sentencingproject.org/template/index.cfm

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1st or 2nd Thursdays are monthly gatherings, building the growing progressive community. Share your petitions and other items of interest, make brief announcements. Enjoy the gathering, super programs, super people. Bring a friend! Free and open to the public.



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Space Coast Progressive Alliance (SCPA) is an advocate for the Greater Public Interest on issues important to us all. We advance progressive policies that further civil and personal liberty, the environment, health care, education, labor, peace, social welfare, financial stability and international harmony. Florida non-profit founded in 2004.



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Compiled by Team SCPA

 

Last modified on Friday, 15 May 2015 09:33
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