Things That Matter

Floridians Are Showing Overwhelming Support For Amendment 4 Allowing 1.4 Million People The Right To Vote

Floridians will be voting on a amendment on whether or not to extend the right to vote to as many as 1.4 million people. Technically, it would return the right to vote to these people, all of whom have felony records and have completed their debt to society (jail, probation, fees, etc.).

Florida is one of just three states in the country that legally prohibits felons from ever getting to vote for the rest of their lives once convicted. It’s voter disenfranchisement on the largest scale in the nation and it’s perfectly legal today.

Here’s the story behind the ballot measure that could change all of that.

Florida is the swampiest of swamps.

CREDIT: @VISITFLORIDA / Twitter

I’m from Miami. This is the home state of Jeb Bush. The home state of the “Florida Man.” This is President Trump’s favorite place to vacation. Politicians in the Sunshine State have consistently voted for measures and pushed for measures to restrict the rights of women, the LGBTQ community, African-Americans and any other group you can think of.

Amendment 4 does not grant voting rights to murderers or felonious sex offenses.

CREDIT: @LBC / Twitter

Many organizations feel that this loophole perpetuates the dehumanization of people convicted with those charges, but however you feel about this stipulation, 1.4 million new voters gives the 2020 election a whole new outlook.

Once a convicted felon has completed their sentence, they’re still going to have trouble finding a job and housing because of their record. At the very least, they should be able to participate in their democracy.

Gov. Rick Scott (R) has made the existing process for felons to regain their voting rights next to impossible.

CREDIT: @FLGovScott / Twitter

He has it set up so that these people have to wait as long as seven years to even apply. From there, it will take years for public offices to review the application.

According to the Florida Commission on Offender Review, of 30,000 applicants who have since applied through Scott’s process, only 3,005 have been approved. That means felons have a 10 percent chance of getting their voting rights restored, if they even have the resources to apply.

More than 27 percent of all disenfranchised felons in the U.S. live in Florida.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. Vox. 23 October 2018.

Not only does Florida have some of the harshest voter restriction laws in the country, but it may even have the most felons of any state in the union. That means that 10 percent of the entire state of Florida cannot vote because of their felony record.

Floridians are rallying to change that.

CREDIT: @BeckNaftel / Twitter

The Second Chances: Yes on 4 campaign has folks phone banking from home, crafting personal postcards to mail out to Florida voters and even has an option to “text bank.” You don’t even have to live in Florida to participate in this campaign.

The Second Chances Campaign doesn’t have a lot of funding, but it’s sweeping support across the state.

CREDIT: @BenJerrysTour / Twitter

In a true grassroots movement, 1.1 million Floridians petitioned for Amendment 4 – the Voting Restoration Amendment – to reach the ballot. Their slogan?

“Floridians from all walks of life believe in forgiveness, redemption, restoration and, ultimately, second chances.”

Meet the founder: Desmond Meade

CREDIT: @yesto2ndchances / Twitter

Meade is himself a convicted felon.

Caption: “Since his release from prison in 2004, Desmond Meade graduated Summa Cum Laude from Miami-Dade College and finished law school at Florida International University. But he is still not eligible to vote. Vote #Yeson4 and help fix Florida’s broken system.”

Of the 1.4 million votes that could be restored, hundreds of thousands are Latino.

CREDIT: @yesto2ndchances / Instagram

Today, 21 percent of all potential black voters in the state are unable to vote due to felony records. We don’t know the numbers for Latinos because the Florida Department of Corrections under reports Hispanics by 250 percent according to research at University of Central Florida.

The most recent poll shows 74 percent support for the Amendment to pass!

CREDIT: @Public_Citizen / Twitter

This is incredible news, but you should know that the Yes to Second Chances amendment requires 60 percent of the vote to pass. That means it has a 12 point margin between now and November 6.

Remember how everyone thought Hillary had it in the bag? Don’t trust the polls. Get your friends and family registered to vote.

Democratic nominee for governor Andrew Gillum supports the bill.

CREDIT: @DisavowTrump20 / Twitter

Thankfully, Rick Scott’s term limit is up, though he’s still trying to run for Senate. There’s a lot you can do with your midterm vote this year, you guys.

He’s for gun reform, healthcare for all and is all about raising teacher’s salaries.

Puerto Rican Deputy Science and Technology Adviser to the Secretary of State, Frances Colón, has thrown in her support.

CREDIT: @fcoloninFL / Twitter

Listen to her. She sounds smart.

Caption: “Hey #Florida, VOTE Yes on Amendment 4 to restore voting rights to over 1 million who have completed their sentences. It’s about second chances, preventing recidivism by giving rights and responsibilities back, and ending voter suppression. November 6, your vote is your voice.”

Republican U.S. Rep. Carlos Curbelo is also in favor of the measure.

CREDIT: @carloslcurbelo / Twitter

Curbelo is the son of Cuban exiles in Florida. He tried to join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and was denied because of his vote in favor to repeal Obamacare and his unwillingness to cosponsor the DREAM Act. A Democratic challenger to his seat, which includes Miami-Dade County, forced him to adopt more positions that favor the Latino community.

John Legend is pulling through to support voters’ rights.

CREDIT: @FLRightsRestore / Twitter

Legend knocked on doors to ask Orlando residents to vote Yes on 4. According to The Tampa Bay, Legend said, “There are very few Americans that don’t have family members who have been through the system. As much as we think it’s certain neighborhoods, it’s certain folks, it’s really all of us.”

He came through for a charity concert and this is the crowd reaction:

CREDIT: @FLRightsRestore / Twitter

The charity concert happened in a high school’s auditorium and everyone was clearly screaming. I mean, same.

Volunteers are knocking on doors.

CREDIT: @yesto2ndchances / Twitter

If you’ve never canvassed before, I promise you’d be great. We were raised with our mothers slamming doors on us, so we have tough skin.

Students are rallying in their quads.

CREDIT: @BenJerrysTour / Twitter

Literally, Ben and Jerry’s joined in on the campaign offering free ice cream to anyone who registers to vote, while promoting the Yes on 4 campaign. BRB, gotta go buy more Ben & Jerry’s.

Young Democrats are canvassing in groups to talk to their neighbors.

CREDIT: @electyoungdems / Twitter

Folks from all different campaigns are throwing their hat in for Amendment 4 to pass. Look, it’s not like it’s some extremely progressive act. It’s just removing Florida from the worst state on voter suppression to just average.

Plus, if passed, this will be the largest voter rights win since woman’s suffrage.

So who is on the opposition? Guess.

CREDIT: Untitled. Digital Image. American Greatness. 23 October 2018.

Republicans voted NO on this amendment. It’s not even about the felons. It’s about securing power for their party. Everyone knows that anyone who has experienced a broken system votes Democrat.

Florida gave us Trump by only a few hundred votes. Imagine what a million would do.

CREDIT: @yesto2ndchances / Instagram

Anything less than restoring voters’ rights is perpetuated systemic racism and subjugation of power of minorities. The laws are already stacked against us. We’re already more likely to be arrested and convicted of a crime than a white person.

This is more than just breadcrumbs. This is power to change the future.

CREDIT: @yesto2ndchances / Twitter

If you have voting power in Florida, you have the power to grant that same right to people who have made mistakes and paid their dues. Put an end to Scott’s lifetime ban on voting. Every drop in the bucket is what makes a blue wave.


READ: Florida Passed Their First Gun Safety Measure In More Than 20 Years And The NRA Has Already Filed A Lawsuit

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Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

Entertainment

Radical Feminists Have Seized Control of a Federal Building in Mexico in Protest of the Government’s Apathy Towards Rampant Femicide

Last week, Mexican feminist activists took over the National Human Rights Commissions federal building in a move to bring greater awareness to the scourge of gender-based violence and femicide that has racked Mexico for decades.

According to the federal Interior Secretariat, the statistics in Mexico have recently taken a turn for the worse.

Domestic violence against women has became an even more acute problem since the pandemic has forced women to stay insider with their abusers. Emergency distress calls reporting domestic violence have risen by 50%.

The occupation of the Human Rights building is just another chapter in the saga of the “Ni Una Menos” (Not One More Woman) movement, an anti-femicide collective born in Argentina that has steadily been gaining steam in Mexico since 2019.

In recent years, anti-femicide demonstrations have been sparked by various heinous crimes against women or girls that have been largely overlooked by law enforcement officials. 

Photo by Marcos Brindicci/Getty Images

Unfortunately, the government of Mexico has appeared to be apathetic to the wave of femicide that is overwhelming the women of their country.

Recently, when President Andrés Manuel López Obrador was asked to address Mexico’s gender violence epidemic, he demurred, stating that he didn’t “want femicide to detract” from the raffle his administration was holding for the sale of the presidential airplane.

As for the feminist activists at the heart of Ni Una Menos and the federal building occupation, the government’s failure to respond to anti-woman violence is the primary fuel for their anger. 

“We’re here so that the whole world will know that in Mexico they kill women and nobody does anything about it,” said Yesenia Zamudio to the LA Times. According to Zamudio, she is still seeking justice for the murder of her 19-year-old daughter four years ago.

The women of Mexico appear to be fed up, grasping at any and all tactics that have the potential to incite change on a grander scale.

Their tactics may seem dramatic to some, but it’s undeniable that they are no longer being ignored. As of now, the radical activists are pulling attention-grabbing stunts like decorating a portrait of Mexican Revolution leader Francisco Madero with lipstick and purple hair.

They’re also making headlines for vandalizing the federal building’s walls and splashing paint on the doors of the presidential palace.

One thing is for sure: something has to change. Otherwise, thousands of innocent women and girls will continue to be raped, abused, and murdered while their perpetrators escape with immunity. 

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Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

Fierce

Joe Biden Speaks Alongside ‘Fearless Fighter’ Kamala Harris In First Appearance And Recalls Her Family’s Immigrant Story

Chip Somodevilla / Gettycc

After weeks of speculation and anticipation, presidential candidate Joe Biden announced on Tuesday that he has officially picked his running mate.

In a history-making announcement, Biden revealed that he had tapped California Sen. Kamala Harris to be his VP Pick.

“I have the great honor to announce that I’ve picked @KamalaHarris — a fearless fighter for the little guy, and one of the country’s finest public servants — as my running mate,” Biden announced in a tweet.

On Wednesday, Biden held his first campaign event alongside running mate Kamala Harris in Delaware.

During their speeches, the two candidates wore masks and kept their distance in keeping with COVID-19 standards.

Speaking about his VP pick, Biden described Harris as coming from an “America’s story.” Biden described Harris as “a child of immigrants” who “knows personally how immigrant families enrich our country as well as the challenges of what it means to grow up Black and Indian-American in the United States of America,” he explained. “And this morning, all across the nation, little girls woke up, especially little Black and brown girls that feel overlooked and undervalued in their communities, but today — today just maybe they’re seeing themselves for the first time in a new way as president and vice presidents.”

In a speech of her own, Harris emphasized the importance of family and urged citizens to vote.  “We need a mandate that proves that the past few years do not represent who we are or who we aspire to be,” she said. “Joe likes to say that character is on the ballot. And it’s true,” she explained. “I’ve had a lot of titles over my career and certainly vice president will be great. But ‘Momala’ will always be the one that means the most.”

Harris’s nomination makes her the first Black and first Indian-American woman on either major party’s presidential ticket.

Harris is a former prosecutor from California who challenged Biden in her own presidential bid last year. Her nomination makes her the fourth woman to appear on a major presidential ballot. Before her, Geraldine Ferraro ran as a Democratic vice presidential nominee in 1984. In 2008, Republican Sarah Palin ran as a vice presidential nominee, later in 2016, Hillary Clinton became the Democratic presidential nominee.

Biden’s choice was one that has long been in the works. In March of this year, he revealed that he would make a point to have a woman as his running mate and in July he announced that he had narrowed his picks down to four Black women.

Kamala Harris was elected to Congress in 2016.

This has been Harris’ first term as a senator. Before, she served as the California attorney general. During her time as AG, Harris formed a lasting friendship with Biden’s late son Beau who was attorney general at the time in Delaware. Writing about Beau’s death, in her memoir The Truths We Hold, Harris recalled that “there were periods when I was taking the heat when Beau and I talked every day, sometimes multiple times a day,” she wrote in her memoir. “We had each other’s backs.”

Biden’s son Beau died in 2015 from brain cancer. Harris attended his funeral.

During his announcement, Biden mentioned Harris’ friendship with his son.

“I watched as they took on the big banks, lifted up working people, and protected women and kids from abuse,” Biden tweeted. “I was proud then, and I’m proud now to have her as my partner in this campaign.”

So far, it seems there are quite a bit of Harris x Biden supporters.

Fans were quick to give their support and applaud her candidacy.

In a tweet acknowledging her nomination, Harris wrote “@JoeBiden can unify the American people because he’s spent his life fighting for us. And as president, he’ll build an America that lives up to our ideals. I’m honored to join him as our party’s nominee for Vice President, and do what it takes to make him our Commander-in-Chief.”

Here’s to 2020 y’all. Get ready to make history.

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