Following Florida’s Primary Election, voters from all walks of life pivot to the general election with renewed vigor and throw their energetic grassroots support behind passing Amendment 4 in November. As Floridians turn their attention to the General Election, the Second Chances Campaign will highlight real Floridians that will be impacted with the passage of Amendment 4.
Desmond Meade, Chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy and spokesperson for the Second Chances Campaign, said, “We are energized and ready to continue to campaign across the state up to Election Day and share the powerful stories of those affected by Amendment 4. These are our friends and neighbors who’ve made past mistakes, served their time and paid their full debts. Amendment 4 will provide a second chance and the opportunity to earn back their eligibility to vote.”
Susanne Manning has lived in Orlando, Florida for 25 years. She misused funds from her employer and was sentenced to 30 years in prison. While paying her debt, Susanne had to adjust and, as a mom, she missed cooking and baking. But when she returned, she found her anchor and began baking again. She hopes to open a bakery where she can help other returning citizens find their own moorings. To hear from Susanne directly, click HERE.
Brett Ramsden grew up in the City of Palmetto, Florida where he was an A student and athlete. He began using opioids; before long, Brett was stealing to feed his addiction and was arrested on numerous theft charges as a result. After completing a Recovery Program in Naples, Brett started working at a drug treatment program in Tampa. Brett has been sober from more than 5 years and lives in Sarasota with his loving wife Mallery and their six-month-old daughter. To hear from Brett and his family directly, click HERE.
Veteran and returning citizen Alan Rhyelle currently resides in Sarasota County. He served in the U.S. Army and fought in Vietnam, where he was shot through the chest and was honored with a Purple Heart. He suffered from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) for decades and was arrested only once during his 40 years in Florida for marijuana, but still can’t vote. To hear from Alan directly, click HERE.
Army veteran Clarence Office Jr. currently resides in Miami. He served in the military for three years and was honorably discharged. After being arrested for drug offenses, he served time in prison and paid his full debt to society, but still can’t vote. He now works with the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs and counsels other veterans who have encountered problems with the criminal justice system. To hear directly from Clarence, click HERE.
Florida enshrined disenfranchisement in its constitution 150 years ago. Today, Florida is one of only four states with a lifetime ban on voting and permanently excludes from voting 1.4 million Floridians who have served their time and completed all terms of their sentence as ordered by a judge. The amendment specifically excludes those individuals who have committed murder or a felony sexual offense. Now is the time to retire this antiquated law by voting YES on Amendment 4 in November.
To learn more about the Second Chances Campaign, please visit secondchancesfl.org.