On Friday the League of Women Voters of Florida sent the following letter to Florida college and university presidents, asking them to work quickly with their county’s Supervisor of Elections to establish an early voting location in time for the November general election. [Read more…] about League Asks College & University Presidents for Early Voting
League of Women Voters of Florida
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In the wake of yet another horrific massacre in our state and as students’ outraged voices join the growing cry demanding action, the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence and the League of Women Voters of Florida are holding a Rally To Support Gun Safety Reform at noon on Wednesday, Feb. 21 on the steps of the Historic Florida Capitol.
For the past two legislative sessions, the Coalition and League have supported a ban on the sale of military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines.
Rep. Carlos Guillermo Smith and Sen. Linda Stewart have introduced bills calling for these bans, but neither have been placed on their legislative committees’ agenda to be heard.
At Wednesday’s rally, dozens of students, many who have spoken passionately and eloquently in recent days, will lead the charge for meaningful change. Afterward, petitions that contain thousands of signatures calling for the assault weapon and large-capacity magazine bans will be delivered to Gov. Rick Scott, Senate President Joe Negron, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran.
“We demand these bills be heard – and passed,” said Patricia Brigham, Coalition co-chair and 1st vice president of the state League. “What possible argument can be made that legislation designed to loosen gun laws get a full airing year after year, while smart gun safety bills languish? Our legislators are literally allowing our residents – our children – to be slaughtered.”
The fact that the 19-year-old who killed 17 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week legally bought the AR-15 rifle he used for the premeditated murders should be catalyst enough to move our legislators to action.
“After the latest horrific tragedy in Parkland, Gov. Scott and the Florida Legislature must act now to ban military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines,” said Andy Pelosi, co-chair of the Coalition and director of The Campaign to Keep Guns Off Campus. “Our students and staff need to know that they are safe. The time for action is now.”
The rally will include a number of speakers, including students, Sen. Gary Farmer, Rep. Smith, Angie Gallo of Florida PTA, Brigham, and the Rev. Joe Parramore.
The Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence was created by the League of Women Voters of Florida after the Pulse shooting to promote smart gun legislation. It has grown to include more than 120 local, state, and national organizations and includes such diverse groups as the Hispanic Federation, the Florida PTA, Equality Florida, the Interfaith Council of Central Florida, and Doctors for America.
The League of Women Voters of Florida congratulates the hundreds of thousands of Floridians committed to grassroots action in succeeding to submit more than 1.1 million petitions and place the Second Chances Voting Restoration amendment on the ballot.
“League members have been working diligently and consistently on this issue for years, and we are thrilled that our efforts, and the efforts of so many other dedicated organizations and citizens have achieved this momentous accomplishment,” said Pamela Goodman, president of the League of Women Voters of Florida.
Nearly 1.5 million people in Florida who have served their time and paid their debts to society are permanently excluded from voting. This amendment will make sure Floridians who have paid their debts in full are given the opportunity to have their voices heard. The amendment specifically excludes those individuals who have committed murder or a felony sexual offense.
“Through the hard work of Florida voters and unwavering dedication of a truly grassroots movement, we have reached a historic milestone and have officially placed the Second Chances Voting Restoration Amendment on the ballot,” said Desmond Meade, Chair of Floridians for a Fair Democracy and spokesperson for Second Chances Florida Campaign. “Voters took matters in their own hands to ensure that their fellow Floridians, family members, and friends who’ve made past mistakes, served their time and paid their debts to society are given a second chance and the opportunity to earn back their ability to vote.”
The next step will be to spread the message of Florida For 4, and vote Yes on Amendment 4 this November.
For more information, visit lwvfl.org. To learn more about the Second Chances Campaign, visit secondchancesfl.org.