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Oct 16, 2018


Effort Designed to Encourage Passage of Amendment 4 in Florida Giving 1.4 Million Returning Citizens the Right to Vote

Washington, DC (October 16, 2018) -- On Monday, October 15th, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) partnered with A. Philip Randolph Institute (APRI), Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation---to organize the NCBCP’s Unity ’18 “Let My People Vote” National Adopt-A-Day Phone Banking Campaign. The objective of the effort was to call Black voters in Florida and encourage them to vote for Amendment 4 in that state. If passed on November 6th, Amendment 4 would give 1.4 million returning citizens the right to vote in Florida.

Amendment 4 restores the eligibility to vote for individuals with prior non-violent felony convictions in Florida, who have fully completed their entire sentences, including any probation, parole, and restitution. The Amendment specifically excludes those people who have committed murder or a felony sexual offense.

From 5:00 to 8:00 p.m. yesterday, over 23,000 calls were made to Floridians through the Unity ’18 #LetMyPeopleVote Adopt-A-Day National Phone Bank that included satellite locations in Washington, DC, Orlando, FL, Cleveland, OH and volunteers who participated virtually across the country, including the headquarters of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation. Additional national and state-based partner organizations that participated in the phone bank include: AFL-CIO, AFSCME, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority – Rho Omega Chapter, Black Women‘s Roundtable, Black Youth Vote, Coalition of Labor Union Women, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, National Council of Negro Women, National Urban League, and Ohio Black Women’s Roundtable/Cleveland Voter Alliance.

Melanie Campbell, NCBCP President & CEO, states “As a native Floridian, I know first-hand how it impacts my own family members, who may have made a mistake in their lives by being convicted of a felony, served their time and then to be told by their government, you don’t deserve a second chance. Further, the ban against ex-offenders voting, have a racially discriminatory bias that goes back to post slavery and adversely impacts poor people of all races. I love my home state of Florida and I believe most Floridians are ready to move forward together on this issue to restore the voting rights for law abiding non-violent ex-offenders to have the right to vote.”

Adds Clayola Brown, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, “Florida is one of four states that won’t allow former offenders to regain their right to vote. Now, more than ever, is the time to give those who have completed their sentence and are doing the right thing as citizens, a second chance to be full citizens. It’s just the right thing to do.”

The National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) was founded in 1976. Today, the NCBCP is one of the most active civil rights and social justice organizations in the nation “dedicated to increasing civic engagement, economic and voter empowerment in Black America.”

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