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Oct 29, 2018


Encouraging Voters to Pass Amendment 4 Restoring Voting Rights to 1.4 Million Returning Citizens in the State of Florida

Washington, DC (October 29, 2018) -- Melanie Campbell, President & CEO, the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation (NCBCP) and National Convener, Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR), returned to her hometown of Mims, Florida, to join NCBCP state-affiliate leader, Salandra Benton, State Convener, Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation (FCBCP)/FL BWR, and Desmond Meade, Founder of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC), to encourage Black voters in Brevard County to vote “Yes” on Amendment 4 that would  give 1.4 million returning citizens the right to vote in Florida.  The NCBCP and its Unity ’18 Campaign is serving as a national partner with FRRC and FCBCP to get out the vote for Amendment 4.

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.

The #LetMyPeopleVote GOTV Bus Tour made several caravan stops in Brevard County Florida to educate and encourage Black voters to vote “Yes” on Amendment 4 including Greater Allen AME Church in Melbourne, FL that hosted a Black Men’s Roundtable GOTV Fish Fry to encourage Black voters to support Amendment 4;  and then traveled to Zion Orthodox Church in Cocoa, FL to participate in the FL Black Women’s Roundtable  #PoweroftheSisterVote discussion regarding the important role Black women play in motivating and mobilizing their families and communities to vote “Yes” on Amendment 4.

The Tour closed out with the #LetMyPeopleVote Bus and caravan in Titusville, FL at the Isaac Campbell, Sr. Park and Community Center, named after the late community activist and father of NCBCP President Melanie Campbell.   The bus tour concluded in Mims, FL at the Harry T. and Harriette V. Moore Memorial Park and Cultural Complex.  Harry T. Moore was a civil rights activist known for his voter registration efforts and was the founder and first president of the Brevard County, Florida branch of the NAACP.  He and his wife Harriette were killed in 1951 when their home was firebombed by members of the Klu Klux Klan.

States Melanie Campbell, NCBCP President & CEO, “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, has 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.  It is also personally significant and gratifying for me that this bus tour brings me back to my hometown and reconnects me with where I learned the importance of voting and being an activist.”

Adds Salandra Benton, State Convener for the Florida Coalition on Black Civic Participation, “I am excited about Brevard County being one of the stosp for the LET MY PEOPLE VOTE bus tour. Talking and seeing the excitement of people wanting to give people a second chance to vote is inspiring and emotional for me because the Black Women's Roundtable and the AFL-CIO and others were supportive from day one. I'm glad a to see everyone hard work coming together to be a part of this history in the making.”

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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