ORLANDO, Fla., Aug. 14, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Players Coalition is donating $20,000 towards efforts to restore the right to vote for people with past felony convictions in Florida. The donation will go towards Florida Rights Restoration Coalition's (FRRC) Fines and Fees program, which assists returning citizens who have outstanding fees to complete their sentences and become eligible to vote.
The passage of Amendment 4 in Florida last year ended a 150-year-old lifetime voting ban for 1.4 million Florida citizens with past felony convictions. Since the law passed, tens of thousands of those individuals have registered to vote across the state. Under the law, people with past felony convictions who have not completed all terms of their sentences must either pay the fees and fines they owe or get their sentence modified as a condition of registering to vote.
"This contribution [from Players Coalition] will help to create a more inclusive democracy and help returning citizens in Florida move forward with their lives," said FRRC Executive Director Desmond Meade. "The effort among the many people donating to FRRC has shown us the true power and meaning of putting people over politics. Through uniting together, we can make a difference for all returning citizens."
"Voting is an essential right to allow every citizen to have a voice in our country. Financial hardship should not be a factor in preventing people from registering to vote," said Anquan Boldin, co-founder of Players Coalition. "We are glad we can support our returning citizens through this donation, to allow them to fully engage in our community and restore their ability to vote."
"Many of us consider the ability to vote our basic right as Americans, but that is not the case for millions of people. The community's support in removing financial roadblocks so our citizens can register to vote is critical," said Chris Archer, of the Players Coalition and pitcher for the Pittsburgh Pirates. "Players Coalition and FRRC will continue to advocate for these citizens to restore this basic right, especially those who are disenfranchised and historically underrepresented."
"In 2018, we advocated for the successful passage of Amendment 4, which restored voting rights for those who have committed a past felony and completed their sentences. This year, more than 1 million Floridians should be able to vote in the elections because of the passage of Amendment 4," said Stan Van Gundy, Players Coalition advocate and former NBA coach. "However, many citizens are still unable to register to vote until all fines and fees have been paid for, even though they have paid their debt to society. Our efforts with FRRC will continue to advocate for the restoration of rights for Floridians so their voices can be heard."
Voting is a constitutional right that no person should be barred from due to their economic status. FRRC and Players Coalition remain dedicated to breaking barriers and increasing inclusivity.
About Players Coalition
Players Coalition is structured as an independent 501(c)(3) (charity) and 501(c)(4) (advocacy) organization, working with professional athletes, coaches and owners across leagues to improve social justice and racial equality in our country.
About Florida Rights Restoration Coalition
Florida Rights Restoration Coalition (FRRC) is a grassroots, membership organization run by Returning Citizens (Formerly Convicted Persons) who are dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions, and creating a more comprehensive and humane reentry system that will enhance successful reentry, reduce recidivism, and increase public safety. FRRC helped end Florida's lifetime voting ban for most people with felony convictions in 2018, and continues to lead the efforts to help Floridians with prior felony convictions register to vote in the November election and helps with any outstanding financial obligations from that conviction that are barriers to voting.
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SOURCE Players Coalition