Florida Rights Restoration Coalition nominated for Nobel Peace Prize

Group helped push restoration of felon voting rights

ORLANDO, Fla. – The group that pushed for the restoration of felon voting rights in Florida has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

The Florida Rights Restoration Coalition led the push in 2018 for Amendment 4, which restored voting rights for most felons who had completed their sentences and paid their dues. Floridians passed the amendment with 64% of the vote, benefitting some 1.4 million people.

“We want to take advantage of this opportunity to really highlight the power of second chances, right?” said Desmond Meade, executive director of the FRRC. “That even though people like me have made mistakes in the past, that there is still an opportunity for us to be contributing members of society.”

Since Amendment 4, the FRRC has continued its mission by helping eligible felons pay any fees to get their rights restored, as required by the Florida Legislature.

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It has also helped the community in other ways, including by providing personal protection equipment during the pandemic.

Meade and group deputy director Neil Volz said this was validation at the highest levels that the work they are doing is important.

“Here we have a prestigious organization saying, ‘Hey, we see you, We see you for who you are, not this narrative that exists about what people may think you are,’” Volz said. “We’re talking about acknowledgment that returning citizens can be heroes of democracy here in our state and can give back and help transform our society in a way that benefits everybody, that’s really empowering for our particular community.”

FRRC was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize by the American Friends Service Committee, the same organization that nominated Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. for the Nobel.

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Christie joined the ClickOrlando team in November 2021.