Dear Members and Advocates,
As we begin a new year and the FAC family continues to grow, it’s a good time to remind all members of our Member Code of Conduct and some general principles for dealing with the public. The Member Code of Conduct can be found here (towards the bottom of the page) and is reasonably self-explanatory. While it governs the conduct of our members in order to foster a welcoming community where people can participate free of judgment or harassment in their interaction through our organization, many of the principles should be applied to interactions in our day-to-day lives.
As we all know (and the media likes to remind us), persons required to register are one of the most disliked groups in society. As we also know, the cause for this disfavor is the perpetuation of a lot of myths about our population. Namely, the mistaken belief that registrants are incorrigible and lack impulse control. Even though we know that’s not the case, we need to ensure the public sees that as well. We’re not talking about impulse control when it comes to sexual behavior (though naturally that’s included), but impulse control when it comes to all behavior.
Nobody appreciates and understands the frustration of being on the registry more than we do. We live and breathe it continuously. Everyone has tragic stories, but collectively, the FAC family has thousands. It’s enough to drive anyone to desperation and cause us to act out in rage and anger. But that’s where we need to display some of the greatest impulse control.
In the past week we’ve had situations with a couple of our members. One lashed out against other members in our forum and another circulated some false (and damaging) information and potentially burned a bridge we had with an ally in the media. Without the need to point fingers or get into details, when these things happen it makes us all look bad. To our fellow members it damages the culture and credibility of our organization and to our allies in the community it causes them to regret getting involved in our cause. We cannot allow this to happen. We need to be better than that. Next time, take a moment, think twice about your reaction and always double-check your facts before making accusations.
As we begin a new year it is also a good time to reach out for volunteers. Whether it is helping us stuff envelopes for a mailer or volunteering to post responses to news stories, we can really use your help! If you can write coherently or know how to fold a piece of paper, there are tasks at FAC that we need help getting done. We have a very aggressive agenda for 2019 and we are committed to ensuring our goals are accomplished. Please help us get there!
The Florida Action Committee
SOME HEADLINES FROM THE WEEK
Sen. Trent Garner, of Arkansas, sponsored Senate Bill 10, which would make it a class D felony, punishable by up to six years in prison, for a level 3 or 4 sex offender to give candy to a minor or wear a mask or costume around a minor at any “Halloween-related” event….
A bill introduced by Rep. Edward Clere, R-New Albany would prevent anybody convicted of what they consider to be “some of the most serious crimes” would be ineligible for a name change. Currently anybody who is not incarcerated can apply to have their name changed….
The ACLU has fled its Notice of Appeal in the Miami-Dade Sex Offender Residency Case. The case, which was dismissed in the District Court, reversed in the 11th Circuit and remanded back to the District court and recently lost in the District Court, is making it’s way…
Last year, Senator Lauren Book proposed a bill that enabled DCF (Department of Children and Families) to take a child away from their registrant (person required to register as a sex offender) parent. The bill would have created a rebuttable presumption of…