Dear Members and Advocates,

On June 12th the cluster of homeless persons required to register was forced to move again. This is the same group that has been shuffled from under the Julia Tuttle Causeway, then kicked out of Shorecrest, then kicked out of the encampment on 27th Avenue, then kicked out from the Railroad Tracks, now kicked out of the encampment on 48th street…  In a May 10, 2018 article in the Miami Herald, attorney Jeffrey Hearne was quoted as saying, “They’ll most likely be relocating to another street corner. New encampments will pop up. And this cycle will continue.” Well, here we are a year later and he was right.

Since the ACLU initiated its lawsuit challenging the Miami-Dade Ordinance in 2014, the case has been bounced between the Federal District court and 11th Circuit Court of Appeal twice. Unfortunately, also being bounced around during this time are the people living homeless because of the ordinance. On May 13, 2019 the ACLU filed it’s initial brief in the latest appeal and last week the County filed theirs. While it’s frustrating to us that this challenge might still take years to resolve, can you imagine how frustrating it is for the people forced to live outdoors?

We began this weekly update by saying “On June 12th…”. June 12th?!?! June 12th was three weeks ago! Even though we posted this news the day it happened, why wasn’t this incredibly disturbing topic not given more focus? Sadly, during the intervening weeks there was news of mandatory chemical castration for persons required to register in Alabama, there was a new law passed that would prohibit fathers from living or having unsupervised visitation with their own children in Tennessee and as crappy and inhumane as the SORRs are – they are the crappy that we got used to and the “new” crappy is what grabbed focus.

That can’t happen. As we head into the July 4th holiday, some of us will be lying in our beds late into the night listening to fireworks popping outside our window. But some of us will be in our cars, under a bridge or lying on a sidewalk. With each pop we want you to think about those of us who are forced to live outside because of this crappy and inhumane law that does nothing. Let each crackle of the fireworks serve as an alarm, reminding us that there are human beings who are in desperate need and those among us who are better off have a responsibility to do something to help.

As we mentioned in our update after ACSOL, lawyers are formulating a challenge to Alabama’s chemical castration law. Days ago, a Judge in Tennessee issued a Temporary Restraining Order blocking the separation of fathers from their children and a hearing is taking place next week. The update on the Miami-Dade SORR challenge is mentioned above. Things are moving, but we always need more help.

Though we might not be homeless, on parole in Alabama, a parent in Tennessee or otherwise directly affected by any particular registration law. We promise that one day something crappy and inhumane will be passed that will directly impact YOU and you might need to become the beneficiary of other’s help.

We’ll end this weekly update with some commentary on July 4th. On this holiday we celebrate the “Declaration of Independence”, which was signed on July 4, 1776. Perhaps the most significant and memorable section of the Declaration of Independence are the following words; “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” As you have a safe and happy holiday, please take a moment to reflect on these words, what they mean to our cause and what you can do to help fulfill our mission.

Happy Independence Day!

The Florida Action Committee


Reminders:

  1. Due to July 4th Holiday, the next Monthly Membership call will be on Thursday July 11 at 8pm.  Topic: Finding Your Voice with special Guest from “Untouchable” film.  Dial 319-527-3487 to participate.
  2. July New Member call will be on Thu Jul 18 at 8pm.   All members are welcome to call in to learn more about the organization, volunteer opportunities, resources or just to meet other FAC members by phone. Dial 319-527-3487 to participate.
  3. Family Support session in Fort Lauderdale area Sat Jul 20th from 11am-1pm, facilitated by Dr. Jill Levenson and Shelly Kavanagh.  Call or email for details or to RSVP.
  4. Mark your calendar for Meet and Greets in the following cities:  Casselberry (Seminole County) – Sat July 20 from noon-2pm; Tallahassee (Leon County) – Thu Aug 15 from 6pm-8pm; Apopka (Orange County) – Sat Aug 24 – from 1pm-3pm. Call or email for details or to RSVP.

For more information on events and to organize a Meet and Greet in your area, email [email protected] or leave call-back message at 904-452-8322.


SOME HEADLINES FROM THE WEEK

Florida to use online registry to shame people who buy sex

Floridians caught trying to buy sex will soon find their mugshot online for the world to see. A new law that took effect Monday will create an online registry of people found guilty of soliciting prostitution. The online database of sex buyers is part of a broader…

Tennessee Judge Grants Temporary Restraining Order

A federal Judge in Tennessee has issued a temporary restraining order blocking a law scheduled to go into effect tomorrow from being enforced. The law would have prevented a parent from living with or having unsupervised access to their own children if they have ever…

Court upholds ruling to require teen who traded naked selfies with girls his age to register as a sex offender

Colorado’s Supreme Court upheld a ruling last week that required a juvenile boy to register as a sex offender after sexting and trading erotic pictures with two girls roughly his age, a split decision that highlights states’ recent struggles with applying laws passed…

“Stop Child Predators” is a FAKE grassroots advocacy group.

The non-profit group “Stop Child Predators” has been exposed for what it is, a fake! A recent article in the Huffington Post exposes the group’s underlying interests – lobbying on behalf of businesses seeking to profit by scaring the public. Case in point, the “group…

NOTE: FAC has prepared a resource flyer for persons required to register. The flyer is one page, double-sided  with information and resources on one side and myths and facts on the other. Refer to it for your own purposes, but if you have the ability, print out several copies and leave them at your local treatment provider or your County registration office.

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