Dear Members and Advocates,

The California Bill that we wrote about last week was signed off by Governor Newsom. That’s good news. What continues to boggle the mind is how two stories can present completely different perspectives on the same set of facts and how so many people will buy into (and I hate to use this term…) the fake news. One of the only articles I came across that accurately portrayed what the bill was all about was the San Francisco Chronicle, which titled their story, “Newsom signs bill to fix sex offender registry law that penalized gay people.” If anyone would have dug into the facts, that’s all they could have concluded. But other legitimate news outlets spun it differently and even respected politicians such as Ted Cruz accused the bill of promoting sex with minors (which it naturally did not).

What happened in our recent history that deprived people the ability to do their own research and come up with independent thoughts and conclusions? Have media outlets become so desperate for readership that they feel the need to put out salacious headlines to use as clickbait? It’s not just with sex offender issues, we see the same divisiveness when it comes to most social or politically charged issues.

I often wonder whether the problem is that there’s so much damaging misinformation being put out there without recourse, whether the problem is that people believe what they want to believe and facts won’t convince them otherwise, or if the problem is that not enough people on one side of an issue are willing to advocate. To the extent we have any control over these reasons, the third is something within our own power to change. If we don’t act, we are part of the problem!!! We need more brave people to make their voices heard, so here’s our challenge…

The Department of Justice has asked for comments on proposed changes to the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA). There are nearly one million people in the United States who are impacted. To date, as of the time we are writing this weekly update, there are only 318 comments posted (see: https://beta.regulations.gov/document/DOJ-OAG-2020-0003-0001). That’s shameful! If you figure each person on the registry has at least one friend or family member who is impacted and only one percent (1%) of those impacted speak out, there should be twenty thousand comments posted. There are not and that’s nobody’s fault but our own.

Please take a moment to share your thoughts, tell your story, or simply voice your opposition to the proposed changes. Educate yourself by reading some of the other comments, reading through some of the posts on advocacy forums (such as FAC) or studies on the effectiveness of SORNA. If you don’t feel comfortable making a technical argument, describe how registration has impacted your life (we know it has or you would not be reading this), or cite a study (https://scholar.google.com/scholar?q=”Sex+Offender+Registration+and+Notification+Act”) you think the DOJ should consider. If you don’t have internet access to post a comment online, you can mail your comment to: Regulations Docket Clerk, Office of Legal Policy, U.S. Department of Justice, 950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Room 4234, Washington, DC 20530.  To ensure proper handling, please reference Docket No. OAG 157 on your letter. PLEASE keep your comments respectful and well-reasoned. Rude or disrespectful comments will only hurt our cause.

Don’t allow yourself to be part of the problem. Let’s make it our goal to break 500 comments by tomorrow!

Sincerely,

The Florida Action Committee


Reminders:

Sep 16 Wednesday at 7:00 pm ET.  Do you want to be a County Coordinator?   For current County Coordinators and members who want to become a County Coordinator for FAC.    Dial 605-472-5596 Access 436675#.   If unable to connect, text “Call Me” to 605-472-5596.  You will receive a call-back, enter access code  436675# and be connected to the training meeting.  If you are unable to attend and want to be participate in the training, contact [email protected].

Sep 21 Monday at 7:00pm ET (and every Monday in September) there is a standing meeting call for Brevard members (other members are always welcome).  Our goal is to reach out to the rest of the registered citizens in Brevard County.

Oct 1 Thursday at 8:00pm ET Monthly Membership call.  Guest Dr. Lisa Anne Zilney, Topic: Guilt by Association: Labeling Research. Dial 319-527-3487.  If unable to connect, text “Call Me” to 319-527-3487.  You will receive a call-back and be connected to the meeting.

Oct 8 Thursday at 8:00pm ET New Member Orientation Call. Dial 319-527-3487.  Learn more about the FAC organization, resources, and volunteer opportunities. All members are welcome to call. If unable to connect, text “Call Me” to 319-527-3487.  You will receive a call-back and be connected to the meeting.


SOME HEADLINES FROM THIS WEEK

MI: Sex offender registry months out-of-date, but little action from lawmakers… so what?

A local Michigan newspaper ran this story yesterday, which spoke about the state of Michigan’s sex offender registry and how out of date and inaccurate it is. Essentially, since U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland declared parts of the State’s registry…

ACSOL: Action Alert “KILL A PEDOPHILE” MERCHANDISE

There are at least four websites currently offering for sale merchandise with the message “Kill a Pedophile.”  The websites are Amazon, Etsy, Killer Culture Shop and Scratshirt.  Merchandise being sold on these websites includes clothing and/or stickers. “The logos on…

Lauren Book: “stranger danger” is usually not a factor.

Florida Senator Lauren Book, the state’s most vocal proponent for harsh sex offender restrictions, has made some interesting comments lately. In a feature she wrote for Social Miami about children wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID, she wrote that “stranger…

Homeless registrants lose appeal against Miami-Dade

Sadly, the homeless registrants in Miami-Dade lost their appeal to the 11th Circuit in a decision returned today. The loss was on a technicality – whether the suit can be construed as an “as applied” challenge vs. a “facial challenge”. The 11th circuit’s decision was…

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