Dear Members and Advocates,

As the holidays are upon us, we wish all of you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year. It’s hard to envision a year more messed up than 2020. Hopefully 2021 will bring a cure to the pandemic that has plagued the world, relief to stores, businesses and individuals who have been impacted and most importantly relief to all of us who have been plagued by the registry.

Last week someone posted a concerning comment on our website. Some of you saw the comment and replied with messages of support. What you didn’t see is the behind the scenes response. Immediately, we reached out to the individual and even solicited a member who lives nearby to visit the individual in person to make sure he was ok and to offer support. Most reading this didn’t see the comment and would not have known about the response, but it’s important for you to know and share with others that there are people out there who care about you. If there is someone out there who doesn’t know you, but is willing to drop what they are doing to drive to your doorstep and check on you, it says a lot! There are people out there who know what you have been through and what you are going through. Stay strong!

The holiday season is a time when many of us feel depression. Many people, not just those on the registry, find themselves feeling sad, lonely and anxious during this time of year. For those who are estranged or separated for their families, holiday festivities only serve as a reminder of our loneliness. The end of the year often causes us to reflect on disappointments from the year just ended. And as we face a new year, a new political administration, a new legislative term and a “new normal” we worry about how our lives will be impacted by whatever is to come. There is literally a clinical term for the “holiday blues” called Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or Major Depressive Disorder with Seasonal Pattern, so for those of you who are feeling this way, know that what you are going through is common enough among all people, for them to have a category for it in the DSM-5.  You are not alone.

Of course, the registry amplifies all of the depressive feelings we have throughout the year and contributes to a level of stress and anxiety that’s inescapable during any season, not just the holidays. Some of us just have better coping mechanisms or are in better present circumstances to deal with it than others. There were times, more than once, when I was feeling depressed and desperate. I was the beneficiary of other’s concern and kindness. The opportunity that I have to become active in Florida Action Committee has exposed me to a lot of individuals and circumstances that have enabled me to put my own feelings into perspective and hopefully help others get through this alongside me. We all have the same opportunity to become involved, to become active and to help others. Let’s be there for each other.

You do not have to be alone for the holidays this year.  Call us at 904-452-8322 if you want to talk one-on-one.  If it is fun and entertainment that you want, the Membership team and the Fearless Group leaders will be hosting a 10-hour Virtual Holiday Gathering by phone, across two days -December 24 and 25. You can call-in at 319-527-3487 to share your favorite holiday stories, challenge us in trivia games, enjoy classical piano music, listen to amazing singers, or take over the mic and stage to share your own talents.  Hours are listed in the Reminders below.

Aside from reminding you that we’re all part of the same community, I want to remind you we’re all part of the same fight, which brings me to some good news… This morning we unwrapped the only holiday gift I really wanted this year, which was the Motion to Alter or Amend that was filed in the Ex Post Facto Plus Case. A copy of the motion is available on our site (along with the transcript of oral arguments) and can be read here.  As was promised to us and as we committed to you, the fight will continue and we hope to ultimately prevail. So long as we have each other to support this war, we will never give up!

So, as we end this update on a positive note and share our holiday wishes with all of you, we ask for something in return. From those of you who are struggling this holiday season, we ask you to reach out to us and let us know you could use someone to help get you through this. And from those of you who are fortunate enough to not be struggling this holiday season, we ask you to please help support those who are, by giving to our organization, giving to your communities and giving to each other!

Sincerely,

The Florida Action Committee.


Reminders:

To Talk to an FAC volunteer one-on-one, call 904-452-8322.  Volunteers are not available 24/7 but you will receive a call as soon as possible.  If you have an emergency, call 911, or helpline at 1-800-273-8255 or a crisis center (Listing of Crisis Centers and Hotlines)

Dec 24 Thursday – 4:00pm to 10:00pm ET – FAC Membership Team, Fearless Leaders, volunteers, and other elves will be hosting a Virtual Holiday Gathering for those who want to talk, share stories, entertain, or just be festive and merry!  Phone 319-527-3487. If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the party.

Dec 25 Friday- The Virtual Holiday Gathering continues from Noon-2:00pm ET, with a Christmas Day Reading and Devotion at 1:30pm.  Fun and Entertainment resumes from 6:00-8:00 pm ET.  Phone 319-527-3487.  If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the party.

Jan 7 Thursday – 8:00pm ET – Monthly Membership Call.  Topic: Truth About Stings Operations – Guests: Kathleen Hambrick and Aracely Yates of C.A.G.E. (www.cage.fyi),  and Peter Aiken, Criminal Defense Attorney.  Phone 319-527-3487. If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the meeting.

Jan 9 – Saturday – 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.- Zoom session for family and loved ones only (no registered citizens) . RSVP for details to [email protected] or text name to 904-452-8322.

Jan 14 Thursday at 8:00pm ET /  7pm CT – New Member Orientation Call – phone 319-527-3487. If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the meeting.


SOME HEADLINES FROM THE WEEK

MI: Senate approves tightened restrictions in Sex Offender Registration Act

The Michigan Senate voted Wednesday to codify court-recommended changes in the state’s Sex Offender Registration Act. The legislation now only needs Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature to become law. State lawmakers approved altering registration protocols for sex…

Deltona seeking to tighten restrictions on where sex offenders can live

The City of Deltona, Florida is considering expanding their Sex Offender Residency Restrictions. A resolution was brought forward this past Monday to “add “Designated School Bus Stops, Libraries, and Churches to the list defining locations as to where children…

Feds sued over prison attack that killed sex offender, hurt 2 others

Two federal prison inmates and the estate of a third are suing the government, claiming officials at a Monroe County lockup failed to prevent a 2019 attack on the sex offenders, one of whom was stomped and stabbed to death. Christian Maire, Michal Figura and Craig…

Louisiana Attorney General seeks SCOTUS review of driver’s license branding.

The Louisiana Attorney General is asking the Supreme Court of the United States to stay the decision of its state supreme court which struck down the Louisiana Law requiring the branding of driver’s licenses of persons required to register as sex offenders with the…

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