Dear Members and Advocates,

It might not seem like it, but we did accomplish something significant last week from our Call to Action on Senate Bill 234. We made our objection known and we showed that our members can raise their voices and raise awareness in Tallahassee.

Here’s the reality of the situation on SB234… It’s sponsored by Lauren Book. Lauren and her father are in the pockets of many of the politicians in Florida. We know by now how the political system in Florida works and we know how many resources the Books will invest to get this through, both for their own personal and financial motivations. Nobody is surprised by the fact that it went through, but I’m sure there are a few members of the Rules committee who were surprised someone showed up on behalf of FAC to speak out against the bill and they were probably very surprised to see 77 appearance cards submitted AGAINST her bill (there were actually over 160 cards collected and submitted – somehow the committee “misplaced” half of them).

Regardless of the result, we got attention and as we hone our legislative advocacy skills and practices, we realize that we will be able to make an impact. Also regardless of the result, if litigating the change in “days” coming from this new bill becomes necessary, there is no way possible it can be argued that we didn’t do everything possible to make lawmakers and the FDLE aware of this problem before it became law. And on that point, it would not be necessary to file a new action, but this can be incorporated into one of the existing actions and an injunction can even be sought, just like the one obtained in the Internet Identifier challenge.

Even though passage might be inevitable, we should definitely stay on top of SB234. At least it will establish a record of opposition for the court, it will establish FAC as a force to recon with, but most importantly it will highlight to the other senators that Lauren Book is misleading them. Yes, Miss Book, a day is from midnight to midnight as everyone in the world knows it to be, but your bill says, “A day includes any part of a calendar day” –  so whereas before we had to register where we were for days, now we must register where we were for “any part of” days. THAT is what’s objectionable!

 As a side note, for anyone who thinks nobody has the time to monitor where you are for “part of a day” or nobody would be so petty to prosecute someone over something so ridiculous, remember that a couple of weeks ago, a 74 year old man was charged with a second degree felony (https://www.villages-news.com/2021/02/27/74-year-old-stonecrest-sex-offender-jailed-after-failing-to-report-canceled-trip/) punishable by up to 15 years in prison because he failed to report that he never went to Virginia (where he previously reported he was going but didn’t go because of COVID) and didn’t know he was supposed to.

We should also stay on top of SB932 (timesharing with one’s own children), where passage is not so inevitable and where we were able to convince at least one brave lawmaker at the last committee hearing that this is not a good bill. It all starts with one.

Our problem, as it always has been, is that we need more people to take on leadership roles in our legislative committee. The bills and their progress are difficult to track and very often items get added to an agenda at the last minute or language gets snuck into a bill undetected. From monitoring the bills, to alerting a separate team to put together the calls to action, to mobilizing a response and finally executing, there are several moving parts and multiple people involved. If you have the time and desire to make a difference, please contact [email protected] and become a volunteer. We have immediate need in our legislative committee, but we also could use help in media, outreach, education and legal.

In addition to volunteering on the FAC committees, there are two important research studies underway that are seeking voluntary participation.  Dr Jill Levenson is conducting an anonymous survey about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) for people required to register and their family members.  The second one is a one-on-one phone interview with Doctorial Candidate Shelley Kavanagh seeking to speak to mothers of registered citizens living in Florida. For more information on each study and how to participate, the instructions are found in the Reminders section below.

Sincerely,

The Florida Action Committee


Reminders:

New Research Studies – Voluntary Participation.

  1. Dr Jill Levenson is conducting an anonymous survey about Post Traumatic Stress (PTSD) for people required to register and their family members. For more information about the study and how to access the survey, click here.
  2. Shelley Kavanagh (Doctorial Candidate) is conducting one-on-one phone interviews with mothers of registered citizens living in Florida.  For more information about the study and how to schedule an interview, click here.

Thursday March 11 – New Member Orientation Call – 8:00 pm ET – No set agenda. All callers are welcome to ask questions and learn more about the FAC organization, available resources, and volunteers opportunities.  Phone 319-527-3487.  If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the meeting.

Saturday March 13 – Family Support Session – Facilitated by Dr Jill Levenson and Shelley Kavanagh.  Contact [email protected] for access to this Zoom meeting. Only for the family and loved ones of registered citizens.

Thursday March 18 – 7:00 pm ET – Fearless Group – Peer-led support group. Phone 727-731-2927.  If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the meeting.

Want to be a County Coordinator for FAC?  Sign up for a class to receive your training package.  Class A meets by phone on Sundays or Class B meets by phone on Wednesdays.  Looking for members who want to be part of the Membership team for their local area.  It requires 2-4 hours/week, self-motivation and a one-year commitment. No limit, you can have multiple coordinators in one County if you have a friend or family member that wants to help.  We will provide the training, support, and materials that you need to succeed.  If interested, contact membership at 833-273-7325 Option 1 or email [email protected] for more information.

Need to Talk?  FAC has peer volunteers that are here to talk 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)


SOME HEADLINES FROM THE WEEK

WY: Changes in laws allow for retroactive harsher punishment according to state supreme court.

A bad decision out of the state of Wyoming, where the state’s supreme court allowed changes in registration laws to be applied retroactively against a man whose offense occurred more than a decade before the changes. Jeffrey Earl Harrison committed a sexual offense in…

Man dies in Civil Commitment After Being Beaten by Officers

The family of Darrell Smith is suing the state after he was beaten to a near comatose state by a group of correctional officers at the Adult Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Avenel. The center is New Jersey’s civil commitment center, where people are held…

UPDATE 3- Senate Bill 234-Video of Rules Committee Meeting

Watch video of Senate Rules Committee meeting in which SB 234 was on the agenda, and despite numerous objections, the bill passed the Rules Committee.  You can watch the video here, starting at 1:19….

Notice of Appeal Filed in Does 1-5 v. Swearingen (Ex Post Facto Plus I)

A notice of appeal has been filed in the original Ex Post Facto Plus case that was dismissed a couple of months ago. The case will go before the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals. A separate case, Doe v Swearingen (Ex Post Facto Plus II) was filed last month in the…

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