Dear Members and Advocates,

When I was indicted, I knew some people were never going to like me. Not so much that they wouldn’t like me, they just wouldn’t like what I had done, and as a result they would ostracize me or villainize me. As horrible as it feels to live life as “persona non grata”, I’ve sadly become used to it and adjusted my lifestyle to be more reclusive and lower expectations.

Similarly, when I got involved in advocacy and joined FAC, I knew that most people outside our organization are not going to like my message. Again, not necessarily that they wouldn’t find me articulate or my points valid. It’s just that our mission is not socially or politically popular and there will be some who will close their ears and minds as soon as they hear “sex offender”. Others might completely agree with our position, but don’t want to risk their career or reputation to support it. And I expected all that too.

What I had hoped for in becoming involved in advocacy, was that I would find a community that didn’t judge me. Where I could be open about my past. Where I could exchange ideas with like-minded people. And most importantly, where my lone, isolated, ostracized voice would be amplified by a choir of thousands of other lone voices in a way that our common message will be audible to the rest of the world.

For the most part, that’s what I found. FAC, and advocacy in general, has given me a purpose and it has given me tremendous hope. Without the community, the support of my fellow board members and active volunteers, and without the pooling of funds to bring lawsuits, not one of us, individually, could have been able to accomplish anything close to what we have. That’s something I’m proud of and something I think we all deserve to be proud of.

Still, even within our organization and within the advocacy community, not everyone is going to like what we say or we do and I’ve come to accept and get used to that as well. The other week, I got a message that someone had “called out FAC” in a YouTube video. I appreciate his opinion, I gave it the respect of addressing it in a reply, and then I moved past it. Not everybody will always agree with us. Then there are the political and religious debates that go on in the comments on our forum. At some point the moderator just has to cut these off or they will go on forever. We can’t all agree on everything. And that’s alright too.

FAC (and other advocacy groups like us) have a common goal. There are not many who share that goal, so it’s important that we keep the allies we have and not alienate anybody. We all need to do a better job of avoiding topics that are sensitive, controversial or have nothing to do with the registry. You can rest assured that FAC is not affiliated with any political party or religious group. We are not looking to become social media celebrities or sell merchandise. None of our volunteers are getting paid or famous for the work that we do. Personally, my involvement with FAC will never make my resume (because I want to get hired) and the best thing that could happen is for FAC to dissolve one day (because that would mean the registry is abolished).

Until that day comes, remember that not everyone will agree with 100% of what you say or do and that’s alright. Find the opportunities in the adversity. Allow the vigilantes to thicken your skin and make you stronger. Allow the opponents to open dialogue so that you can make your points. Utilize the diversity among us to spread the message more broadly. And most importantly, use the distractions to help fine-tune your focus on the finish line. Rather than getting caught up in the mire, let’s all remain hyper-focused on what we are all here for… ending the registry.

Sincerely,

The Florida Action Committee


Reminders:

Housing is Needed – We receive calls daily from members looking for housing.  If you have housing to rent or purchase, please contact email [email protected]  or call 833-273-7325, option 1.  We will only share the information with the FAC Outreach team and the County Coordinator in your area.

September 2 Thursday at 8:00pm ET – Monthly Membership Call – phone 319-527-3487. Topic: Legislative Delegation meetings and getting ready for the 2022 Legislative Session.   If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the meeting.

September 9 Thursday at 8:00pm ET – New Member Orientation Call – phone 319-527-3487. Ask questions about the organization, share resources, discuss local issues and learn about volunteer opportunities.  If unable to connect, text “CALL ME” to same number to receive call back and be joined to the meeting.

September 11 Saturday – NEW TIME 10:00am – Noon ET.   Therapist-led Family Support Session via Zoom. Limited participation. Email [email protected] or leave message at 833-273-7325 Option 1 for access to the Monthly group session.

Date TBD  7:00 pm – Fearless Group – Peer-led Support meeting – You are Not Alone.  Dial (727) 731-2927.  For more information, email [email protected]

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

CT: Committee Considers Sex Offender Registry Changes

A subcommittee of the state Sentencing Commission is working to create a process to allow certain individuals to be removed from the public sex offender registry. After at least two attempts to reshape the law regarding people who have committed sex offenses, the…

Member Submission: Post-Conviction Traumatic Stress

The interrogation by police that I received was extreme. It began about 6:30 in the morning when I awakened in bed by a room full of police. I have reason to believe that several had their guns drawn. After dressing, with most of the officers present, I was taken…

TX: New laws take effect

They say everything is bigger in Texas. I don’t know about everything, but the penalties for sexual-related offenses are certainly getting bigger in Texas. Starting next week (9/1/2021) Texas will be the first state to charge persons soliciting prostitution with a…

Brief filed in Louisiana branded driver’s license case

Last week, the brief in opposition was filed in Louisiana v. Hill, a case the State of Louisiana would like the Supreme Court of the United States to hear. The issues in that case are: (1) Whether a state may require convicted sex offenders to obtain and carry a state…

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