Youth Involvement & Services
In 2004, Florida Family Network partnered with League of Conservation Voters, Project Democracy, League of Pissed Off Voters, NAACP, Take back America Campaign, V.O.T.E, Election Protection and others in running the largest grassroots youth voter mobilization effort at that time. The goals were to protect, educate and mobilize young voters. This bipartisan effort registered more than 20,000 new voters between the ages of 18-24. FFN was instrumental in getting high schools across the panhandle to participate in registration and mobilization. In addition, college and university students were also recruited. Students were trained in creating a Get Out the Vote (GOTV) plan by doing the following: development of walk lists, field activities, canvassing, voter registration, poll watching, development of voter list, field management, campaign fundraising, coalition building, media skills and much more. In addition, FFN partnered with Election Protection, volunteered attorneys and law students to encourage civic participation and prevent widespread disenfranchisement and voting irregularities in the electoral process.
In 2004, FFN provided guidance and support to over 75 youth of the ages 18-24, to gather over 1500 signatures to restore convicted felons' right to vote. At this time, Florida was one of three states, along with Kentucky and Virginia, that permanently disfranchised all convicted felons. Florida was the largest state with the largest number of disfranchised citizens. African-Americans were particularly impacted by this policy. This initiative added to thousands of other signatures received around the state. Later, in 2007, this initiative was introduced to the Florida Legislature. Sometime later, Governor Crist and his clemency board revised the rules of executive clemency for those individuals who were convicted of non-violent felony offenses who have fully completed their sentences, paid restitution owed, have no charges pending against them and are not habitual violent offenders or sexual predators. The restitution of their civil rights also included the right to serve on a jury, the right to hold public office and to obtain certain occupational licenses.