On Friday July 12, 2019, the Daytona Beach Chapter of the NAACP hosted it's 46th Annual Freedom Fund Banquet at the Hilton Hotel. Desmond Meade, the executive director of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition and Chair of the Floridians for a Fair Democracy was this year's speaker. Meade is an attorney who led the campaign to change Amendment 4, a constitutional law in Florida that restored the rights voting rights of ex-felons in Florida.
Meade addressed the room of about five hundred NAACP members. " I hope you didn't come here this evening thinking that I would recite a speech, I'm not, said Meade. " I feel like I am among friends tonight so let's just talk. I'd like to thank the Madam President and Ms. Norma Bland who cracks the whip. There was a time during this journey when it was a very lonely campaign."
Meade stated that there was a time when everyone left him. The people he was dealing with didn't believe that he could get an amendment on the ballot much less pass it. He said that the people helping him thought it was a waste of time.
Working with the NAACP and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) the amendment passed with more than five million votes in 2018. Meade's accomplishment has become the model for other states across the country.
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