Long before the passing of Amendment 4 in 2018, (one of MVP’s biggest investments that year) which granted voting rights to 1.4 million returning citizens, FRRC’s mission has always been to provide access to Democracy for all. Led by those most impacted, FRRC is dedicated to ending the disenfranchisement and discrimination against people with convictions, and creating a more comprehensive and humane reentry system. During the 2020 election season, FRRC was a model for voter engagement, including the biggest Souls to the Polls event in American history, turning out thousands of registered voters and days of action. The message: our vote is our power, and this election, we’re going to use it!
MVP was an early and significant investor into FRRC’s program this cycle, helping build out their GOTV campaign, “Free the Vote”. The campaign was a critical success that centered those most marginalized that led to one million doorknocks, and registered 74,000 voters. From a comprehensive voter guide, to a Fines and Fees program that removed financial barriers to voting for 40,000 returning citizens, FRRC upheld their commitment to an inclusive democracy. Through a combined network of returning citizens, directly impacted family members, people of faith, and active community members, they made history by turning out 50,000 returning citizens to the polls for the first time in 2020.
Our broader movement suffered losses in Florida this year. But those losses were offset by successful organizing efforts led by partners like FRRC. Even when we don’t win a given election, investment in this kind of community-based organizing broadens the progressive base and lays the foundation for victories to come.