John Legend Shows Support for Amendment 4 in Orlando

Earlier this month, musical star and actor John Legend appeared at Maynard Evans High School in Orlando, Florida, to raise awareness for Amendment 4, a Florida constitutional ballot proposal that would restore voting rights to former convicted felons. Residents and students greeted the Grammy winner with a warm reception to encourage his efforts.

The Florida Rights Coalition

Teaming up with an Orlando-based group, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, Legend decided to appeal to the country’s youth by speaking to high school students. Legend stressed that the most crucial aspect of democracy is the right to vote. Legend, along with Desmond Meade, president of the FRRC, talked about how current laws disenfranchise much of the voting public.

Many people made minor mistakes in their youth and served jail time. Because of their records, they are not able to elect those officials that accurately represent them. Under Amendment 4, voting rights would be restored. People convicted of murder or sex crimes would not be eligible to vote if this proposal passes.

This bipartisan grassroots movement, which is led by all types of convicted felons, received over 800,000 signatures and didn’t even tout political endorsements. The motion managed to qualify for the ballot come this November 6, 2018. With just a few days until Election Day, supporters are trying to make sure the measure passes. Amendment 4 needs 60 percent approval to become Florida law.

Let My People Vote

The appearance of John Legend was a genuine surprise, according to the singer himself during the press conference. The singer’s performance moved students and faculty in the school’s auditorium.

However, before the impromptu concert, Desmond Meade showed a short film called “Let My People Vote,” detailing the effects of Meade’s efforts. One particularly moving scene in the movie shows Meade personally helping an older man get to the polls, only to have this man rejected because of a decades-old conviction for driving with a suspended license. Meade’s film shows that the man was ready to vote and participate in the democratic system. It was emotionally taxing for both men after they learned he couldn’t vote because of the old conviction.

More than one million non-violent offenders will get their voting rights reinstated if Amendment 4 passes. That incredible number is what prompted John Legend to come to Orlando.

felon voting rights

Encouraging the Youth

A 15-year-old sophomore who attends the high school said that she was excited to hear Legend speak about the proposal. She also noted that both of her parents are ineligible to vote because they have felony convictions on their records. She stressed that even though they’re non-political, she believes they should have the right to vote.

If Meade and Legend can get voters as enthusiastic about Amendment 4 as the students were during their visit, the proposal might stand a chance to become law.

Protecting Felons’ Rights in Orlando

Attorneys with The Umansky Law Firm have over 100 years of combined experience defending individuals charged with all types of crimes throughout Central Florida. Individuals charged with felony offenses should know that they can lose certain constitutional as well as civil rights when they are convicted, even if the conviction is for a nonviolent offense. Our team of defense lawyers in Orlando strives to defend people accused of felonies, and we work extra hard to preserve the rights of those who already have felony records.

Come talk to us to discuss your felony charges. We provide free consultations. Call (407) 228-3838 or contact us online.