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ACLU of Florida

Activists express concern about transparency of Tampa CRC meeting Wednesday

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Florida’s Constitution Revision Commission (CRC) stops in Tampa Wednesday for public comments on potential changes to the state Constitution. However, progressive groups are once again calling upon the Rules Working Group to improve what they say is a lack of transparency in how the CRC conducts these meetings. The Constitution Revision Commission is a group of 37 people appointed to review and recommend changes to the Florida Constitution. Every 20 years, the Commission examines the Florida Constitution, holds public hearings and recommend…

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Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform formed as Legislative Session formally begins

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With numerous criminal justice reform bills already moving through Florida House and Senate committees this year, a nonpartisan coalition called The Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform announced Monday its formation on the eve of the 2017 Legislative Session. The Florida Campaign for Criminal Justice Reform includes the Southern Poverty Law Center, ACLU of Florida, Florida Conference of Catholic Bishops, League of Women Voters, R Street Institute, Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Florida Public Defender Association, Florida Legal Services, Florida Immigrant Coalition, New…

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Personnel note: ACLU-FL staffs up for Donald Trump era

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The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Florida announced a bevy of new staff “in preparation for the upcoming fights in the Florida legislature, in the courts, and in cities and counties across the state of Florida,” according to a Wednesday news release. Deputy Director Melba Pearson was an Assistant State Attorney in Miami-Dade County for 16 years, serving in the Domestic Crimes Unit. She also helped the re-launch the Community Prosecution Unit, “whose goal is partnering with the community to…

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Personnel note: Gaby Guadalupe joins ACLU of Florida

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Gaby Guadalupe has joined the American Civil Liberties Union of Florida as media relations coordinator. She worked at República, a cross-cultural agency, where she assisted with the launch of community initiatives such as Telemundo’s El Poder En Ti and Yo Decido, “which empower Hispanics to maximize their economic, cultural and civic contributions nationwide,” according to a news release. Guadalupe also has worked with other organizations such as CNC, a nonprofit group providing human services to those in need throughout Miami. She is…

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Jeff Brandes turns attention to criminal justice reform

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It’s been overlooked for years, but criminal justice reform could be coming down the pike. Sen. Jeff Brandes said he hopes to make reforming the system a top priority, but told the Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists it could take years before reforms are achieved. Calls for reform aren’t new, but they are growing louder. In March, former Attorney General Bob Butterworth and Judge Simone Marstille penned an op-ed to outline the need for reforms. Calls for change have come…

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Activists want Bob Buckhorn to oppose immigration bill proposed in Tallahassee

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Immigration activists concerned about state legislation they say targets them held events throughout Florida on Wednesday, including in Tampa. Groups going under the name “We Are Florida” are criticizing several bills percolating in Tallahassee this  Session, none more so than House Bill  675. Sponsored by Yamaha Republican Larry Metz, it would  penalize cities, counties and sheriffs in Florida that don’t fully cooperate with federal immigration authorities. “It’s going to create fear,” said Nancy Palacios, an organizer with the group Faith in Florida. “It’s…

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On Jeb Bush and bare loins in art

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FloridaPolitics.com and Context Florida contributor Florence Snyder adds a “funny Jeb” anecdote in light of The New York Times story on Bush’s dry sense of humor. “As his campaign has struggled to rejuvenate a languishing bid, some close to him have suggested the existence of a (very) secret weapon: It is at least possible that Jeb Bush is funny,” Matt Flegenheimer writes. “He is a candidate so dry that flights of wit can become indistinguishable from a sober default setting,” Flegenheimer adds.…

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