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Sean Shaw: People over Profits - Ballot Initiatives

August 17, 2021

Since 1968, Floridians have organized, gathered petitions, and voted to pass citizen ballot initiatives to improve our state when the Legislature has refused to do their job. Initiatives like the legalization of medical marijuana, a $15 minimum wage, and voting rights restoration for those who have paid their debt to society have passed with overwhelming support from voters. But year after year, the Legislature has attempted to change the rules to keep you from having a chance to vote on these popular policies.

This year they did it again – and we took them to court. Governor DeSantis knew Senate Bill 1890 was unconstitutional when he signed it into law, as did Attorney General Moody when she proceeded to defend it in federal court. Sadly, their actions are another example of Florida's state leadership wasting taxpayer dollars to defend laws they know violate the constitution.

A federal judge agreed, and I'm pleased to share that the state has declined to appeal. I am incredibly proud to have worked with the ACLU of Florida in this effort to defend Floridians' right to direct democracy.

As the Chair of the Fair Elections For Democracy amendments, I knew that qualifying these initiatives for the 2022 ballot would be a challenge. We rely on a grassroots network of individuals and organizations to help us qualify – and that takes time. Unfortunately, the threat of this law's implementation created confusion for initiative sponsors and supporters – perhaps that was the state's objective all along.

I am grateful for the outpouring of support our campaign has received from volunteers across the state and the significant financial commitments we have received. We are committed to delivering a voting system that works for all Floridians, but we want to ensure we have the time, resources, and widespread support to do so. For all of these reasons, our team has decided to focus on qualifying the Fair Elections for Democracy amendments for the 2024 ballot.

I hope you will stay tuned for ways you can get involved with our campaign in early 2022. It will take a lot of hard work to pass these ballot initiatives, but defending our democracy is worth it. Thank you for staying in the fight.



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