Let My People Vote: My Battle to Restore the Civil Rights of Returning Citizens

Desmond Meade. Beacon, $24.95 (176p) ISBN 978-0-8070-6232-6
Meade, president of the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, recounts his troubled life story and his turn toward political activism in his appealing debut memoir. Born in St. Croix and raised in Miami, Meade fell into drug addiction after a stint in the army and served three years in prison for illegal possession of a firearm by a felon. (Originally sentenced to 15 years, he assisted his public defender on the appeal that won his early release.) After getting out, Meade cycled in and out of homelessness and addiction until he entered his fourth drug treatment program, renewed his faith in God, and earned his college and law degrees. Inspired by his own struggles, Meade successfully championed Florida’s 2018 Amendment 4 ballot initiative, in which voting and other civil rights were restored to 1.5 million ex-felons. He does a skillful job taking readers through the blow-by-blow of the campaign, including the process of writing the actual text of the referendum, and makes a persuasive case that restoring the civil rights of ex-felons will lower rates of recidivism. Throughout, Meade interweaves moving personal anecdotes, including the moment, talking to a younger man after a drug treatment therapy session, when he found his calling to help other people. This poignant account soars. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 08/06/2020
Release date: 10/06/2020
Genre: Nonfiction
Book - 978-0-8070-6255-5
MP3 CD - 978-1-6620-4096-2
Compact Disc - 978-1-6620-3856-3
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