Over the last five years we have worked steadily towards growing capacity among returning citizens, to be a central driving force of the statewideVoting Restoration Ballot Initiative, and to lead the effort in a powerful way. Together, with our coalition partner organizations, we have accomplished what many believed was impossible. We pulled together an expert, pro-bono team of legal and policy advisors,to develop policy and language that was approved, unanimously, by the Florida Supreme Court. We led a 100% organic, grassroots petition circulation program, validatingover 70,000 signatures to trigger legal review, solely on volunteer efforts; a feat never achieved before in Florida's history. And, in accordance with industry best practices, we collectively invested in holistic, data-driven research to develop messaging strategy that hasreached the hearts and minds of people from all walks of life, propelling collaboration and active engagement from many unlikely supporters, hand-in-hand, with those directly impacted by this issue. What we have already accomplished is miraculous. I extend my sincerest thanks to the love and commitment that each of you have poured into this effort. Without you, none of this would have been possible. But we have only just begun. Over the next 18 months, we have two major lifts ahead on our pathway to victory. One, we must lead on educating the public on this issue and garnering more support from our fellow Floridians; and two, we must ramp-up our petition circulation efforts to qualify for the 2018 election cycle. To kick-off our efforts, I invite you to join us at theFRRC 2017 State Convening, which takes place July 20th-22nd, at The Rosen Centre, in Orlando;please register today! At the Convening, FRRC members we will be able to experience: interactive participation with the Ballot Initiative Expert Panel; hands-on messaging training that will enrich our Public Education Program; and relationship building and collaborative planning with other FRRC partners from your region. Additionally, all Convening participants will leave with tangible resources to help them achieve their volunteer goals, including messaging, phone banking, canvassing and petition collection toolkits. Another exciting event will be happening during Convening weekend. Our1st Annual Champions of Change Gala & Awards Ceremony, honoring FRRC’s Social Justice Champions, on the evening of July 21st, at The Rosen, in Orlando, hosted byMs. Vivica A. Fox;buy your tickets today! We need your support now to build our future success. I look forward to seeing everyone inOrlando, July 20th-22nd. It is a weekend you do not want to miss! Sincerely, Desmond Meade, President P. S. There are two more opportunities to support the FRRC! You canbecome a Sponsorfor the event or you can advertise in the 2017 State Convening Program Book; stretch your advertising dollar by purchasing an additional ad in the 1st Annual Gala Program Books for a discounted package price!