Sun Sentinel: “Do-nothing politicians on wrong side of gun reform battle”

Read the original post here.

As a statewide candidate for chief financial officer, I will be using much of my platform to call for sensible gun reform. I have a statewide voice and I plan on using it.

This one hit home. Marjory Stoneman Douglas is one mile from where I raise my children. I knew students and families effected by this senseless tragedy.

While school shootings are too common, they are never routine when they occur in your backyard. I, like others, am calling for a complete assault weapon ban along with more funding and services for mental health. Per our amazing Sheriff Scott Israel, we need to give law enforcement better tools to involuntarily hold for 72 hours persons who are believed to be a danger to society. I am calling on the federal government to reform our HIPPA laws so families who know that someone close to them is capable of such atrocity and can have access to medical records to alert law enforcement.

Beyond policy, I will call out every lawmaker who does nothing, repeats the BS line that it’s to early to discuss changes, and only gives prayers without a concrete plan for solving this horrific epidemic.

Gov. Rick Scott, the next time you come to Parkland, have the guts to say you will do everything in your power to create laws that ban assault weapons. Sen. Marco Rubio, don’t come to our community if you have the nerve to say that it’s to early to speak about sensible gun reform. If you can’t stand in front of the camera and tell us that you wholeheartedly support gun reform, then don’t stand in front of that camera. Lastly, don’t ever tell a community who has just lost so many of our best and brightest that creating new gun laws wouldn’t have stopped the shooting.

I’ve watched the last few days as the student survivors have gone on national television with the kind of poise you can only dream of having and told the world that they want immediate action. They don’t ever want to see another community go through what our community is going through now. They are true leaders and they WILL win this battle, and you Sen. Rubio and Gov. Scott, and any other politician who espouses inaction, will LOSE.

This is a war for the lives of our children and you are on the wrong side. Every other nation has figured this out. So will we. #DOSOMETHINGNOW

Jeremy Ring is a former Florida state senator, (D) 29th District. Ring is now running to serve as Florida’s next chief financial officer.

Jeremy’s Sun-Sentinel Op/Ed: “Restore voting rights to those who’ve paid their debt”

By Jeremy Ring

Can you imagine facing a debt that you could never pay off — one that never goes away, regardless of how many times you try to pay?

Well, unfortunately, for hundreds of thousands of nonviolent felons across Florida, this is their reality.

When nonviolent offenders break the law, they’re rightly forced to pay their debt to society through years in jail, countless dollars worth of fines and penalties, and the social burden of being labeled a felon for the rest of their lives.

They broke the law. They paid the price. That should be the end of it, right?

Not in Florida.

In our state, nonviolent offenders who have paid their debt to society are stripped of their voting rights, and it’s an onerous procedure to get those rights restored.

Here’s the worst part: Florida’s voter disenfranchisement isn’t just poor policy, it also disproportionately affects communities of color and the poor, many of whom received a felony just for minor offenses.

As a candidate for Florida chief financial officer, and as a Floridian and American concerned with the cause of economic equality and equity, I believe this is a disgrace — and it needs to stop.

If I have the honor of being elected as chief financial officer next year, I would have an active role as a member of the Cabinet in advocating for policy initiatives that would seek to correct this fundamental injustice in our current state laws. And if the Florida Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative [Initiative #14-01] also gets on the ballot in the November 2018 election, we will get a head start in bending that proverbial arc back toward justice.

Together, we can ensure that all Floridians who have paid their debt to society are treated fairly. We can ensure that our great state sets a positive example to the rest of the country — and to the world — in combating one of the most fundamental threats to the health of our democracy.

Jeremy Ring, a former state senator from Parkland, is a candidate for Florida chief financial officer.

Read the original op/ed here.