Tuesday, May 15, 2018


To: Karen Carter-Peterson

From: Once and current Saint Ben Watson & Future Saint Demario Davis
As athletes and community activists, we have been particularly struck by the way our system continues punishing people long after they have served their time – sometimes through extensive supervision, but here, in Louisiana, through felon disenfranchisement. People can return to their community, own businesses, become faith leaders, but they cannot exercise the most fundamental right: the right to express political will at the ballot box. This right is fundamental to personhood and to democracy. It is how we hold elected officials accountable to all of the community, not just a select few. We should not take it away after someone has already paid their debt to society.

We therefore write to extend our deepest support for a bill (HB 265) that will restore the most fundamental right of democracy to thousands of people in Louisiana. Voting is essential to individual citizenship, human dignity, and collective democracy. The legislature should pass this bill with all speed.
This bill has passed the House and is out of committee already in the Senate as of yesterday.   So, see? Between that and the unanimous verdict law making it out, the session hasn't been a complete disaster.

Okay it's been a complete disaster but those things aren't the reason. 

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