This year, as politicians vie for elected office in the Sunshine State, we - Black, immigrant and poor young people from Pensacola to the Keys - have launched our own agenda for the future of Florida. In 2018, we were killed in our classrooms and on street corners. We were locked inside Florida’s prisons and the keys were thrown away. We live in a state with more billionaires than almost anywhere in the country, yet, our parents and our teachers didn’t have the basic resources they needed to keep us safe.
This ends today. In 2018, we aren't demanding "change" or "hope", though both are welcome. We are demanding that our elected representatives put our safety before corporate profits. The Freedom Papers is our vision for a Florida that is able to serve the everyday needs of its people. Our state spends $55,000 a year to jail our children, and only $7,000 a year to educate them. They tell us they don’t have money for raises, for books, for food stamps and for housing. What they don’t tell us is that these resources have been stolen from us by big corporations like prison giant the GEO Group and murder lobby the National Rifle Association. They have bought-off our elected officials to build a Florida that serves their needs and turning our state into a for-profit police state at the expense of the safety of our children.
We can live in a state -- in a country -- where no child is left alone, in the cold, or behind bars, where children feel free and safe when they walk to the store, play in the park, or are on their way to school in the morning. We can live in a state where parents and teachers are given everything they need to support the raising of our children. We don’t have to let another parent lose their child to a bullet, a badge or a dollar sign. This Florida is possible, but only with a drastic shift in our politician’s priorities - one that values the needs of every day people, rather than fattening the wallets of a few.
Today, we ask that you choose to support this vision. We want a state and country that keeps its children safe, a Florida and U.S. that gives everyday people - who have been forced to struggle for far too long just to survive - their Freedom Papers.