Steven Shulman

I’m A Convicted Felon Who Got His Rights Back And Made History. We Need To Make Sure All Have That Same Chance

Steven Shulman is an insurance broker, real estate investor and the founder of a nonprofit charity that saves the lives of pets in distress, Animal Care Now. He grew up in Miami Beach and served two years in prison after being arrested for possession of quaaludes. He received his civil rights back in the 1980s and has become an advocate for convicted felons who have been denied the same privileged he has received. Shulman just released a memoir of his life called, My Uncle Gloria.


I’m a convicted felon.

Back in April 1981, I made a mistake in trusting an acquaintance.

That mistake got me arrested, convicted, and sentenced to five years in state prison for possession of methaqualone.

After completing two years in prison, two years parole, and being released from all government supervision, I applied to Florida’s office of executive clemency to have my civil rights restored.

I was lucky.

The process only took me a few years.

I have done incredibly well with my life because I was afforded a second chance.

In 1988 I had all my civil rights restored, including: the right to vote, travel abroad, perform jury duty, hold public office, and be employed in certain government organizations.

Since then I’ve created a great life for myself.

Steven Shulman during a period where he was using a lot of drugs.

I’m a successful insurance broker, real estate investor, published author and  founder of a nonprofit charity that saves the lives of pets in distress.

I hold the proud distinction of being the first convicted felon to be issued a real estate license in Florida, and the first convicted felon in Florida to be issued an insurance license.

I made a mistake when I was young.

I served my time.

And I have done incredibly well with my life because I was afforded a second chance.

Fortunately, I didn’t have to deal with a governor like Rick Scott.

There is of course a massive irony in all of this.

He’s a man with absolute dictatorial power who routinely denies people their right to vote after they’ve paid their debt back to society.

Scott doesn’t care if people turn their lives around.

He wants to keep them as second-class citizens- forever.

Shulman receiving his wife as a visitor while he was in prison.

25% of Florida’s black population is currently unable to vote due to prior felony convictions.

And right now, there’s more than 1.8 million people with felony convictions who have been permanently disenfranchised and cannot vote.

There is of course a massive irony in all of this.

In 1997, Scott’s healthcare company was charged by the federal government with the largest Medicare fraud in history.

Scott resigned as CEO during the investigation, pled the fifth 75 times when questioned by government attorneys, while the company pled guilty to 14 felonies and paid $1.7 billion in fines.

Scott lied his way out of criminal prosecution and a felony conviction.

Shulman showing off his book, “My Aunt Gloria” at Books & Books in Coral Gables.

He could easily have ended up as one of the millions of Floridians who are currently without their full civil rights restored.

But justice looks different for millionaires.

On November 6th, as Florida voters, we have the chance to change that.

We can take this issue out of the hands of politicians and give our fellow citizens their right to vote.

You’ll be amazed with what they do with it, if given the chance to be treated like everybody else.

Take it from my experience.

I was given a second chance and I made it count.

Others deserve the shot I got.

Vote for Amendment 4.

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