Florida

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.

——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——

Meet The Three Frenchmen Who Are Taking Over Miami’s Culinary Scene

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Interview: Jeff Greene Says He’s A “Good Billionaire” Who Can Bring Democrats Back To Power In Florida

What’s News In This Story?


–”There’s good billionaire and bad billionaires,” Jeff Greene told RISE NEWS. “I hope others will think of me as a good billionaire.”

—Here’s Something Else To Watch—

Opinion: South Dade Needs Rail Not More Buses

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Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it to editor@risenews.net.

“Shame On You FIU” March Takes North Miami By Storm

What’s News In This Story?


-Over a hundred protestors marched east on 135th St in North Miami to demand that FIU not build a road through the Arch Creek East Environment Preserve. 

-The city has opposed the plan to connect 135th St to the backside of the FIU North Campus for years because they say it would damage the preserve.

-North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin said that the city is preparing to sue in order to stop the project from going through. 

 

Watch Another Story: Meet Miami’s Queen Bee And Her Backyard Insect Revolution

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to editor@risenews.net.

 

WATCH: This FL State Senator Compared Spoons To AR-15s. Wait…What?

The Florida Legislature is not exactly filled with our best and brightest, as we’ve discovered in recent months.

But be that as it may, we are still able to be shocked by some of the dumb ass things that are said in Tallahassee.

Cue: Senator Dennis Baxley from Ocala.

In an interview with VICE NEWS, Baxley, who is well-known for his pro-gun views tried to deflect a reporter’s question about an assault weapons ban into some sort of weird morality lesson involving silverware.

You’ll just have to watch it to fully grasp the mind-bending stupidity:

Yes.

So in Baxley’s world, politicians should never pass any laws because it is very possible that someone is getting fat right now eating Haagen-Dazs.

WATCH: South Florida Kids Are Leading A National Revolution


This story is from The Miami Monster, a new brand focused on telling the true stories of what life is like for a young person living in South Florida. Be sure to also follow our founder Joel Franco on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest breaking news in the area.  You can send news tips to editor@risenews.net. 

FL School District Says It Will “Expel” Students Who Walk Out Of Class To Protest

While more than 30 South Florida schools walked out to protest America’s gun laws on Wednesday, one Florida school district was not prepared to let its students do the same.

The Levy County School board said that they would expel students who participated in the National Student Walkout on Wednesday.

The statement came in a Facebook post made on the official school board page.

“While students have a first amendment right of freedom of speech it cannot be done so in a manner that is disruptive to the school environment,” The official school board communication said. “We cannot have students just leaving campus without the proper checkout procedures being followed.”

Thousands of students in South Florida walked out from their schools to protest what they perceive as America’s weak gun laws.

READ MORE: Live Coverage-South Florida Students Walk Out En Masse To Demand Gun Control Changes

In some cases in South Florida, schools let their students out early to facilitate their right to protest.

The Coral Springs Police Department even deployed officers to keep students safe while protesting near busy streets.

The walk out movement has sprung up in the aftermath of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland last week.

Despite an incredible upswing in youth activism since the shooting, the Levy County School Board seems unmoved.

The Miami Monster called the Levy County School Board for comment but no one was available to speak to us in an official capacity.

The person who answered the phone said that students would be able to participate in a walkout, but only if a parent signed them out of school to do so.

“We do encourage supporting keeping our schools and campuses safe and encourage students to make their voices heard to policy makers,” The statement on the Facebook page reads. “I encourage you to encourage them to make sure that their opinions and voices are heard in a positive manner.”

Levy County School Board posted the controversial statement to its official Facebook page.

The statement then went on to cite the official board policy:

“Any student who participates in a boycott, walkout, sit-in, strike, or any similar
disruptive action which interferes with the orderly operation of the school shall be
deemed guilty of serious misconduct and shall be subject to suspension or
expulsion from school.”

Levy County is located in Northwest Florida and is one of Florida’s smallest and most conservative voting counties.

The School Board oversees 12 schools in total and serves a population of just over 40,000 people.

Over 70% of the county voted for Donald Trump in the 2016 election.

So what do you think? Should students run the risk of being punished for walking out of school to protest America’s gun laws? Tell us in the comments. 

Cover Photo Credit: @karlarosario10/ Twitter

—-

This story is from The Miami Monster, a new brand focused on telling the true stories of what life is like for a young person living in South Florida. Be sure to also follow our founder Joel Franco on Twitter to keep up to date with the latest breaking news in the area.  You can send news tips to editor@risenews.net. 

Andrew Gillum: The Pro-Weed Progressive Mayor Who May Be Florida’s Next Governor

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to editor@risenews.net.

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David Richardson Would Be The First Gay Congressman Ever Elected From The South. Will He Also Be Trump’s Nightmare?

What’s News With This Story: 

–Florida State Rep. David Richardson is a leading candidate for the Democratic nomination in Florida’s open 27th District Congressional race.

-The district is currently represented by retiring Republican Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. While Ros-Lehtinen has represented the district for over 30 years, it is Democratic leaning. Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump in the district by nearly 20 points in 2016. 

-Many national Republicans are concerned that the race is a lost cause. The GOP has had a hard time finding top-tier candidates to run while Democrats have 6 candidates who have raised over $200,000. (Some of the other contenders include former federal judge Mary Barzee-Flores, former Knight Foundation official Matt Haggman, state Senator Jose Javier Rodriguez, Miami Beach City Commissioner Kristen Rosen Gonzalez and Miami Commissioner Ken Russell. 

-Richardson has raised over $1 million for his effort and is considered one of the more viable contenders in the race. 

–Elected to the Florida House in 2012, Richardson became the first openly gay person ever elected to the Florida Legislature.

–A retired forensic auditor, Richardson made a splash in Tallahassee with his efforts to reform the state jail system. He was particularly focused on the way the state treated youthful offenders.

-He has spent over 800 hours personally inspecting state prisons by using a little known law that allows state lawmakers to show up to prisons unannounced. His efforts led to the closure of Lancaster Correctional Institution in Gilchrist County. 

-In an interview with RISE NEWS, Richardson said that he would be a progressive leader in Congress. He said that he would push for increased gun control measures including an assault weapons ban, work towards making the United States have a single payer healthcare system and roll back charter schools while defending “traditional” public schools. 

-Richardson also told us that he would push to impeach President Trump in Congress. He said that his skills as a forensic auditor would come in handy during impeachment proceedings. 


 

WATCH: David Richardson on how he wants to go after President Trump in Congress. 

WATCH: David Richardson on the issues. 

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to editor@risenews.net.

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Can This Millennial Lawyer Be Florida’s First Democratic Attorney General In 17 years?

NY Times Op-Ed Suggets Sunny Isles Beach Russians Could Be Key To Mueller Investigation

What’s News With This Story: 

– In a much talked about op-ed in the New York Times, the founders of Fusion GPS defended their investigation into Russia’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential campaign. 

-The founders of the research firm and authors of the piece, Glenn R. Simpson and Peter Fritsch pushed back against what they saw as Congressional Republican efforts to “chase rabbits” instead of going after the “bear”- President Donald Trump. 

–They said that in Congressional testimony, they informed members of Congress that they were concerned by the level of Russian involvement in the election. 

-Here’s the point that should draw attention to those in South Florida: “We told Congress that from Manhattan to Sunny Isles Beach, Fla., and from Toronto to Panama, we found widespread evidence that Mr. Trump and his organization had worked with a wide array of dubious Russians in arrangements that often raised questions about money laundering. Likewise, those deals don’t seem to interest Congress.”

–Sunny Isles Beach has become an area in recent years where scores of Russian families live. 

–There is also the Trump International Beach Resort located in Sunny Isles Beach. 


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This Millennial Haitian-American Activist Is Not Backing Down From A Fight With Trump

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital news magazine. Follow us on Facebook to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to editor@risenews.net.

Cover Photo Credit: Leandro Neumann Ciuffo

EXCLUSIVE: Senator Tried To Use Connection To FPL Lobbyist To Get Power On For Her Family Post Irma

One day after Hurricane Irma hit South Florida, Sen. Daphne Campbell tried to use her connections to get power turned on for her family. Meanwhile, millions sat in the dark.

How To Prepare For Hurricane Irma

Many people in South Florida have never experienced a Hurricane before.

The last big storm to hit the region was in 2005, so it has been a long time.

We’ve put together a simple video that includes the basics you need to prepare for Hurricane Irma:

Stay with Rise Miami News over the coming days as we cover Hurricane Irma’s impact on South Florida.

Here’s some additional links that may be helpful in preparing for Irma:

https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/six-ways-to-prepare-for-tropical-storms-hurricanes-atlantic-season/46771146

https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes

https://media.local10.com/document_dev/2017/05/25/2017%20Max%20Mayfield%20Betty%20Davis%20Hurricane%20Survival%20Guide%20Rev%205-25-17_1495730749631_9832391_ver1.0.pdf

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