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August 15, 2017
Bar CRC education effort launches in September

The Florida Bar will kick off its Constitution Revision Commission voter education campaign with a Tallahassee press conference on September 7 and is working with the CRC to provide educational videos on constitutional issues for commission members and the public.

Special Committee on the 2017 Constitution Revision Chair Sandy Diamond reported to the Board of Governors last month that the Bar is also filming a series of educational videos using community leaders from around the state.

The committee offered the Bar’s services to the CRC and commission staff responded by asking the Bar to “provide training videos for commissioners on our constitution. So we put our heads together with the assistance of the Young Lawyers Division . . . to film those courses,” Diamond said. “There will be 15 different ‘modules’ that the commission has asked for.”

Those 50-minute videos will be available on the commission’s website, and Diamond said they will also be available on the special website the Bar has set up for its CRC education campaign: protectfldemocracy.org.

Aside from that effort, the Bar has identified “regional messengers” from all across the state and is filming messages from them about the CRC process and how Floridians can get involved.

The committee is creating a speakers bureau and will offer sample speeches on the website, as well as a “toolkit” to help Bar members who want to educate others about the CRC.

The official launch of the Bar’s education campaign will be September 7 in Tallahassee and the committee is assembling materials as part of that, including posters of notable figures with quotes about the court system and the constitutional process, ranging from Alexander Hamilton to Neil Gorsuch, Diamond said.

She also reminded board members and Bar members that if they or clients have an interest in proposing a constitutional amendment, the CRC website, flcrc.gov, has a page where interested parties can propose amendments. Diamond said hundreds of amendments have already been submitted through the site.

Diamond and Bar President Michael Higer said the CRC committee is meeting weekly to flesh out the educational campaign and monitor the CRC activities. Diamond said the commission is on a hiatus for the remainder of the summer but will pick up with an active schedule in the fall, including considering and debating amendments.

She also noted that CRC members and former Bar presidents Bill Schifino and Hank Coxe have been appointed as chairs of CRC committees. Schifino heads the Judicial Committee while Coxe leads the Ethics and Election Committee. (See story in the August 1 Bar News.)

[Revised: 01-02-2018]