- Author Bio
The inspiring and eye-opening true story of one man’s undying belief in the power of a fully enfranchised nation.
“You may think the right to vote is a small matter, and if you do, I would bet you have never had it taken away from you.” Thus begins the story of Desmond Meade and his inspiring journey to restore voting rights to roughly 1.4 million returning citizens in Florida—resulting in a stunning victory in 2018 that enfranchised the most people at once in any single initiative since women’s suffrage.
Let My People Vote is the deeply moving, personal story of Meade’s life, his political activism, and the movement he spearheaded to restore voting rights to returning citizens who had served their terms. Meade survived a tough childhood only to find himself with a felony conviction. Finding the strength to pull his life together, he graduated summa cum laude from college, graduated from law school, and married. But because of his conviction, he was not even allowed to sit for the bar exam in Florida. And when his wife ran for state office, he was filled with pride—but not permitted to vote for her.
Meade takes us on a journey from his time in homeless shelters, to the exhilarating, joyful night in November of 2018, when Amendment 4 passed with 65 percent of the vote. Meade’s story, and his commitment to a fully enfranchised nation, will prove to readers that one person really can make a difference.
Story Locale: Florida
Out just in time for the historic 2020 presidential election, where who gets to vote will be key, maybe especially in Fla.
Desmond Meade was named one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in 2019 for his role in the movement to restore voting rights to formerly incarcerated Floridians. Appeared on the cover of TIME magazine: floridapolitics.com/archives/293930-desmond-meade-recognized-by-time-as-most-influential
“The formerly incarcerated—returning citizens—often face a cruel irony in America. Having paid their debt to society, too many are banned from the ballot box that could help them dismantle policies that essentially extend their sentences. Desmond Meade decided to break this pattern for 1.4 million Floridians…It was the largest expansion of voting rights in a half-century, and Desmond made it happen.”—Stacey Abrams, in the bio she wrote for him in TIME100
He also appeared on the cover of The New York Times magazine: www.nytimes.com/2018/09/26/magazine/ex-felons-voting-rights-florida.html
Amendment 4 restored voting rights to as many as 1.4 million ex-felons; the largest expansion of voting rights in a half-century
Meade has appeared on Al-Jazeera, Democracy NOW and MSNBC with Joy Ann Reid, among dozens of other media appearances; he is a guest columnist for the Huffington Post
Marketing: Reader buzz campaign: giveaways through social media
Print and online advertising: targeting progressive readers interested in issues around political activism, antiracism and criminal justice reform, and voting rights
Academic promotion: Political Science, Sociology of Law, Race Studies, Criminal Law, Public Policy, Law and Society
Outreach to community organizers/activists involved with restorative justice, voting rights and dismantling white supremacy
Publicity: National/regional NPR campaign
Op-eds in national publications
Targeted outreach to criminal justice/law writers and writers covering public affairs and civic engagement
Events in FL
Author Social Media: twitter.com/desmondmeade
“[An] appealing debut memoir…This poignant account soars.”
“This is a moving and triumphant story of how ordinary citizens can make a difference.”
“Desmond Meade is one of my personal heroes, and his story is an inspiration for all those who aim to build a radically more inclusive democracy.”
—Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow