Time Magazine’s 2019 “100 Most Influential People” List includes Lady Gaga, Donald Trump, Michelle Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Dwayne Johnson. And it also includes Desmond Meade.

In 2005, Desmond Meade had three strikes against him. He was homeless. He was a drug addict. And he was a convicted felon. Reaching the lowest point in his life, he was prepared to commit suicide by jumping in front of a moving train. But according to Meade, the train “never came that day.” And he opted to check himself into a rehabilitation facility instead.

He set a new path for himself earning an associates, bachelors and law degree. And then Desmond set his sights on the passage of Florida’s Amendment 4. Officially known as the Voting Rights Restoration for Felons Initiative, Amendment 4 was a ballot initiative to restore the voting rights of an estimated 1.5 million Floridians with felony convictions. Political pundits gave the initiative very little chance of ever getting on the ballot let alone passing with the required 60% approval by the electorate.

It took Desmond and his team at the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition nearly a decade. But on November 6, 2018, Amendment 4 passed with 65% of the vote.

According to Meade, “On election night, the country got to see love winning the day. We had over 5.1 million votes, a million more than any candidate received. And those votes weren’t based on hate and fear, they were based on love, forgiveness, and redemption. Love actually won the day. Love destroyed that Jim Crow law.” We hope you’ll listen to Desmond’s incredible story.

 

Second Act Stories is a podcast that shares the stories of people who have made major career changes to pursue more rewarding lives in a second act. You can subscribe on iTunes, Stitcher, Spotify, GooglePlus or wherever you get your podcasts.

 

 

Published: June 20, 2019