Neil was a Washington, DC, insider, a chief of staff for a powerful congressperson, a staff director for a congressional committee, a force to be reckoned with in conservative DC circles. But, he told us, “I got greedy. I got arrogant, and I made a bunch of stupid decisions, and crossed some lines I shouldn't have crossed, and I earned a felony conviction by breaking the law, and blew up my life in the process. I let a lot of people down.”
He came to Florida in 2008 looking to rebuild. He’d worked with the homeless in DC and continued doing that, but paying work was harder to come by. The former power broker found a job as a janitor. Eventually he started working with the FRRC and found his voice—which he’s used to advocate on behalf of others who, like himself, are now potentially barred forever from voting because of a mistake that they’ve already paid dearly for.
Talking about Amendment 4, he said, “I think ultimately we're all looking for a second chance… and we can see what happens when people are given a second chance: they prosper, the community gets better, and that's exactly what we're hoping will happen all across the state.”
We believe in second chances. Watch Neil’s full story: