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Collins Institute Leads Efforts to Engage Citizens in Constitutional Revision

The LeRoy Collins Institute (LCI) is joining with 18 partners statewide to educate and engage Floridians in the 2017-2018 Constitution Revision Commission. The commission is a group of 37 people who are appointed to review and recommend changes to the Florida Constitution for voter consideration. This important event happens once every 20 years. LCI has convened groups across the state to form the Partnership for Revising Florida’s Constitution, which will lead a public education campaign on the significance of the upcoming Constitution Revision Commission and encourage citizens to get involved.

In collaboration with The Florida Bar and the Florida Law Related Education Association, LCI is also releasing the Citizens’ Guide to the Constitution Revision Commission. The Citizens’ Guide breaks down the essential elements of the Constitution Revision Commission in an easy-to-understand format. It will be distributed widely across the state and is also available electronically at this website.

“The Constitution Revision Commission only happens once every 20 years and it is too important for citizens to miss out on,” said Dr. Carol Weissert, director of the LeRoy Collins Institute. “We want the people of Florida to understand how crucial their participation is and encourage them to get involved at every step of the process.”

At a press conference to announce the partnership, October 27, Weissert also stressed the partnership's goal of engaging young people, including university undergraduates. To that end, the partnership has also established presences on Facebook and on Twitter @reviseFLcon.

The first step in the partnership is a kick-off event, “Anticipating the 2017-2018 Constitution Revision Commission,” October 28 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Florida State University Turnbull Conference Center. The event features three panel discussions with members of previous Constitution Revision Commissions. The Florida Channel will livestream the event on their website.

Funding for the Partnership for Revising Florida’s Constitution has been generously provided by the Jesse Ball duPont Fund. The Partnership is led by the LeRoy Collins Institute and includes the Bob Graham Center at UF, Center for Governmental Responsibility at UF, the Community Foundation for Northeast Florida, Florida Association of Counties, The Florida Bar, The Florida Bar Foundation, Florida Chamber Foundation, Florida Justice Association Research and Education Foundation, Florida Law Related Education Association, Florida League of Cities, Florida Philanthropic Network, Florida Press Association, Florida TaxWatch, Justin Sayfie, Leadership Florida, League of Women Voters of Florida, Florida NAACP and the Virgil Hawkins Chapter of the National Bar Association.