I’ve had the pleasure of speaking to so many of you already via email, social media, and on our virtual vigils, but I want to introduce myself to those who may not know me yet: I’m Bridget Maloney, and I serve as FADP‘s Communications Coordinator.
I’m sending the opening email to you in 2024, because you are going to be hearing a lot from me this year, individually, and collectively. You will be hearing from me via email and on social media and I’ll be asking you to verify your contact information.
This is all because we are so excited to launch our “Not in Our Name” initiative, and I will ask you to share this campaign far and wide.
Luckily, we won’t be doing this alone. Later this week, FADP’s new Director of Organizing, Armando Garcia, will join our staff. Armando is a passionate and experienced organizer, and you will be hearing from him soon!
In 2023, Florida solidified itself as the most death penalty friendly state in the country, with the second-highest number of executions and the highest number of new death sentences imposed. However, as our Executive Director Maria DeLiberato pointed out in a Florida-specific follow-up report:
“[T]he ‘resurgence’ of non-unanimity in Florida does not mean that the attitudes of every day Floridians about the death penalty are any different than those nationwide. Individual Floridians, like the rest of the country, are trending away from the use of the death penalty.”
This is evidenced by the number of you who joined us at each heartbreaking execution vigil last year. In my communications role, I had the difficult task of telling the life stories of the six men who were executed at every virtual vigil. I helped share their stories and their trauma, as well as stories of their redemption. You stood with us at each vigil, and listened and honored not only the men who were executed, but also their victims. We collectively said, “Not in Our Name.” And we must keep saying it.
These tragic executions, and the expansion of Florida’s death penalty remind us that what we’re doing is important, why it is important, and that together we can accomplish our collective goal of ending Florida’s death penalty. In all the darkness of 2023, there was hope. There was truth-telling, connecting with one another, and growing our movement. And I’m carrying that hope with me into 2024. We are entering this new year stronger as an organization than we’ve ever been before.
We are in for another tough year, but I know that together we will persevere and continue to bring Florida closer to repeal. I invite you to meet and share Maria’s call to action for 2024: say Not in Our Name, and urge Florida lawmakers to really take a hard and honest look at the costs, both emotional and financial, of Florida’s broken death penalty.
Yours in the Struggle,
FADP Communications Coordinator
P.S. Please consider a donation (which you can now do using Venmo, Apple Pay, and PayPal!) today so that we can continue to do this life-saving work together.