Restore Georgia voices call to boycott USA TODAY

If you have ever read the USA Today or stayed at a hotel where it is offered, you are going to be shocked to learn that they have caused a Veteran and Native American to lose a janitorial contract with the Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital outside of Chicago because, you guessed it, he is on the registry.

An “investigative reporter” named Josh Salman took it upon himself to single out Mr. Ezekiel Lopez and refer to him as a “sexual predator” in his article.¬† Mr. Lopez started his own janitorial company with his second chance and was recently awarded¬† a very large contract to provide janitorial services to the hospital.¬† Mr. Lopez was vetted and fully qualified for this contract.¬† After much public shaming by “reporter” Josh Salman and the USA Today, the VA decided to cancel Mr. Lopez’s contract.

In his “investigative piece” the “reporter” used Mr. Lopez’s testimony in court about his crime and went as far as to list his Date of Birth and Home Address in a nationally published newspaper.

Click here to read the USA Today article

While this story does not involve someone on the Registry in Georgia, we feel that the USA Today could use its national reach to destroy the life of someone in our state.  We are asking for you to put the USA Today and its partners/advertisers on notice.  You can do that in one or more of the following ways:

Cancel your Subscription

If you are currently subscribed to the USA Today, you can call 1-800-872-0001 to cancel your subscription.¬† Be sure to tell them that you are canceling because of Josh Salman’s hit piece on 8/11/2020.

Contact the USA Today

Contact the Reporter

Write to “reporter”¬†Josh Salman¬†at¬†[email protected].¬† You can also call him at¬†(941) 361-4967.¬† Let him know how you feel about his questioning “whether a child sex offender should be able to land lucrative public contracts funded by taxpayers.”¬† Be sure to educate him about¬†mislabeling people on the registry as “child sexual predators.”

Contact the Advertisers

There is a giant advertisement for Duracell running along with this article.¬† It would appear that¬†Duracell, a¬†Chicago based company, is supporting this type of “journalism.”¬† If you would like to let Duracell know that you don’t support businesses that enable these types of attacks on returning citizens, you can do so by contacting¬†Ankur Marwah, their Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing.¬† His email address is¬†[email protected].

Contact Hotels that provide USA Today to guests

If you are a member of or plan to stay at any of the following Hotel chains, consider calling them and asking them to end their relationship with USA Today because the paper is destroying lives and harming the community.

  • Hilton Worldwide¬†(Home 2 Suites, Homewood Suites, Hampton, Hilton Garden Inn, Embassy Suites, DoubleTree, Hilton Hotels & Resorts) –¬†1 (800) 445-8667
  • Mariott –¬†1 (800) 535-4028
  • Hyatt –¬†1 (800) 323-7249

Restore Georgia urges all county Sheriffs to suspend in-person sex offender registration

Today, Restore Georgia, an organization representing the 23,000 citizens on Georgia’s Sexual Offender Registry, mailed a letter to Executive Director J. Terry Norris of the Georgia Sheriffs‚Äô Association, Georgia Bureau of Investigation Director Vic Reynolds, and all 159 Sheriffs across our state urging them to implement strategies to reduce COVID-19 exposure among law enforcement officials and those required to register, as well as their families at home and the broader community.

During the annual registration verification process, people are required to be photographed and fingerprinted in-person. This hands-on registration process places officers at risk by forcing them to place hands on potentially dozens of people each day.

Restore Georgia is calling upon the Sheriffs of all Georgia counties to:

  • Suspend in-person registration requirements;
  • Waive or suspend enforcement of housing proximity restrictions;
  • Waive or suspend arrests and prosecutions for failure-to-comply offenses;
  • Suspend fees for registration;
  • Suspend in-person address verification.

Sheriffs departments across the State of Georgia should suspend rules and policies that are not essential to public safety or that contribute to the spread of COVID-19. These strategies allow law enforcement, on the front-lines of this catastrophe to dedicate more of their limited resources toward crisis intervention and emergency assistance.

Click here to read the letter.

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