I am a student at Patrick Henry High School and am writing to shed light on an issue I care about — one of the sections of the Minnesota State Constitution that addresses slavery and involuntary servitude in the state. I would like community support to change this language and am working to put a Constitutional Amendment on the 2020 General Election ballot to do so.
Currently, Section II of Article I reads as follows: “Sec.2. Rights and privileges. No member of this state shall be disfranchised or deprived of any of the rights or privileges secured to any citizen thereof, unless by the law of the land or the judgment of his peers. There shall be neither slavery nor involuntary servitude in the state otherwise than as punishment for a crime of which the party has been convicted.” I wish to see “otherwise than as punishment for a crime of which the party has been convicted” stricken from the Minnesota State Constitution.
This change is necessary and just because I feel that inmates should make minimum wage if working in prison because they need things while they are in there. And at the end of the day they still are human beings, and they are trying to do their time. I also feel that inmates should be treated like humans because even though they did some bad stuff they are trying to better themselves. The system denigrates people’s humanity by treating them like slaves and putting them down.
If you would like to see this same change, I encourage you to write to your Minnesota State Representative and request that an amendment to our state constitution be put on the 2020 General Election ballot. We can make this change if enough of us raise our voices and elevate the need for change.