Letters to the editor

December, 2021

PHOTO: Gordon Frazier / FS
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Welcome new Freedom Socialist readers!
Thank you for taking the opportunity of the half-off subscription sale to escape from corporate media. During the five-week drive, over 485 people and organizations in the United States and Australia took advantage of the half-off sale, including 252 new subscribers.
All of us on the staff hope you enjoy this and future issues of the paper. We would love to have your feedback on articles. Send your thoughts to FSnews@socialism.com. And if you’d like to speak with me directly, call 206-722-2453 during regular work hours (Pacific time zone). I look forward to hearing from you. — Margaret Viggiani, Managing Editor


VOTING RIGHTS
Both parties culpable
Your good story in the Oct–Nov 2021 issue on bills to weaken voting rights would have been better if it had mentioned the new laws that make it more difficult for minor parties and independent candidates to get on the ballot [“Racist anti-voter laws: a weapon to maintain the class status quo,” Vol 42, No. 5].
During 2021, Democratic and Republican state legislators alike voted to increase the number of signatures for presidential candidates in Arkansas, and for all minor party and independent candidates in Iowa.
Democratic and Republican legislators alike this year passed another bill in Texas to force minor party candidates to pay filing fees, which they have never before had to do because they nominate by convention, not primary.
And, earlier this month, California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed the bill to lower the petition for a new party from 10% of the last gubernatorial vote to 3%. He said it would confuse the voters if new parties got on the ballot.
Richard Winger, San Francisco


FREEDOM SOCIALIST
Price is too low
I wanted to renew my subscription to your newspaper but I lost the coupon [enclosed with Vol. 42, No. 5].
I planned to send in what I considered a reasonable amount for the valuable articles.
Then I found the coupon, which asked for less than I planned to send.
I suggest that you raise the amount you request.
Doug Noble via email
Editor’s note: We appreciate getting feedback like this from our readers. Please keep on writing.


UNPAID PRISON LABOR
Abolish it
I have been in correspondence with Senator Edward Markey about the Abolition Amendment and I thought your readers would be interested in his response. Hopefully, they will want to spread the word about this important issue.
Sen. Markey wrote to me that the U.S. Constitution’s 13th Amendment formally ended chattel slavery within the United States. But it did not end all forms of slavery. The 13th amendment allows slavery and involuntary servitude to exist as punishments for crimes for convicted persons.
From post-Reconstruction criminal codes to the Jim Crow era to the war on drugs, this “except as punishment” clause drove the over-incarceration and subsequent forced prison labor of Black Americans, particularly Black men.
The Abolition Amendment would right this wrong. This resolution would amend the Constitution by adding a new Article prohibiting the use of slavery and involuntary servitude as punishment for a crime.
The Abolition Amendment has a long way to go — starting with getting out of the Senate Judiciary Committee. It needs all to help it succeed.
Wiliam McDonagh, Garner, Massachusetts


ABORTION RIGHTS
It is everyone’s fight
Regarding abortion rights, I’m outraged that this personal health care decision, which the majority of Americans support, is facing another round of attacks. Without the ability to control your reproduction, your life is not your own.
We need to build pressure on the Supreme Court and all elected officials. All of us who believe in the right to choose must see this battle as part of our fight too.
Gina Petry, Seattle


The FS welcomes your feedback and opinions. Letters may be edited for length. Please write to 5018 Rainier Avenue S., Seattle, WA 98118, or email FSnews@socialism.com.

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