Minor changes won’t fix major problems

On the last day of the special session, after Republican inaction on meaningful criminal justice legislation, the Senate members of the POCI Caucus released the following joint statement:

Minnesotans will not stand for the failure to act during this special session in the most pivotal point in our state’s history. This failure to address racial injustice within our criminal justice system is exactly what people are protesting nationwide and worldwide. Our government continues to be complicit to the killing of a Black man in broad daylight by officers in uniform and that must come to end. Nothing the Senate Republicans have offered will stop another Black person from being killed.

The POCI caucus will not stand in silence and we will call out the injustice in our own legislative process. There will not be a path forward until the majority caucus accepts that structural racism exists in our state and in our country. 

The callous disregard for the sanctity of Black lives begins by acknowledging there is an institutional problem that is killing Black children. 

There is no middle ground and there will be no compromise until our Black brothers and sisters receive redemption. 

Republican’s obstruction to any progress is evident, but we will continue to fight or they will have to answer to the public.

Senate members of the People of Color and Indigenous Caucus include Senator Foung Hawj, Senator Jeff Hayden, Senator Patricia Torres Ray, Senator Melisa Franzen, Senator Bobby Joe Champion.

Senator Melisa López Franzen
Melisa López Franzen represents District 49 in the southwest Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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Senator Foung Hawj
Foung Hawj represents District 67, which includes the east side of Saint Paul in Ramsey County in the central Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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Senator Jeff Hayden
Jeff Hayden represents District 62, which includes portions of south Minneapolis in Hennepin County in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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Senator Patricia Torres Ray
Patricia Torres Ray represents District 63, which includes portions of southeastern Minneapolis and eastern Richfield in Hennepin County in the Twin Cities metropolitan area.

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Senator Bobby Joe Champion
Bobby Joe Champion represents District 59, which includes portions of downtown and north Minneapolis in Hennepin County. He is also an attorney.

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