When I served as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I became aware of the travesty that modern slavery today affects more than 27 million people worldwide. Working with others we passed legislation to begin to counter this in a more effective way.

I think it is more than timely to strike any reference to slavery from our state constitution, and I appreciate the work of those leading the effort to do so.

Bob Corker

Former United States Senator from Tennessee

Tennessee’s Constitution should make no exceptions when it comes to justice for all. I encourage everyone to vote Yes On 3 to make Tennessee a place where slavery is completely illegal without exception.

Rep. Vincent Dixie

Chairman, Tennessee State House Democratic Caucus

Every person has been created in the image of God and nothing a person does changes that. Slavery, in any form, is an attack on the image of God. There should not even be a hint of slavery in our State Consitution. Vote ‘Yes’ on Amendment 3.

Rev. Dr. Kevin Riggs

Senior Pastor, Franklin Community Church

No matter where you come from or what you look like, we all agree that slavery, in any form, is unacceptable and immoral. Our Tennessee Constitution should reflect those values, too.

Yes on 3 represents our first and best opportunity to eliminate all slavery, with no exceptions, from the Tennessee Constitution. In November, please vote Yes on 3.

Sen. Raumesh Akbari (D)

Chairman, Tennessee State Senate Democratic Caucus

I support Yes On 3 because it is the right thing to do and is long overdue. It is a simple bipartisan signal that we are all united in Tennessee to move into the future in a positive way. I am proud to support this effort with so many others.

Gerald McCormick (R)

Former Leader, Tennessee State House Republican Caucus

There is absolutely no place in the world where slavery should exist, and certainly not within the Tennessee State Constitution. I am honored to work with my Republican and Democratic colleagues who overwhelmingly share the common belief that words matter. 

Rep. Bob Freeman (D)

Tennessee State House Representative

Over the next several months, we’ll be educating our constituents about this non-partisan referendum to finally rid our constitution of relic slavery language that predates the passage of the 13th Amendment. While Republicans and Democrats might disagree on a lot of things, we can all agree that forced slavery and indentured servitude have no place in Tennessee.

Rep. Jeremy Faison (R)

Chairman, Tennessee State House Republican Caucus

This November, we can finish the work of emancipation by voting to eliminate archaic language from our state constitution. Slavery has no place in our country, in practice or law, and I’m proud to serve on the Yes on 3 board to ensure it’s forever abolished in our state.

Tim Kelly (I)

Mayor, City of Chattanooga

Slavery has no place in modern society, especially in our state’s constitution. I am pleased to join this bipartisan group of elected officials and help draw attention to this issue so that Tennesseans can vote for change.

Jim Strickland (D)

Mayor, City of Memphis

The Tennessee Constitution reflects the values of her people and it is past time we remove the language of slavery from our Constitution. Join me in voting YES on Amendment 3.

Rep. Darren Jernigan (D)

Tennessee State House Representative

Our state constitution must reflect the values we support and defend as Tennesseans. It is the duty and responsibility of every Tennessean to demonstrate our commitment to equality by voting YES on Amendment 3 this November.

Rep. Sam Whitson (R)

Colonel (US Army - Retired) and Tennessee State House of Representatives

This November, Tennesseans are going to vote Yes on 3 and fix a moral mistake made in our state Constitution more than 150 years ago. By voting Yes on 3, voters are saying, once and for all, that slavery deserves no place in the Tennessee Constitution.

Rep. Gloria Johnson (D)

Tennessee State House Representative

In November, Tennesseans are coming together across party lines to eliminate slavery from our state constitution by voting Yes on 3. We have learned from the abhorrent history of slavery and convict leasing and, together, we are declaring it will not be repeated ever again.

Sen. Heidi Campbell (D)

Tennessee State Senator

All men are created equal and all are created in the image of God. Our Tennessee constitution should declare this basic right. Vote Yes on 3.

Rep. Mark White (R)

Tennessee State House Representative

Slavery is evil – it has no place in the life of any person and no place in the Tennessee Constitution. Yes on 3 is something every Tennessean, regardless of politics, can agree on.

Rep. Mike Stewart (D)

Tennessee State House Representative

I support the Yes On 3 campaign. Given that our constitution is the bedrock of our system of government, it is vital that it clearly states our values and beliefs without leaving room for errant interpretations. I look forward to seeing a document that contains no exception to the prohibition of involuntary servitude and/or slavery.

Rep. Kevin Vaughan (R)

Tennessee State House Representative

I am excited about the opportunity we will have this November to do the right thing.  In America, and specifically Tennessee, slavery, and any reference to it in our State Constitution, should be totally abolished.  This is not a partisan issue and I feel certain that all Tennesseans, regardless of party affiliation, would support this initiative.  I sincerely hope that everyone will do the right thing this November and vote YES on 3 and support removal of any reference to slavery, once and for all, in the great state of Tennessee.

Rep. Eddie Mannis (R)

Tennessee State House Representative

I look forward to the day when middle and high school history and social studies teachers in Tennessee can teach their students that not only was slavery abolished but it also is no longer in our state constitution. That can only happen if we vote Yes on amendment 3.

Rev. Dr. Rep. Harold Love, Jr. (D)

Tennessee State House Representative

Amendment 3 is something I’m passionate about. I’m proud of the work we’ve done on both sides of the aisle to get it in front of voters. It’s time we as Tennesseans say once and for all that slavery is forever banned in Tennessee without exception.

Sen. Brenda Gilmore (D)

Tennessee State Senator

Tennessee, we have the power to make a positive change that will last forever. By voting “Yes” on Amendment 3, we are abolishing all forms of slavery in the Tennessee Constitution. It’s the right thing to do and I am proud to be a part of this campaign for justice.

Sen. Sara Kyle (D)

Tennessee State Senator

Voting Yes on Amendment 3 is the right thing to do. I will be introducing a Resolution in the National Conference in November encouraging all states, not just Tennessee, to remove slavery from their constitutions.

Rep. Larry Miller (D)

Tennessee State House Representative

Slavery is a horrific stain on our nation’s history. Tragically, today we continue to fight the severe exploitation of other human beings through modern-day slavery and sex trafficking on a world-wide scale.  Voting ‘yes’ on Amendment 3 will forever prohibit slavery in any form in Tennessee.  We must never allow the mistakes of our past to be repeated in the future.

Rebecca Alexander (R)

Tennessee State House Representative

It is certainly long overdue for Tennessee to explicitly abolish slavery in our state constitution. The evils of slavery cannot be understated, and I am glad to vote Yes on Amendment 3.

Sen. Ken Yager

Tennessee State Senator

The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce, on behalf of our membership and leadership, support removing slavery language from the state constitution. We join community leaders and elected officials from both parties to encourage your vote of Yes on Amendment 3.

Ralph Schulz

President and CEO, Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce

“In Memphis, we’re building an inclusive economy with the goal of generating prosperity for all. That’s why I encourage all to vote yes to Amendment III to our state constitution to proactively ensure that the inhuman and inhumane practices of slavery and involuntary servitude are never used again.”

Beverly Robertson

President and CEO, Greater Memphis Chamber

My great-great-grandfather who was enslaved was killed in the Civil War. Five years after the war ended, the Tennessee Constitution was amended to prohibit slavery — but one exception remained: Article 1, Section 33 of the Constitution still says, “That slavery and involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime…”.

It is most unfortunate that although slavery was abolished the TN Constitution does not reflect this hard-fought battle. Voting yes on 3 is the opportunity for us to get it right.

Rev. Dr. Judy Cummings

Retired Pastor, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

It is time to remove this reference to slavery in our Constitution and move forward with resolve to never let this happen again.

Ken Moore

Mayor, City of Franklin

Words matter. Tennesseans have the opportunity to relinquish the vestiges of slavery and make a statement on the direction of our state. Moving forward means voting Yes on 3.

Rep. Jason Powell (D)

Tennessee State House Representative

Even today, slavery remains a global issue affecting 27 million people and generating more than $150 billion in illegal gains through sex trafficking and forced labor. Voting YES on Amendment 3 this November is our opportunity to forever declare that this sort of business has no place in Tennessee.

Ryan Egly

President and CEO, Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce

I did not fully appreciate the significance of Amendment 3 until I recently read an article on Lone Rock stockage in Tracy City, TN. At Lone Rock, prisoners were leased from the prison to work in the coal mines, railroads, and foundries for Tennessee Coal, Iron & Railroad. This is still legal in Tennessee, and passing Amendment 3 would put a stop to it. I’m voting Yes on Amendment 3 and I hope you will too.

Rep. Kent Calfee

Tennessee State House Representative

As we work to end modern-day slavery and human trafficking around the world, we must start with doing the right thing here at home. Slavery has no place in our state constitution, and its inclusion is antithetical to who we are as Tennesseans. I’d encourage everyone to vote on YES on 3, and let’s take this step together toward the more inclusive state we ought to be.

John Cooper

Mayor, City of Nashville