Keith Ellison

Recent Articles

Conferees defend all citizens’ voting rights

Keith Mayes

The struggle for democracy by Blacks for most of this country’s history has included the right to vote, a right that according to some is still being challenged. “Democracy is under siege,” proclaims U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). He and U.S. Congressman Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) held forums in North Minneapolis and Madison, Wisconsin on their constitutional Right to Vote Amendment.
Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Ellison proposes friendship societies

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and five other congressional Democrats last week sent a letter to both President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry urging the administration “to continue efforts to find a cease-fire agreement between Israel and Palestine.” Earlier this month, while speaking to a group of visiting young African leaders at the University Of Minnesota Humphrey School Of Public Affairs, Ellison said, “I think that the bes

t thing to do is for the United States to put more pressure on both sides to resolve the conflict.”

He made it clear to the 25 visitors in town for a six-week leadership program that his views were his own and not those of the U.S. or Congress. The congressman added that he believes that the United Nations has become outdated and badly need restructuring. “It’s a voluntary organization made up of countries. It’s a model that’s old and needs a lot of work. The world has changed a lot…

“I believe that if you have a leader of a country committing atrocities on civilians, the world can’t stand by and let it happen. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Visiting Africans prepare to become ‘transformative leaders’

Representing 18 countries, they say they are learning the most from each other.  
By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs this summer hosted 25 young African professionals in its first year as part of the Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The Center for Integrative Leadership operates under the auspices of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), which the Obama administration started in 2010 to “spur growth and prosperity, strengthen democratic governance, and enhance peace and security across Africa.”

Several of the 25 fellows, who have nearly completed their six-week leadership program, recently talked to the MSR.

“This program was partially appealing to me because it has an African focus and recognizes that there is opportunity for us to learn from other Africans,” noted Danielle Manuel, the deputy for infrastructure policies and strategies in the Department of Transport and Planning in South Africa. There were 50,000 applicants for the fellowships, from whom 500 were selected earlier this year to come to the States this summer, explained Helawi Beshah of Ethiopia. “I’m an architect [and] work for the government” at a local university, he said. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Communities of color bear the brunt of environmental hazards

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in June will announce a new “carbon rule.” The “common-sense” rule involves updating toxic air pollution standards, including new monitoring requirements for petroleum refineries of benzene, which can cause respiratory problems and other health concerns, and requiring updating of emissions from storage tanks, how gases are destroyed. EPA officials say if implemented the proposal could reduce toxic air emissions by 5,600 tons per year. Karen Monahan, a local environmental justice advocate, says the public comment period opens June 2. She helped organize the May 15 environmental forum at Kwanzaa Community Church, and told the packed room that everyone must let both the EPA and Washington lawmakers know that this rule is very important and should be fully supported. “We want to make sure it is a just carbon rule,” she explained, “because we know that communities of color bear a disapportionate burden when it comes to climate pollution. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

My Country ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future

Ellison’s bio a cutting-edge tale of resisting bias religious and racial
 
By Dwight Hobbes

Contributing Writer

 

Unequivocally a singular success, Congressional Rep. Keith Ellison is one of the more fascinating figures in contemporary politics — indeed, an unprecedented, historic presence. Anyone who doesn’t believe he’s capable of becoming the second Black president of these United States needs merely consider this: How likely was it that with the country still rankling from 9/11, he accomplished a virtually unthinkable feat — becoming the first Muslim elected to Congress? My Country ‘Tis of Thee: My Faith, My Family, Our Future (Gallery Books/Karen Hunter Publishing, $25) is a newly published memoir cum biography and, whether you admire or abhor his consistently controversial stands on hot-button issues — for instance, the proposed mosque at ground zero, downtown Manhattan site of Al-Kaida’s 2001 terrorist attack on America — the book is a significant, definitively informing work that belongs in the library of every American — Black, White, Brown, Muslim, Protestant, Catholic, whatever — who wishes to know what he or she is talking about when they discuss the consequence of Keith Ellison. It should surprise no one that a significant amount of the material here concerns itself with Ellison’s devotion to his religion. Along with being the first Muslim to hold his office, he historically is strongly vocal about Muslim Americans getting a fair shake in society. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

The MSR 2013 year in review

The local Black press continues to publish stories “from our own lens”
 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

This year, 2013, was historic as well as a year-long full of highs and lows: Two MSR reporters were among the national and international press that covered America’s first Black president’s second inauguration in January. Said Atlanta Daily World reporter Kenya King, a member of the Black press who was covering the Obama inauguration for the second time, “I’m here to capture…the moment of this historic occasion [and] to make sure that the message that should get across, does get across.”

A ‘new Black agenda’ was discussed by the Council on Black Minnesotans and others during the organization’s Lobby Day at the State Capitol on March 19. The MSR asked several Blacks in attendance that day if they felt new voices and perhaps a new message is needed from Black Minnesotans. “I think it is time for new voices to be heard,” believed Greater Friendship Missionary

Baptist Church Pastor Rev. Billy Russell in our March 28 front-page story. The MSR also continued its coverage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and the introduction of MNsure, the state’s new health-insurance exchange program and how the new healthcare law will benefit Blacks. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Confusion widespread on Affordable Care Act

 
Enrollment in new MN health insurance exchange begins in October 
 
 
 

 

By Charles Hallman

Staff Writer

 

 

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) will be in full force sooner rather than later, and U.S. Congressman Keith Ellison says every American will benefit from it. However, he sadly points out that there are “professional misinformation spreaders trying to confuse people” on the law. Ellison held two separate forums on the ACA July 2, first with local small business owners at the Minneapolis Urban League’s Northside headquarters, then with community folk across the street at the NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center. The first was attended by around 20 business people, but none were Black business owners. “We certainly reached out,” said Ellison of this absence. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Clearly, Black Americans can succeed at anything

 

 

To all of you feeding your children that fib that we are inferior to White people and will never be successful, please stop the madness. I was talking to someone last night who told me the reason we (African Americans) cannot succeed is because since slavery we have been told this over and over again. According to this person, we have been told that we are inferior and will never amount to anything and will always be inferior to White America. I take offense to that because my mother never got that memo. I don’t know why people buy into this propaganda, but please speak for yourself. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

North Minneapolis celebrates Earth Day

 

 
People of color most impacted by negative actions in the environment
 
 

 

By Jamal Denman

Contributing Writer

 

 

On Saturday, April 27, Environmental Justice Advocates of Minnesota (EJAM) and the Minneapolis chapter of the Sierra Club Environmental Justice Program played host to an Earth Day Celebration, held at the Kwanzaa Community Church in North Minneapolis. The event was an opportunity for the community to hear about how the treatment of the environment has an impact on their daily lives while enjoying some food, entertainment, and being in each other’s company. “It’s a celebration. It’s about bringing all kinds of different folks together to share information, to begin building authentic relationships, and to celebrate our connection to each other and our connection to the earth,” said Sierra Club Environmental Justice Organizer Karen Monahan. While many people like Monahan who are passionately involved in environmental justice believe the movement is gaining momentum, they feel that more work still needs to be done. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,

Keith Ellison deserves his own Fox ‘News’ program

By Isaac Peterson

Guest Commentator 

[Editor’s note: The MSR welcomes back its former staff writer with timely observations on Congressman Ellison’s controversial run-in with talk-show host Sean Hannity.]

 

If you don’t keep up with political Internet blogs, you might have missed a huge story that had left-leaning bloggers laughing and cheering and many bloggers on the right clutching their pearls and looking for a fainting couch. For the amount of handwringing and gnashing of teeth on the right, you would think Barack Obama had just declared himself president for life and outlawed the Republican Party. It turned out that, for them, it was something almost as horrifying: Congressman Keith Ellison had appeared on Sean Hannity’s Fox ”News” Network program. And he was mean to Sean. Hannity was doing his usual fact-free smearing of Obama, playing a montage of edited, out-of-context clips of Obama blaming the sequester on Republicans. Continue Reading →

Filed under: , , , , , , ,