Congressman Keith Ellison represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Congressman Keith Ellison represents Minnesota’s 5th Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Choose Bernie Sanders as the Presidential Nominee
In this moment of historic unrest, when our democracy has slipped into oligarchy and the threat of fascism has emerged, WE THE PEOPLE call on the Democratic National Convention, its pledged delegates and super delegates, to take historic action to save our democracy. We call on you to choose Senator Bernie Sanders as the Democratic Presidential nominee. Yes, we know that Sanders has endorsed Clinton. We, however, cannot vote for her - and neither will millions of other Americans. We call on you to choose Sanders. Our reasons include the following: 1. HISTORIC PRECEDENTS FOR NOMINATING A 2ND-PLACE CANDIDATE. Nominating Conventions exist in order to assess everything that has been learned during the primary season, and which candidate can best win the general election. Two of our greatest Presidents were chosen at conventions after a second-place finish in the primaries: Dwight D. Eisenhower (who had won only 26% of the primary vote) and Abraham Lincoln (who had won 22%). Both were chosen during times of great change and upheaval. Now is such a time. 2. SANDERS MORE LIKELY TO WIN THE GENERAL ELECTION. Senator Sanders is the candidate who can win. Democrats make up only 28% of registered voters. Elections are decided by the Independents, who now outnumber Democrats and Republicans combined. Sanders is wildly popular with Independents, enjoying 70% support plus 44% of Democrats. These 2 numbers add up to a landslide victory in a General Election. This is why, in polls showing 1-to-1 match-ups between Sanders-Trump, Sanders consistently wins by 9-12 points, while Clinton is basically tied with Trump. For example, this latest poll of swing states, Quinnipiac, June 21, 2016: https://www.qu.edu/news-and-events/quinnipiac-university-poll/2016-presidential-swing-state-polls/release-detail?ReleaseID=2359 The latest overall national poll of registered voters shows Sanders' favorability rating is 59%, Clinton 42%, Trump 40%. Moreover, Sanders' favorability rating with non-whites is 77%, whereas Clinton's is only 64%, (CNN/ORC poll, June 21, 2016). http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2016/images/06/21/rel7b.-.2016.general.pdf Thus it is clear that Sanders' popularity has grown significantly, while Clinton's has declined. Moreover, these polls date from just BEFORE the FBI came out with their highly critical report of Secretary Clinton, showing that she had lied under oath to Congress. 3. CLINTON AS NOMINEE WILL LEAD TO LOW TURNOUT.Since Clinton is viewed unfavorably by the vast majority of eligible voters. Democratic turnout will be extremely low if she is the nominee. This will also damage down-ballot races. 4. SANDERS HAS THE MESSAGE FOR OUR TIME (BREXIT EXAMPLE). Senator Sanders is the candidate who can win because his message has the ring of authenticity and it resonates with our time. The recent BREXIT shows that working families are willing to go to severe measures to express both their frustration with the establishment and their desperate need for a less corporate-dominated society. If Secretary Clinton is the nominee, a similar revolt could take place: a right-wing extremist in the White House. 5. CLINTON CONSIDERED UNTRUSTWORTHY. There is widespread and growing concern among the American people, especially Independents, about Clinton’s questionable ethics and lack of trustworthiness. Since the revelation (via Comey's report and Chavez' questioning) that Clinton lied to Congress under oath about her emails, recent polls show that she is viewed as much less trustworthy than Trump - a notorious liar. 6. SIGNIFICANT NEW INFO HAS CAUSED VOTERS TO CHANGE THEIR MINDS SINCE THE SPRING ELECTIONS.The results of the primary elections are meaningless since voters did not know at the time that the State Department IG and the FBI would both be denouncing the Secretary as they recently have; and that Secretary Clinton lied under oath to Congress (113 classified emails at the time they were sent - not Zero as she said); and that the State Dept would re-open its investigation, as has now happened; and that the House Oversight Committee and Judicial Committee would request a perjury investigation, as has now happened.... To assume that Clinton still has the support of all, or even most, of the people who voted for her in the spring would be naive and dangerous. 7. PERCEPTIONS OF SIGNIFICANT ELECTION IRREGULARITIES FAVORING CLINTON. There is widespread concern and anger against the DNC for a lack of neutrality in its handling of the 2016 primaries. This includes an unprecedented number of superdelegates “pledging” to Clinton before the campaign began; widespread election irregularities, purges, etc.; and significant discrepancies between exit polls and official results, favoring Clinton in virtually every case. A class-action lawsuit against the DNC was filed in Federal court on June 28, alleging illegal manipulation and deceit in the DNC's handling of the primary. Several other lawsuits are pending in other states, including California. The superdelegates now have the opportunity to correct the impression of pre-campaign bias, by using their positions thoughtfully to evaluate all that has transpired and choose the candidate who can best win the confidence and affection of the American people. On July 18, Election Justice USA issued a thorough and scathing report of the fraud during the Democratic primaries. Written by 2 prominent statisticians and an award-winning investigative journalist, it is an extensive documentation of the election fraud in 22 states. With many links, charts and graphs, they conclude: Trump's victory was real, Hillary's was not. "It is hard to conceive of a legitimate transfer of power following an election that has been this flawed. We recommend... these elections be examined and, if found to be inaccurate, decertified. Where paper ballots are available, count them by hand. Where they are not available, it would be more equitable to hold a 2nd vote, one that does not utilize electronic voting equipment. We understand that this is unprecedented." https://drive.google.com/a/apollosfire.org/file/d/0B2gyJMIH8GERVHV3NjhOTVZmaTg/view Video evidence shows that senior Clinton campaign staff instructed interns and younger staff to systematically cheat and break the law. "Whatever you can get away with, just do it," said a Clinton campaign lawyer to her trainees - caught on camera. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rhI6bMbhsDE 8. SANDERS HAS WISDOM AND AUTHENTICITY. Senators Sanders is the candidate who can win because he is an authentic, experienced, incorruptible, and fearless public servant. He has demonstrated, through speeches on the floor of Congress, that he foresaw in advance the complex worldwide problems we now face, including the dangers of the deregulated banks which led to our financial collapse; the growing income inequality which has now become a crisis; and the consequences of the Iraq war. 9. SANDERS REPRESENTS THE FUTURE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. Senator Sanders has brought millions of new voters into the Party, but those people will leave if he is not the nominee. He is the overwhelming preference of voters under the age of 45. This means that by 2024, Sanders’ vision will most likely be the overwhelming philosophy of voters under age 53. The Democratic Party has a choice: to become the party of the new reality, or a relic of the past. We, the undersigned, will not and cannot vote for Secretary Clinton, nor any other candidate put forward by the DNC, other than Bernie Sanders. Millions of us are lifelong Democrats who will leave the Party if Bernie is not the nominee. We will ONLY vote for Bernie, who has our trust, our confidence, and frankly – our love. LOVE TRUMPS HATE.
Demand the Immediate Release of Oromo Peace Activist Bekele Gerba and other Political Prisoners from Ethiopian Prison
(Photo Credit: Mahafreen H. Mistry/NPR) On the evening of Dec 23, 2015, Bekele Gerba, was at home, reading at his desk in the company of his wife and son when armed Ethiopian federal security forces surrounded his home, entered and searched his house against his will, and forcibly arrested him. His family and witnesses were told that he would be taken to Makalawi, an infamous high security prison where they could visit him in 24 hours. But they were not allowed to see him. The day he was scheduled to appear in court, he disappeared. Later, he was taken to a hospital where word got out that he had been beaten to unconsciousness during an interrogation at a military camp. He continues to be denied visitation. Right now, he is being held incommunicado, and we have grave concerns that his health is deteriorating. Bekele Gerba is the Deputy Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress party and a widely respected peace advocate. He is a renowned voice for nonviolence, urging only peaceful forms of resistance to violent oppression in Ethiopia. He envisions peaceful struggle as the preferred means for attaining democracy, unity, and justice. He has become a significant voice of this generation. His arrest late December was not his first. In August 2011, following a meeting with Amnesty International about Ethiopia’s human rights violations, Bekele was imprisoned, charged under the 2009 Anti-Terrorism proclamation and sentenced to eight years. Similarly trumped up charges are frequently used to silence any voice of opposition to the government. He was released in late March 2015 upon appeal, and upon his release, he was invited to the U.S. to deliver keynote remarks at an academic conference. He spent a week in Washington, meeting with members of the diplomatic community. He met with Congress members, State Department officials, media outlets and human rights groups. He gave an interview to NPR’s Michele Kelemen about the lack of political space in Ethiopia and to Al Jazeera’s The Stream. Recently, he spoke to Al Jazeera about the Ethiopian government’s violent crackdown on widespread Oromo protests against proposed large-scale land takeovers that will displace millions of farmers. For most of his life, Bekele was a professor of foreign languages. A few years ago, he declared that he could not simply witness the widespread and systematic oppression, ethnic persecution and grievances of his people, the Oromo, and the Ethiopian government’s merciless targeting and killing of the Oromo. Amnesty International reported, “between 2011 and 2014, at least 5000 Oromos have been arrested based on their actual or suspected peaceful opposition to the government.” Dejene Tafa, the legal advisor to OFC, was also recently arrested, as was Addisu Bulala, Desta Dinka, Singer Hawi Tezera, Birra Gemedi, Hailu Adugna, poet Goshu Girma, journalist Getachew Shiferaw, young students Lomitu Waqbulcho and Hirut Tola, news anchor Fikadu Mirkana and many more. Right now, thousands upon thousands of civilians are being rounded up, arrested, tortured or killed by federal security for participating in peaceful Oromo protests. UPDATE (September 4th, 2016) It was reported that yesterday, a large fire broke out in Qilinto prison, where Bekele is being held. It was also reported that the fire was intentionally started by government agents and that security forces shot at prisoners trying to escape the fire. Twenty-two burned bodies were taken to Paulos Hospital, 13 more have died at Tor Hacloch Hospital, and 14 more have died at Police Hospital. It is unclear whether Bekele is one of the many who have died. It has now been over 8 months since the arrest of Bekele Gerba and hundreds of others prisoners of conscience. Despite his imprisonment, Bekele has continued to remain a leader and voice of reason amidst the escalating violence and terror that the Tigrayan-led Ethiopian government has continued to perpetuate against innocent citizens. More recently, he called for a mourning campaign across the world to mourn the martyred people of Oromia and Ethiopia and the immediate release of all political prisoners. Although it is unclear whether Bekele remains with us today, please continue to support and share this petition to others, to stand for Bekele's call for the immediate release of all political prisoners from the torturous conditions of Ethiopian prisons, and to not let his sacrifices as well as the sacrifices of all political prisoners be in vain. “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”- MLK
Congress: Support the Disability Community Act of 2016
Dear Congress, We urge you to grant a temporary increase in federal Medicaid funding for providers of intellectual and developmental disability community services. By temporarily increasing Medicaid funding for providers, organizations like Laura Baker Services Association and others can continue to provide the highest level of service to clients while fairly compensating caregivers for their tremendous work and ensuring that we comply with federal overtime rules. Granting this temporary increase will provide a lifeline that will enable us to keep service quality stable while advocates seek to permanently increase Medicaid rates. Help disability services providers comply with the Department of Labor’s revision of the overtime exemption rule by supporting the Disability Community Act of 2016 (H.R. 5902), a bill that will provide a three-year, targeted and temporary funding bump to providers so that they can comply with new federal rules not funded under current fixed Medicaid rates.
#ProgressiveDisruption by the States
What happened to make this country the focus of judgment, laughter, and fear from the rest of the world? The industrialized world outside of the United States enjoys a better quality of life and general happiness that most of us can only imagine. First class education, comprehensive health care, clean food/water/air and an overall better relationship with their fellow citizens. And as a country, we have higher mortality rates at younger ages, poorer health, and an impoverished population who can't learn new skills without going deeper into debt. As much as we like to blame Donald Trump for our national problems; these problems were here before him, and they will still be here if Trump is removed from office tomorrow. We have a political system that centralizes power to a consolidated political center in Washington, DC and an economic center in New York City. Our Electoral System will isolate the power to determine the direction of our political system to a very small, easily manipulated portion of the electorate in strategic location. Worst of all, we have a large portion of the population who will empower a mentally unstable man to the highest office in the world; just so they can say “We Won”. This group is constantly complaining about a simple world with plentiful jobs in their communities that are extinct or never really existed. And now, they have the nerve to complain about losing the federal government programs they benefitted from and voted against. It's time we said “ENOUGH” and have Progressive States and Communities band together and share resources and ideas to provide a better quality of life for its people, that the Trump Administration wants to take away. And furthermore, we need to ensure that we only support States and Communities who will change their policies for its people. We can no longer provide assistance to Red States, just so they can abuse and neglect their citizens for business interests. For the future of this nation, we need to explore every legal method possible to protect the people from an extremely dangerous President Trump. A Values Based Alliance of the States (VBAS) is one way of resisting this new reality of government, and the dangerous changes that we all know are inevitable. I understand that the constitution will not allow us to directly stop this monstrosity, but it will allows us to devalue it. A VBAS of certain states with similar values and policy preferences can and will use its population centers and economic influence to co-op, share resources, and implement policies with other co-opted states, while not having to depend on or engage the federal government. Examples: There are certain states with a majority of people that believe single payer healthcare system (CA, MA, VT, NY, WA, OR, IL, HI.). If those states passed laws to provide single payer health care for it’s people, a Single Payer Healthcare VBAS organization of those states can share resources to improve efficiencies, expand medical training/education amongst the co-opted states, negotiate pharmaceutical/treatment, amend needed tax policies and petition the US Government. This would also force neighboring states to decide if they want to change their internal policies to provide single payer, so they can join the Health Care VBAS. A resident of Indiana might ask his state to join the VBAS, because he could literally see his next door neigbor in Illinois fully covered, and using a Doctor that just came back from his training at a medical school in California. Although the VBAS states can not legally sign the Paris accords, they can change their internal policies to abide by its recommendations. There could be an environmental protection VBAS, where the states involved agree to abide by the Paris accords, improve safety protocols within its states, take climate change seriously, and provide economic preference to states and nations that do the same. CA, OR, NY, MA, VT, WA HI, and NV could agree to be a preferred customer of states or nations that voluntarily reduces its carbon emissions and address climate change, instead of LA or TX, which most likely will not. Other issues could include minimum wage, education, trade agreements, gun control and virtually every policy not adjudicated solely to the federal government. As more VBASes are organized and more states agree to join them, Donald Trump and the ignorance of future presidents become less and less relevant. Please sign this petition and pass it on to as many people as possible.
Tulsi Gabbard for House Minority Leader! #TulsiForLeader
After the stunning loss to Donald J. Trump and the Republicans, we must reevaluate the leadership in the Democratic Party. Not only should we support Keith Ellison to be DNC Chair but we should also support the Progressive, Sanders supporter, war veteran, and champion for all Americans Tulsi Gabbard to run to be the House Minority Leader. Currently the House minority leader is Nancy Pelosi and she has been in that position for quite some time. It is time to get more progressives to leadership positions. Tulsi Gabbard would be a fine choice for this position in the house.
Protect Shareholders. Strike the Financial Choice Act 2.0.
Shareholder democracy is being profoundly threatened by Section 844 of the Financial CHOICE Act 2.0. This new legislation, which was heard by the Congressional Financial Services Committee on April 26 and then passed by the House on June 8, contains a provision that would fundamentally impair investors' rights to file shareholder resolutions. It is now scheduled to be voted on in the Senate. The new rule would permit only a tiny fraction of the globe’s wealthiest investors (those who own more than 1% or more of a company’s stock) to file shareholder proposals. For example, raising the ownership requirement to 1% would leave only 11 investors with enough shares ($3 billion) necessary to file shareholder proposals at Wells Fargo. All other shareholders would be blocked from using their shareholder rights to address equity, justice, sustainability, climate, risk, and good governance issues. Sign our petition and make your voice heard. We will be sending signatures, as well as the letter linked below, to the Senate. Let’s work together to defeat this destabilizing legislation that will profoundly affect consumers, investors, and the economy at large.
The American Public Wants to See Trump's Tax Returns
I believe many American citizens disagree with this recent statement from Donald Trump: "You know the only ones who care about my tax returns are reporters." Trump argued that the public doesn't care and that it's an issue only important to reporters. So let's prove him wrong. By providing his tax returns, Mr. Trump can prove once and for all that his conflicts of interest will not impede his presidency. We the people expect to be led by a person of integrity, honesty, and strong moral character. Mr. Trump, as citizens of this great nation we would like to see your tax returns so we can be certain managing our country is your only priority.
DNC must bid farewell to Bernie for the sake of the Democratic Party.
Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is not a Democrat. A political Independent and self described Democratic-Socialist, Bernie has spent thirty years in political office. One might even say, in the "establishment". Though he has indeed caucused with Democrats, he has also voted with Republicans (e.g., in favor of gun manufacturers over safe gun laws, and against an immigration reform bill that would have granted legal status to millions of undocumented immigrants), and then there's his affinity for socialism. Bernie tends to apply a litmus test of purity to his votes. If it doesn't suit his conscience, regardless of the larger picture or bipartisan effort to find common ground, Bernie votes as Bernie wants. This is the safety of being an Independent. There is no question that Bernie garnered the support and adoration of millions during the Election of 2016. He is credited with attracting young people into the Democratic process by creating an accessible, grassroots movement. Bernie's message of economic populism cut across demographics. However, now is not the time to re-hash the election. In fact, that is precisely the point of this petition. The wounds are still fresh. This petition is for the life-long Democrat, the loyal Democrat, the 2nd and 3rd generation Democrat, the Democrat who has showed up election after election to vote for the best Democrat in the race. This is especially for the Democrat who fought hard in support of the most qualified person ever to run for the office of President - who also happened to be a woman, Hillary Clinton. There is no denying that the 2016 Democratic Primary was one of the most divisive in modern times. Again, now is not the time to re-hash the specifics or to point fingers. We've done enough of that. What we need now is to honor Democrats and to invite anyone who truly shares the ideals of the Democratic Party to stand with us. No purity tests. Democrats understand all too well the compromises, the sacrifices, and the hard work that can take decades to bear fruit. This is what we do. This is who we are. Bernie Sanders is not a Democrat. He has stated that fact time and time again. We respectfully request that the DNC Chair, Tom Perez and Deputy Chair, Keith Ellison bid a kind farewell to Bernie and hand the mic to a Democrat, preferably a woman and/or poc. Sincerely, Democrats
Shut Down Northern Metals!
Northern Metal Recycling (metal shredder) is responsible for the highest levels of airborne lead in the state, and we are pushing to revoke Northern Metal’s air quality permit. Northeast and North Minneapolis residents, especially young children, are affected by this airborne lead. Please leave a public comment with your concerns to help shut down Northern Metals.
DNC Delegates & Super Delegates: Only Bernie can defeat Trump
(First, we MUST have a roll call vote, all the Democrats who cast their votes for a candidate and in turn voted in delegates to cast that vote at the DNC MUST be heard and recorded. This is democratic.) Bernie Sanders is simply the best candidate to beat Donald Trump; Delegates and Super Delegates please cast your votes accordingly. An average of the entire summary of all polling data compiled over the course of the election confirms this: Sanders leads Trump nationally +10.4 Hillary is slightly above at +3.2 Do Democrats REALLY want to Win the White House? The Democratic Party claims that Winning the White House is their top priority, along with defeating Trump. It's time to look at the facts and look at who is the best candidate to achieve these goals; goals taken straight from the DNC. DEMOCRATS ARE FOCUSED ON WINNING ELECTIONS, PERIOD. Case in point #1: When Bernie addressed the House of Representatives to explain that "it's not about winning, it's about transforming America," he was booed by Democratic members of Congress who believe they have no power to transform America unless they win elections. Bernie Booed by House Democrats DEMOCRATS SAY WE MUST DEFEAT TRUMP Case in point #2. Democrats also believe our main goal is to defeat Trump, i.e. win elections. Their messaging is solely, WE MUST DEFEAT TRUMP. Those two points have the Democratic Party freaking out after, to their surprise, Hillary's polling went DOWN after Bernie endorsed her. Democrats Freaked Out About Polls Emails sent from DCCC after Bernie's endorsement Three desperate emails were sent out in one day following Bernie's endorsement only to find Hillary's polling against Trump showed her LOSING ground, especially in three key swing states of Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania showing them being completely terrified over the lack of "unity" as Sanders supporters fail to fall in line behind Hillary claiming: "After Bernie’s call for unity yesterday, we just figured Democrats would...well...unify. But instead, everything is falling apart. FIRST: We heard barely a peep from grassroots Democrats. THEN: A Quinnipiac poll showed Trump and Clinton tied in OH, FL, and PA.* NOW: We’re questioning whether the Democratic Party can unify at all." __________________________________________________ Polling prior to Bernie's endorsement, June 21st vs. after, July 13th: *(note that the states are not all 'tied' as the DCCC claims): FL: Clinton 47 - Trump 39 -----> Clinton 39 - Trump 42 OH: Clinton 40 - Trump 40 ------> Clinton 41 - Trump 41 PA: Clinton 42 - Trump 41 ------> Clinton 41 - Trump 43 June 21st vs. July 13th, as well as virtually EVERY POLL conducted between Sanders and Trump, Bernie wins nationally every time (as stated in beginning): FL: Sanders 45 - Trump 39 ------> Clinton 47 - Trump 39 OH:Sanders 48 - Trump 38 ------> Clinton 40 - Trump 40 PA: Sanders 47 - Trump 40 ------> Clinton 42 - Trump 41 __________________________________________________ 13 million votes for Bernie Sanders were cast from demographics who are largely composed of people who simply refuse to vote for Hillary OR Trump. And some of them rather vote for Trump INSTEAD of Hillary! This is a stark reality that the Democratic Party must come to grips with if they not only want to put a Democrat in the White House in January, but elect Democrats in Primaries across our nation in November. Are you willing to lose the White House (as well as Congress) and suffer a loss that allows the potential for a President Trump? Dr. Cornel West is now endorsing Jill Stein over Hillary Clinton Most Bernie supporters are Dr. Cornel West supporters. He makes a compelling argument to his supporters on why Hillary, nor Trump, is a viable choice. How many of those 13 million will follow West? How many will vote Trump? How many will write in Bernie or simply stay home? Are Democrats willing to risk losing over this? So, do Democrats REALLY want to Win the White House? Then maybe it's time for DNC Delegates and Super Delegates to rethink who their nominee will be in order to achieve that victory. Bernie Sanders is simply the best candidate to beat Donald Trump; Delegates and Super Delegates please cast your votes accordingly.