John Lewis: Keith Ellison is the Best Choice to Lead Our Party

Friday, February 3, 2017

Via Press Release

WASHINGTON DC – Congressman and civil rights icon John Lewis released the following letter to DNC Members supporting Keith Ellison in his bid for DNC Chair:
In just three weeks, Democrats from across the country will meet in Atlanta to elect a new DNC Chair. I can assure you, Atlanta is neither “falling apart” nor “crime infested,” despite Trump’s uninformed attacks. It is a creative, vibrant city and I look forward to welcoming you to our town.
I ask you to join me in supporting my colleague and dear friend, Keith Ellison, for DNC Chair. Keith's long history as an organizer who can energize the grassroots makes him the best choice to lead our party during this critical time. He knows that sometimes you have to have good trouble. You have to get in the way and raise your voice. But protest must be channeled into electoral and legislative success. Keith’s record standing with the grassroots means he is a trusted partner to harness this protest energy into rebuilding the Democratic Party.

Before coming to Congress, Keith was a civil rights lawyer, standing up for everyday folks in Minnesota. He was also an organizer, founding civil rights groups, leading protests, and walking picket lines with Labor. It’s no surprise then that he’s kept it up as a Congressman. His home state has led the nation in voter turnout and, with his focus on organizing, his district has the highest turnout in the state.

I’ve seen him bring his organizing energy to the fight for civil and human rights in the halls of Congress too. I partnered with Keith to introduce legislation recognizing labor organizing as a civil right. Keith has also introduced an amendment to enshrine the right to vote in the Constitution. In Minnesota and across the nation, he has been a passionate opponent of voter ID laws that suppress the vote.
Keith also believes in investing in all 50 states, strengthening state and local parties, and locating DNC staff around the country, not just in DC. This strategy is critical to states like Georgia, where we made big Democratic gains during the last election and need to keep up the momentum. Last election, we also picked up Democratic governors in Louisiana and North Carolina, showing that we can win across the South if we are willing to invest.
I’ve spent most of my adult life fighting for the rights that are being viciously attacked by Donald Trump and his administration. As Democrats, we must seek a leader who has demonstrated the ability to continue the fight to protect all that we hold dear as a nation. Keith is ready to take on the fight and I am proud to stand with him. I hope you’ll join us on the front lines. 
In solidarity,

Rep. John Lewis