Keith Ellison could use your support
From: Charles Underwood (
Date: Wed, 19 Jul 2006 21:41:05 -0700 (PDT)

A VERY UNUSUAL CANDIDATE has surfaced in the race for U.S. House from the
5th Congressional District (Minneapolis and some surrounding areas).  I am
led to send you an e-mail saying why I think this particular race is so
important and to outline some opportunities for action.  Please forgive me,
Greens and those who live at some distance from the Twin Cities;  I intend
no disrespect at all, but I cannot remove your names from my list.


First, it is an important test of the grassroots process.  Many of you know
that I was an early and strong supporter of Jack Nelson-Pallmeyer in his
challenge for this seat.  The energy for Jack's campaign was entirely
people-power, starting with the precinct caucuses and continuing through the
Senate District conventions.  When Jack lost the endorsement to Keith, I
felt as if the details had been unexpected, but that Keith Ellison was every
bit the grassroots candidate for the issues I support, so I felt quite
enthusiastic with the endorsement outcome.  It was work like other work I
have seen: it didn't produce exactly the result I planned on, but the
results it produced were wonderful.

If we are to use the democratic process for peaceful change, that process
cannot simply be for sale.  We can win elections if enough people spend time
making phone calls and knocking on doors.  But if we as peace people are too
busy for those tasks, then the elections will always go to those with
influential connections or lots of money for advertising.

Second, we need to elect Keith in order to repudiate the racism of the
attack campaign against him.  Many of you have read the smears in the Star
Tribune, with lightly coded references to bow ties (like Louis Farrakhan)
and "looming but silent black men in suits."  Fundamentally, Keith has been
attacked because he is a Muslim and because he is black.   Even if Keith
were not a truly exceptional candidate, it would still be crucial for us to
take racism off the campaign toolkit.  It has no place in  Minnesota
politics in 2006.

Third, Keith Ellison is the sort of outstanding candidate that I have rarely
seen in my lifetime.  I know he is a peace candidate because I have seen and
heard him at many marches and vigils.  I know he is a social justice
advocate, because I have seen the long list of successful legislation he has
sponsored in the Minnesota House.  I know he is a positive, even-tempered
individual because I have known him for several years and seen him in some
tense situations.  Keith combines a huge personal warmth with keen sense of
justice.  He is exactly the sort of congressman that the Republicans do not
want in Washington.  Apparently, some more conservative Democrats also
fearful of Keith's strong voice, since he has three extremely well-financed



To support Keith or just to learn more about his positions, you could attend
a debate among the candidates for House.  One will be held between 11 and
noon on Monday, July 24,  at the Midtown Global Market, Lake Street and
Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis.  Another debate will be held between
7:30 and 9:00 p.m on Tuesday, July 25, at Temple Israel, 2324 Emerson Avenue
South, Minneapolis.


Right now, volunteers are making voter I.D. calls, finding out who supports
Keith and who might be persuaded.  It's extremely easy, with a short and
simple script to use for the calls.  You could sign sign up and work with
friends.  Hours are Sunday between 1 and 6, as well as Monday through
Thursday from 5:30 to 8:45.  You can contact trayvolunteers [at]
to make whatever phoning commitment you can.  Currently many calls are being
made from the Central Labor Union building, but new locations will open up
as more people volunteer.


My own Senate District has two door-knocks scheduled for this weekend.  On
Saturday, we will be leaving from the home of MN Rep. Jim Davnie, 2741 -
39th Avenue South, and working from 3 to 6 p.m.  On Sunday, we will work
from 3:30 to 6:30 from the home of MN Rep. Jean Wagonius, 4804 - 11th Ave
South.  You can find out about either of these events by writing
annfriedrich [at]  The campaign office probably knows of other
door-knocks in other parts of the city.  Call them.


There are now less than eight weeks until the September 12th primary.  If
Keith wins the primary, he is likely to be our next Representative in
Washington.  Normally primaries are poorly attended.  Who do you want to
make that choice for you?  If you want Keith as a voice for peace, mark the
date on your calendar and plan on voting, along with your favorite peacenik
friends.  It makes a huge difference.


Call the office or donate through the website.  It is not tax-deductible,
but it will certainly mean that more of your tax money will go to peace,
people and the environment, and less to war.  Every bit helps.


The website is

The phone number is 612-522-4416.

The campaign headquarters is at 2200 Minnehaha Avenue South, Minneapolis.

IF YOU HAVE ANY QUESTIONS, I would also be more than happy to try my best.
E-mail me or call me at 612-722-1545.  But please try to find some time for
this campaign.  Really, it is crucial.

Peace, Charley Underwood

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