An open letter to Keith Ellison: Resign from the DNC and join the Justice Democrats.


Representative Ellison:

We at Justice Democrats have watched the DNC closely over the past few months. We’ve looked for any sign the party is willing, or even able, to change course after their devastating defeat in November. As you know, that defeat merely capped off the losses of more than 1000 elected offices in recent years. This weekend’s vote for party chair proved they are not ready to change.

You were one of the first elected Democrats to endorse Bernie Sanders’ bid for the Presidency. As a leader for the Congressional Progressive Caucus, you recognized Bernie’s platform as being in sync with both the will of the electorate and the needs of working families. The Democratic party leadership failed to recognize this opportunity then and now.

Perhaps Nancy Pelosi was right when she said Democrats “don’t want a new direction.” But you know, and we know, that America does. We can no longer wait for party leaders to overcome their inertia. Justice Democrats is fighting for the soul of the Democratic party -- and we want you with us.

We have a bold vision to rebuild our economy with critical infrastructure investments and make our country a global leader in renewable energy -- creating millions of jobs in the process. We will lead the fight to implement Medicare-for-all and make state universities tuition-free. We have a strategy to bring critical reforms to criminal justice and police practices. Most of all, we will prove Democrats can win elections without Super PACs.

JD will restore the Democrats as the party for working people by electing new representatives at every level of government, starting with Congress in the 2018 midterms. These will not be career politicians but proven citizen-leaders committed to standing up for the rights of real people, not corporations. Our candidates will pledge to reject corporate cash and to spend 100% of their time as representatives actually working on legislation, governing, and listening to all constituents -- not just wealthy donors.

Our supporters have nominated over 4,000 community leaders to run for Congress in 2018 under the Justice Democrats plan. They hail from almost every congressional district. They are accomplished, hard-working citizens who are trusted by their communities and would proudly fight alongside you for progressive change. Together we will rebuild this party and our country.

Why should you align with Justice Democrats? Truth is, you already are. Your record proves you have consistently been a leader among your Congressional peers on nearly every aspect of the Justice Democrats platform.

More than 80% of Americans agree money corrupts our political process. While the DNC voted on Saturday to continue accepting unlimited contributions from corporate lobbyists, you called for caps on those donations and committing to small-dollar fundraising. Like Justice Democrats, you support a constitutional amendment to get money out of politics. In fact, you introduced legislation for such an amendment as far back as 2011 -- while the party leadership went in the opposite direction.

The Justice Democrats team is also committed to rejecting bad trade deals that hurt American workers. You were an early opponent to the TPP, staking out a strong stance in June 2015, pitting you against most of your party at the time.

You’ve been a vocal advocate for criminal justice reform and improving police practices, both planks in the Justice Democrats platform. And just last week you introduced the “Common Sense Housing Investment Act” to combat homelessness. Justice Democrats shares your view that affordable housing is a growing crisis that demands legislative solutions.

On these and so many other issues, your leadership, record, and vision aligns with ours.

Representative Ellison, let’s stand together and take this party back from the super-rich. We know it can be done. Bernie’s campaign raised a quarter billion dollars, $27 at a time. His vision mobilized millions of people. And as the Trump regime takes shape, that progressive movement continues to gain strength.

The American people have watched their wages stagnate, their health care and education costs soar, and countries around the globe outpace us in high-wage job creation. We’ve watched as trillions of dollars were wasted on senseless wars while we were hurting back at home. Our citizens are fighting for survival and the DNC isn’t listening. The party leaders go from fundraiser to fundraiser and are insulated from the struggles most Americans face.

We think you get that. We think you know being anti-Trump is not enough. We believe you recognize the need to enact real solutions to improve the lives of ordinary Americans.

We implore you to resign your powerless appointment as DNC Deputy Chair and help us lead this revolution. We are coming after the corporate wing of the Democratic party in 2018. Join our fight for justice as Chair of the Justice Democrats.

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