Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Letter to the Editor in Star Tribune, May 23


Contrary to challenger's claim, he's helping poor

In a recent commentary, Chris Fields, the Republican challenger in the Fifth Congressional District, suggested that Democratic U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison isn't working hard enough for Minnesota families, specifically poor families ("North Side needs attentive leadership," May 21). Fields' clever turns of phrase, such as "customized solutions" and "smart, selfless leadership" belie the evidence that Republicans' assault on services relied on by the poor -- and, increasingly, by the middle class -- leave folks to fend for themselves.
Republican cuts in programs for affordable housing, transportation and health care; its attempts to limit voting to a select few (Republican) constituencies, and its attacks on worker and civil rights all have contributed to the erosion of our communities.
Ellison has focused like a laser beam on alleviating the struggles of working-class families since he took office in 2008. Fighting the relentless Republican strategy to scuttle the American Dream, he has authored or supported bills to create jobs; protect homeowners, workers and consumers, and rebuild crumbling roads and bridges. To help pay for these, Ellison is asking the rich to invest in our collective prosperity by paying the same percentage in taxes as the rest of us do.
"Everybody counts, everybody matters" -- Ellison's motto -- describes his commitment to the American values of fairness and inclusion. Yes, it is that simple.

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