Endorsed by Insight News and the DFL

Commentary

By Al McFarlane and Batala McFarlane

Jeremiah Ellison, the Insight News and DFL-endorsed candidate for the Minneapolis City Council 5th Ward seat, represents continued movement of the arc of history toward justice and freedom.

 Our interpretation of Ellison’s vision of the Northside is “For Us, By Us” (FUBU). FUBU was a clothing brand concept, that made a political statement in the 1990s. It signaled a generation’s fearlessness, self-confidence and self-reliance.

FUBU, as a concept, changed the world. It’s one of the many powerful statements underpinning the world of hip-hop whose origin is the still-evolving victory of young Black people fighting the power, speaking truth to power, and discovering the power of their own voice and their legacy.

Ellison stands at this same intersection, where art meets political activism and engagement. His vision is steeped in equity, parity and opportunity and a new reality where dreams are no longer deferred.

Gen Xers rallied behind the For Us, By Us call to action. Ellison, 28, embodies the Millennials’ iteration of this bold bid for freedom. His movement toward leadership and service in the civic arena broadens and reflects the inclusive character of the For Us, By Us concept, a concept through which fearless activists demonstrate that inclusive is not just Brown and Black folks, but all allies who understand that when we – Black people – do better, we all do better.

Ellison is unapologetic and crystal clear when he says Black people, the residents of North Minneapolis, need better housing, fair, livable wages, quality transportation options and clean air.

North Minneapolis is a special, magical place. Ellison described his birthplace in a recent Facebook post.

“North Minneapolis is home to some of the most brilliant folks the city has ever produced. I see creativity and initiative on every block, I see neighbors looking out for one another, and I see a community deserving of better service from their representative at City Hall.”

Ellison’s campaign reflects his commitment to community and how he will govern. He is the only candidate in this race who attended every single community forum. He’s held a community meeting (aside from all regular campaign events), held regular coffee hours for constituents (something the current council member, Blong Yang, has never done), he was the first candidate to release a comprehensive policy platform when he launched his campaign. He has called and knocked so many phones and doors. He’s working hard to engage all Northsiders.

Now, the quintessential political nature of our quest – revelation of our existence as the solution, not the problem – is precisely what is at play in the Minneapolis 5th Ward City Council race.

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