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Congressman Keith Ellison has represented Minnesota’s Fifth Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives since taking office on January 4, 2007. His policy agenda is based on four key priorities—peace, prosperity for working families, environmental sustainability, and support for civil and human rights. He is currently serving his third term.
The Fifth Congressional District encompasses the entire city of Minneapolis as well as surrounding suburbs which include St. Louis Park, Richfield, Golden Valley, Columbia Heights, New Hope, Crystal, Robbinsdale, Fridley, St. Anthony, Spring Lake Park, Hilltop, Fort Snelling, Hopkins, Brooklyn Center, and Edina (some portions of Edina are in the Third District). It is known as the most vibrant and ethnically diverse District in Minnesota.
Keith is one of Congress’ foremost progressive leaders. His colleagues elected him co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus for the 112th Congress. He has consistently stood up for job creation, progressive tax rates, health care for all, workers’ rights, a clean environment, quality education, fair trade, strong consumer protections, and greater investment in infrastructure.
Keith is committed to strengthening our neighborhoods through community organization and advocacy. His entire adult life has been spent bringing communities together – whether it is advocating for a better business climate or giving a voice to those who deserve to be heard. His philosophy is one of generosity and inclusiveness – because there are enough resources in our communities for everyone to prosper.
Born and raised in Detroit, Congressman Ellison graduated from Wayne State University in 1986 with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics. He moved to Minnesota in 1987 to attend the University of Minnesota Law School where he earned his law degree in 1990. Keith lives in Minneapolis with his four children.
Upon completion of his Juris Doctor, Congressman Ellison practiced law from 1990 to 2006 in both the private sector and as executive director of the Legal Rights Center. In 2004 he ran for the state legislature from District 58B in North Minneapolis. He became a strong advocate to protect Minnesota children from dangerous pesticides and chemicals, promoted legislation to restore the voting rights of ex-offenders, and successfully advocated for an increase to the state’s minimum wage.
When long-serving Fifth District Congressman Martin Sabo announced his retirement after 28 years in Congress, Keith jumped into the race. He quickly established himself as a formidable candidate by winning a first ballot Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party endorsement in a multi-candidate field of former and current office holders. Keith was challenged in the DFL primary by six candidates, and won by ten percentage points. He went on to win the general election with 56% of the vote in a four-way race.