Posted: Mar 31 2017
In February, one month after President Donald Trump took office, some 400 Democratic leaders convened in Atlanta to assess the damage and elect a new Democratic National Committee chair—a perhaps unenviable job that includes rebuilding a party in disarray. While establishment candidate Tom Perez won the title, he immediately appointed his more progressive runner-up, Keith Ellison, a populist Minnesota congressman and Muslim who leads the Congressional Progressive Caucus, to the newly-created role of deputy party chair. A month later, Ellison is leading the charge against Trump’s travel ban, calling on Republicans to collaborate on infrastructure and tax reform, launching a nationwide “Democratic Turnaround Tour” to bring the party’s message to states it lost in 2016, and, among other things, restarting his podcast. We the People covers how working-class Americans affect the economy. The first episode will focus on women in the age of Trump, and includes an interview with NARAL’s Ilyse Hogue.
“If you look at the podcast in general, it really is about how people outside of the millionaire and billionaire classes experience the economy,” Ellison told me. “It really is about dealing with people who are struggling to get a union or right to work. How people’s faith informs their economic outlook. How money informs politics.” Past episodes have touched on working-class issues such as payday loans and prison phone rates. Here, Ellison talks about the recent health-care debacle, how his party can win back women who voted for Trump, and how to get millennials on board with the Democratic message.