Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN), the first Muslim elected to serve in the U.S. House, was featured in CNN's "My Faith" 2011 Year in Review last week. In September, CNN journalist Chris Welch followed Ellison for a day, documenting how the representative practices his faith. Ellison said he doesn't see his faith as something that makes his job harder, but rather just an aspect of who he is:
“Faith really should be a bridge, not a wall," Ellison told CNN. "Because at the end of the day we should be focusing on what you believe, not what your religion is.”
Ellison Praises Education Funding
Also last week, Rep. Ellison congratulated the state for receiving substantial federal education funding, which included a "Race to the Top" grant. In a statement, Ellison said:
“Minneapolis and the entire state have achieved outstanding results through their collaborative efforts in education reform and innovation. This funding will help ensure that youth in underserved areas of Minneapolis and the entire state can begin school prepared and ready to succeed.
The future of our nation’s success and global competitiveness depends on the quality of education our young people receive. Federal investments made to the University of Minnesota’s Child-Parent Center Education Program and the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ) will improve children’s readiness and prepare them for the future.I commend the Minnesota Department of Education for its leadership in fostering a culture of innovation, excellence, and partnership, and for making its own $60 million investment in our future.”
Ellison Responds to Boisclair Ad
After Fifth District DFL challenger Gary Boisclair—who is running so he can use a campaign loophole to air graphic anti-abortion ads—, the congressman responded with a fundraising pitch, saying he's “a proud advocate of a woman’s right to choose as well as access to reproductive health care, but I need your support to respond to these shameless attacks,” according to a report by The Hill.