Rep. Keith Ellison, who represents the 5th district of Minnesota, held an informal Q&A with the public at Minneapolis Community and Technical College (MCTC) earlier today.
Charles Karter, currently the student Director of Health and Sustainability and next year’s student President, invited Ellison.
“I’ve been trying to bring in various politicians and even activists to come speak at MCTC to get people more engaged in Politics,” said Karter “Keith is a good pick because of his work with Fair Vote, the fact that he’s this district’s representative, so he’s specifically tied into MCTC and frankly, we’re just trying to create more bridges outside of the school to students inside of the school.”
A wide range of topics was covered during the Q&A, including why he ran and encouraging people to run for office.
“I believe the rules we live by should be fair and inclusive. I believe healthcare should be a right, tuition is free,” said Ellison “In a democracy, if you follow the rules I lined out, then we can rewrite the rules.”
Ellison also touched on Executive Order 13769, more widely known as the travel ban, saying it was “unconstitutional” and told a story to the crowd about a conversation that involved parents who were not citizens but had children who were and what to do if they (the parents) were deported.
“Imagine having to have a conversation with someone about who’s going to take care of your kids,” said Ellison.
Ellison also said President Trump has violated and continues to violate the Constitution by violating the Foreign Emoluments Clause by accepting money from foreign governments that stay at Trump hotels.
Trump is currently being sued by the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) for not divesting in his private business ventures. In a press release in January, CREW stated
“Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) is bringing a federal lawsuit to stop President Trump from violating the Constitution by illegally receiving payments from foreign governments,”
Ellison also admitted in a response to Robel Tedoros, who was recently elected to be student Director of Student Affairs and Legislative policies at MCTC, question regarding food stamps that “We can’t do nothing about that right now. We’re in the minority.”
Later on, Ellison was asked by CCN what his plan was if appeals courts say that Trump’s Executive Order is constitutional since Democrats can’t even do anything food stamps.
Ellison stammered for a response and asked the reporter if he had any idea about they are going to do , to which the reported responded “No. That’s why I asked it.”
Ellison retorted “Right. I don’t believe that was a really smart question. I mean, it’s obviously…it’s obvious that we can’t do much if that…that happens. We can protest it. We can stand up against it. We can push against it but our tools are in the street right now and those are the tools we’re going to exploit.”
The event lasted for approximately two hours in room H.1002 and was attended by dozens of people.