KEITH ELLISON, THE longtime director of Minneapolis's Legal Rights Center, is taking his appeal for social justice to a new level: the state Legislature. Ellison announced his candidacy for a House of Representatives seat Tuesday at Lucille's Kitchen in North Minneapolis. State Rep. Richard Jefferson, who has held the seat since 1987, is retiring this year.
Ellison's first battle will be for the DFL Party endorsement. He faces Gregory Gray, a corporate attorney and longtime party activist who announced his own bid for the District 58B seat last year.
Ellison says he hopes to use his experience representing poor and minority clients to bring perspective to the Legislature's discussions of crime and justice issues. "No one is interjecting any common sense" on these matters, he insists. "We've been relying on draconian efforts for too long now."