Friends & Neighbors,
My name is Zuki Ellis. I’m a mom, a child of Rondo, an advocate for our public schools & students, and I am running for Senate in District 65. I currently serve on the school board for Saint Paul Public Schools. It took me years of being asked before I first ran for that position back in 2015 – I didn’t see myself in that role because it’s often hard for women and BIPOC people to envision themselves as leaders. But as I kept being asked, I began to feel like I could have an impact. It was my responsibility to fight for a better future. And over the last eighteen months, as my community has asked me to run for Senate, I’ve come to feel the same way. Seats don’t belong to a person, they belong to the people – and I’m ready to fight, to work, and to advocate for our communities.
Well before the onset of COVID-19, our communities were struggling because of such inequitable access to basic resources. Now well over a year into the pandemic, we’ve seen the disparities and barriers we face only grow larger. Through these times we’ve had incalculable losses. We’ve shared uncertainty and anguish after the murder of George Floyd. We’ve struggled to stay in our homes. Our communities do not have the resources needed to survive let alone thrive, we are just barely making ends meet. The outpouring we’ve seen of community mutual aid and support has been inspiring – but it reflects the lack of a real safety net, and the precarious position we occupy in our current system. We cannot fix what we aren’t willing to confront. The systemic inequities at play benefit the few at the expense of the many. Access to jobs, to housing, to transportation, and to education are not neatly siloed apart – these issues are connected and intertwined. Our solutions must match the scale of the problems we face.
My experiences advocating and governing in systems that were never built for us have made me ready to fight for more for our district. My work on the school board has taught me the ways in which levels of government interact with one another. Those experiences and history, and my roots in our communities have grounded me in the challenges that confront our district. I know so many of the struggles we face because I face them too, and I know that our policy making must center our collective well-being. I will bring my determination, our shared values, and a deep connection to our district’s struggles to the Capitol – and I’ll fight beside you for us all to live in a better state.
We cannot settle for survival when we know things can be better. When politics leave us living on the edge, it’s hard to fight for our basic rights and dignity. We have to eliminate the systemic obstacles standing in the way of being able to live our lives. We have to fight for the things we believe in. And as your State Senator, I will bring a clear sense of purpose to this work and will never stop advocating for our collective needs. I know we can live in a state where everyone has access to the things that make their lives better. This is the moment we must come together and to fight for it. I will do my best to earn your support.
Together in the fight,
Zuki Ellis, she/hers