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First Somali Legislator in the United States Ilhan Omar Wants to ‘Instill Hope in People’

Ilhan Omar, 34, has made history by becoming the first Somali legislator in the United States, and is now being seen as a likely shoo-in for the first Somali-American congresswoman. This is as a result of the past 10 weeks which have proved to be very great whirl. She said in an interview with AP, “It’s been a really interesting rush.”

Omar said that when U.S. Rep Keith Ellison suddenly left Minneapolis-area seat to run for state attorney general, then it forced her and her rivals to mount instant campaigns. She says that immediately she organized a team to help her acquire the Democratic endorsement that will help her succeed him. And her efforts were not in vain, as she secured a six-way primary win on Tuesday with a strong 48 percent plurality.

Describing her during her win, the first time she made history The Black Star wrote, “Proudly wears the hijab’ Standing for the DFL coalition, which is affiliated to the Democratic Party, Ms. Omar won a seat to represent District 60B in the state legislature. She faced nominal opposition after her Republican opponent who had withdrawn from the race for family reasons. During a primary in August she unseated one of the longest-serving members of the Minnesota legislature. Minneapolis’s Star Tribune newspaper described her as a “Muslim-American woman who proudly wears the hijab”, saying she had been “suddenly thrust into leadership of a rapidly emerging DFL coalition that is younger, more urban and more racially and ethnically diverse than at any time in its history”.”


Many expect that her win in the general elections, will be an easy one considering that the 5thDistrict has been represented by Democrats since 1963. However, Omar says she doesn’t want to take things for granted and will work to generate heavy turnout in the district to boost statewide Democratic candidates.

Nonetheless, the 35-year-old is taking a short break for now, in order to focus on getting her three kids ready for school. She is reported to have said that she’ll figure things out especially concerning going to Washington later on.

She said, ““I think my job now is to instill hope in people so that they have the strength to continue to resist and to continue to believe that there is an opportunity for us, for the first time, to really talk about the kind of nation we should be and the kind of nation that we deserve.”

Talking about her priorities, Omar said that because the voters of the 5th District are young, funding for education and college affordability will be very important. Her other priorities will include promoting food security for poor communities, immigration and criminal reforms. She also pointed out at her plans to work for federal budgets characterized by investing in people and communities.

I look forward to being a voice of reason in fighting for transparent and accountable budgets,” she said.

Omar said she understands that people want congressional leaders with “moral clarity and courage” to represent them and also to confront Trump’s administration.


Written by How Africa

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