It is very historic to have Ilhan Omar who arrived the United States 20 years ago as a refugee, be sworn in as the first Somali-American Muslim legislator.
“We are privileged to be people that can live in unity and diversity, and we are privileged to have one another. So as much as I pledge to you to be the best that I can be, I hope you will pledge to me to be the best you can be as well.”– Ilhan Omar.
On November 8th, Omar won the Minnesota House Elections, making her the representative of District 60B Minneapolis.
The one time Somalian refugee has been one of the political success stories of 2016. Right from the primaries, Omar was clearly a formidable rising star in American politics.
After their arrival in the US, she and her family settled in Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside area; a Constituency that has been represented by Phyllis Kahn of the Democratic Farmer Labor (DFL) party for 22 terms.
It is indeed a milestone achievement that an African by decent can beat a long time prominent politician as 44-year old Phyllis in the primaries.
Moving up to the general elections, she contested with a GOP opponent who suspended his campaign.
Ilhan Omar is an experienced policy analyst, progressive DFL activist, coalition builder and community educator. Omar is also the director of policy at Women Organizing Women Network, an organization dedicated to pushing East African women in to positions of civic leadership.
Somalis in the United States seem to have a flair for politics. Just like Omar, Abdi Warsame defeated Robert Lilligren in 2013 becoming the first Somali-American on the Minneapolis City Council.
Ilhan Omar’s inauguration has become a source of motivation for Africans especially the women folk both home and in diaspora.