Women Who Inspire
Every one of these elected officials are New American Women who immigrated to the U.S. from Somalia.
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar
MN 5TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT
Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has gained notoriety as the first Somali-American Member of Congress, the first woman of color to represent Minnesota, and the first woman to wear a hijab on the congressional floor. Before she was elected as a U.S. Representative in 2018, her 2016 electoral victory made her the first Somali-American State Legislator as a Representative for MN District 60B. Ms. Omar is a champion for progressive policies like creating a $15 Minimum Wage, cancelling Student Loan Debt, and implementing a Green New Deal.
City Councilmember Deqa Dhalac
DISTRICT 5, CITY OF SOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE
Deqa Dhalac became the first Muslim and first African American person to be elected to South Portland’s City Council. A social worker with two master degrees, and a single mother of three, Ms. Dhalac made political history by defeating an established business owner in her 2018 election.
City Councilmember Nadia Mohamed
AT-LARGE B, ST. LOUIS PARK CITY COUNCIL MINNESOTA
Nadia Mohamed won her 2019 election for the St. Louis Park City Council with 63 percent of the vote. Working on the city’s Multicultural Advisory Committee, Ms. Mohamed realized that a voice like hers was needed at the decision-making table. Nadia is the first Muslim person, first Somali woman, and youngest person ever elected to the Council, at 23 years old.
State Representative Hodan Hassan
MN 62A, MINNEAPOLIS, MN
Rep. Hodan Hassan ran for the MN Legislature as a first time candidate in 2018. She moved to the United States over 20 years ago, making Minneapolis her home in 1999. Before she became a State Representative, Hassan worked as a clinical social worker and community activist, as well as a single mother. In the MN House of Representatives, Hassan acts as an Assistant Majority Leader; she is the first Somali woman ever to fill this role.
School Board Member Fartun Ahmed
HOPKINS SCHOOL BOARD, MINNESOTA
Elected in 2017, Fartun Ahmed made history as the first Somali-American woman ever elected to a school board in the country. At 26 years old, she was the first in her immediate family to attend school; she graduated high school with a 4.0 GPA, and went on to earn a full-ride for a masters program at the University of Chicago. As a policy expert, she is committed to giving back to the community that helped raise her.
City Councilmember Safiya Khalid
WARD 1, LEWISTON CITY COUNCIL, MAINE
Safiya Khalid ran for City Council at 23 years old because she was tired of seeing city leadership remain unreflective of her city’s increasing diversity. Her campaign became a target of racist online trolls from all over the country. Ms. Khalid did not let them stop her as she focused her attention on the electorate. Election Day 2019, she won her race by a wide margin. She is the first Somali-American and the youngest person to ever serve the Lewiston City Council.