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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. Ms. Omar won the primary in 2022 and continues to serve as the U.S. Representative for MN's 5th congressional district.

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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. 

Mayor Deqa Dhalac
MAINE HOUSE, DISTRICT 120, 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. Ms. Dhalac made history again by winning her race this November and becoming the first Somali-American woman elected to the Maine House.

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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 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.

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Former 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. In 2021, Ms. Khalid ran for chair of the Lewiston Democratic party seeking to succeed the outgoing chair. After facing hostility and racist comments at a party meeting, she withdrew from the race. 

Senator Elect Zaynab Mohamed

DISTRICT 63RD, MINNESOTA STATE SENATE

Zaynab Mohamed, a 25 year old Minneapolis resident and former policy aide was born in Somalia and raised in South Minneapolis. Like many other first-generation immigrants in our community, Ms. Mohamed has first hand experience of navigating the government services that impact our lives. Senator Zaynab Mohamed has made history as the youngest Muslim, Somali and black woman to serve in the Minnesota state Senate. She represents MN District 63rd which encompasses the Southeastern corner of Minneapolis, the Eastern part of Richfield and Fort Snelling.

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Senator Elect Clare Oumou Verbeten

DISTRICT 66TH, MINNESOTA STATE SENATE

Zaynab Mohamed, a 25 year old Minneapolis resident and former policy aide was born in Somalia and raised in South Minneapolis. Like many other first-generation immigrants in our community, Ms. Mohamed has first hand experience of navigating the government services that impact our lives. Senator Zaynab Mohamed has made history as the youngest Muslim, Somali and black woman to serve in the Minnesota state Senate. She represents MN District 63rd which encompasses the Southeastern corner of Minneapolis, the Eastern part of Richfield and Fort Snelling.

Senator Elect Zaynab Mohamed

DISTRICT 63RD, MINNESOTA STATE SENATE

Zaynab Mohamed, a 25 year old Minneapolis resident and former policy aide was born in Somalia and raised in South Minneapolis. Like many other first-generation immigrants in our community, Ms. Mohamed has first hand experience of navigating the government services that impact our lives. Senator Zaynab Mohamed has made history as the youngest Muslim, Somali and black woman to serve in the Minnesota state Senate. She represents MN District 63rd which encompasses the Southeastern corner of Minneapolis, the Eastern part of Richfield and Fort Snelling.

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