Women of color in America are making big strides in the political realm at the local, state, and federal level.
Ilhan Omar (pictured) made history last week on Election Day by becoming the first Somali-American to ever get elected as a legislator. According to the Star Tribune, a local daily newspaper based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Omar, 34, won the District 60B seat in the Minnesota House of Representatives.
The newly elected State Representative is also a devout Muslim. She works as the policy director of the Women Organizing Women Network. This is an organization, which strongly advocates East African female immigrants who have political aspirations in the United States. Omar said the following after achieving her amazing victory:
“It’s the beginning of something new. This district has a legacy of making history. I am excited for our progressive values and to be able to be on the ground at the Capitol representing the diverse people of my district and being a champion with them and for them.” (StarTribune.com)
Omar (a member of the Democratic Farmer Labor Party) didn’t receive much Republican opposition in her race for the state House. House Minority Leader Paul Thissen (DFL) offered his praise for the young State Rep.-elect. “It says something important about the future of Minnesota, and what it means to be a Minnesotan,” Thissen said.
Omar’s road to success in the United States was long and difficult. She fled her native country of Somalia to escape the civil war that is going on there. Omar lived on a refugee camp in neighboring Kenya before making her way to the United States. She endured a lot of scrutiny before winning her election last week.
Omar’s Republican political adversaries have chastised her for being Muslim. They even started rumors about her marriage being a fraud. These claims turned out to be untrue. Her political party remained fiercely loyal to her in spite of the negative propaganda that was spewed about her.
“I feel like I have answered all of the questions — mostly rumors — in the statements that I have put out,” Omar told the Star Tribune.
Congratulations to Ilhan Omar for her historical victory. She is certainly paving the way for all women of color to achieve their wildest dreams in the world of politics.