Ilhan Omar on Tuesday became the first Somali-American Muslim woman elected to a state legislature, with a clear victory in Minnesota.
Omar’s biggest battle was fought during the August primary, when she defeated a 44-year incumbent to become the Democratic nominee. In the state House of Representatives, she will represent a diverse, liberal district that encompasses most of Minneapolis.
Her victory is seen as a win for progressive causes, and for electing more minorities and women to public office.
Omar was born in Somalia and spent four years in a refugee camp in Kenya before immigrating to the United States at the age of 12. She has said she was disappointed to find rampant racial and economic inequality and religious intolerance in the U.S.
“It is the land of liberty and justice for all, but we have to work for it,” Omar told The Huffington Post last month. “Our democracy is great, but it’s fragile. It’s come through a lot of progress, and we need to continue that progress to make it actually ‘justice for all.’”… see more