That's my mom. She won.


Not everyone is celebrating the result of Tuesday’s presidential election, but Donald Trump wasn’t the night's only winner. 


In Minnesota, Ilhan Omar was elected for House District 60B. She will represent an area covering Cedar-Riverside, southeast Minneapolis and the University of Minnesota. She will also represent the East African migrant community that brings not only diversity but also hard work and enterprise to the state. Minnesota is home to over 2,000 businesses owned by entrepreneurs of African origin. The Somali community alone numbers over 70,000. As a former refugee forced to flee Somalia’s civil war as a child, Ilhan Omar knows what it means to start with nothing, build a life, serve a political apprenticeship and make a positive contribution to a community. And then seek election.



Working first as a Community Nutrition Educator with the University of Minnesota, Omar went on to serve as a Child Nutrition Outreach Coordinator and legislative campaign manager, all while raising a young family. Now thirty four years of age, she has worked her way up. 


When Donald Trump made a final campaign stop in Minnesota on Sunday, he equated the state’s Somali immigrants with terrorists, telling his audience they had “suffered enough” from this problem. As if this election campaign needed another dose of irony, he was speaking at an airport which is made safe and secure partly by the hard work of the thousand or so Somalis employed there.


Negativity, even hostility, hasn’t deterred Ilhan Omar. 


In her victory speech she promised to be a "voice for the marginalized". She promised to bring the voice of young people, women of the East African community and Muslim Americans. 


And of young mothers seeking opportunities for themselves and their families. Omar’s husband and three children watched with pride as she savoured a moment she'd worked so hard for. And on a night of bitter disappointment for many women, many ethnic minorities and many who see immigration as a social and economic positive, the words of her ten year old daughter, Adnan, carried greater weight and hope for the future than all the blame and bluster we’ve seen elsewhere in 2016.   


“That's my mom. She won.”



Write a comment

Comments: 10
  • #1

    Cathy Hill (Thursday, 10 November 2016 15:11)

    Thank you, David. It's been a terrible week and I needed this.

  • #2

    Sam Hillier (Thursday, 10 November 2016 15:25)

    I love this and you should be proud you wrote it. Hard to see a consolation this week but you proved it's not impossible.

  • #3

    Andrew Tibbett (Thursday, 10 November 2016 15:43)

    Very, very well said.

  • #4

    Mel Rosmade (Thursday, 10 November 2016 15:45)

    What a positive thought for the week! Thank you for that.

  • #5

    Sean Donoghue (Thursday, 10 November 2016 16:27)

    You don't have to be a liberal to feel bad about Trump's election, and you don't have to be a liberal to feel good about Ilhan Omar's win, or about this excellent, uplifting article.

  • #6

    Megan Rees (Thursday, 10 November 2016 16:36)

    Congratulations Ilhan Omar, you are the pride of America.

  • #7

    Olivia Wright (Thursday, 10 November 2016 17:28)

    I am proud of my state, proud we voted for diversity and elected a good person on her merits. Great blog.

  • #8

    Dean Menzies (Friday, 11 November 2016 00:46)

    As well as the positive immigration element I value your point about this lady having worked her way up. I get why people want to move away from the status quo but I don't get why they think someone completely unskilled and unqualified can take them there.

  • #9

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