Somali Immigrant Challenges Ilhan Omar For Seat In Congress
Leila Shukri Adan, a Somali immigrant, recently announced that she will be challenging Ilhan Omar for Minnesota’s 5th Congressional seat.
In a Facebook post, Adan wrote:
My name is Leila Shukri Adan. I am a progressive Democrat running for United States Congress in 2020 because we need responsive, authentic representation focused on what is happening right here in Minnesota’s 5th District. We need someone who is proud to be Minnesotan, proud to be American, and ready to do what it takes to improve our communities. I am running for Congress because it’s our Minnesota.
I am a Somali American who came to Minnesota twenty years ago. But my story isn’t unique. Minnesota is a welcoming place that has long opened its doors to immigrants from a variety of backgrounds looking for a better life. This openness and diversity are assets we need to uplift, highlight, and leverage.
For the past 20 years, I have worked in private, government, and non-profit sectors focusing on health care, youth violence prevention, and education. Perhaps my proudest accomplishment is co-founding a Minneapolis-based federally qualified community clinic that provides care to underrepresented and underinsured community members. My work across sectors has allowed me to build authentic relationships that will help me make progress for all of us in the 5th District.
My values were formed from my family, my community, my faith, and from being a mother. These values have inspired my commitment to affordable healthcare, quality education, responsible stewardship of our environment, and equity. As your representative, I will focus on the issues that matter most to the citizens of the 5th District, including advocating for a single-payer healthcare system; addressing climate change by improving environmental protections and investing in renewable energy; increasing public teacher salaries and investing in our public schools; addressing the housing crisis that has continued to increase rent and push people out of homes; improving wages and conditions for workers and supporting workers’ rights to collectively bargain; and focusing on equity and closing the opportunity gap. I am Leila Shukri Adan, and want to work for you.
Together, we can do better. I am running for Congress because it’s our Minnesota.
Adan recently published an op-ed at Powerline blog in which she spoke out against Ilhan Omar. Adan wrote:
It is with dismay that I read the article describing our congressional representative as the anti-Semite of the year. She brings unwanted attention and shame to the Fifth District by her views. Those of us in the Somali community see her words and deeds as a disgrace. She has put us on the map in all the wrong ways.
What mainstream media outlets do not know is that Omar is not representative of our community. She does not speak for us.
Our community includes Somalis who claim Jewish ancestry and live right here in Minnesota. They are an oppressed minority who came here as refugees. Rep. Omar is well aware of their history. She represents them as well.
Somalis are not anti-Semitic and we continue to see the path Omar is on as a danger to our community. We are a peace loving people who are grateful for all that has been done for us by the United States. We seek to understand whose agenda she is advancing. It is not ours. We would like to disassociate ourselves from her.
We respect our Jewish neighbors who have befriended us here. Israel is a democracy and an ally. Omar’s anti-Semitism is not organic to our community.
If Omar went to Congress to represent the issues important to the Fifth District, she has forgotten what they are. We are as baffled as you as to whose cause she is advancing.
The Democratic Party bears responsibility for letting Omar continue on her disgraceful path without speaking up. We are committed to restoring the relations between us and the Jewish community that Omar has done so much to damage. We will will not let her tarnish us; we will speak up to refute her.
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