Somali. Black. Muslim. Woman. Refugee. Minnesotan.
Ilhan Omar’s Story
Ilhan is Born
Ilhan Omar is born in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, the youngest of seven children.
Sanctuary and Hunger
Ilhan’s family fled the country during the Somali Civil War and took sanctuary in a Kenyan refugee camp for four years.
It was the first time I understood what hunger would feel like, what death looked like.
The American “Dream”
When Ilhan is 12, she and her family move to America in search of justice and democracy.
Home Sweet Home
Ilhan and her family move to Minneapolis Minnesota’s Cedar-Riverside neighborhood – the heart of the Somali diaspora. It becomes the state Ilhan calls home.
Love of Politics
Ilhan falls in love with politics while interpreting for her grandfather at Democratic Party caucuses.
Refugee to U.S. Citizen
At age 17 Ilhan becomes an American citizen.
Ilhan graduates with a degree in Political Science and International Studies from North Dakota State University.
Organized for the Vote No Twice campaigns to make love the law of the land and defeat a voter suppression initiative.
Worked as a Senior Policy Aide for Minneapolis City Council Member Andrew Johnson
Elected to MN House of Representatives and increased turnout in Minneapolis and across MN
My election win offers a counter narrative.
Elected into US House of Representatives
Ilhan is elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, marking a number of historic electoral firsts: she is the first Somali-American, the first naturalized citizen from Africa, and the first non-white woman elected from Minnesota, and one of the first two Muslim women (along with Rashida Tlaib of Michigan) to serve in Congress.
Fighting for the Fifth
Ilhan gets resources directly into the hands of Minnesotans
Returns $450,000 to constituents
Introduces 35 bills
MEALS Act is signed into law
PAUL Act, a bill she authors to crack down on foreign lobbyists, passes the House
Passed 14 amendments
Cofounds the Black Maternal Health Caucus and the Emergency Taskforce on Black Youth Suicide and Mental Health
Elected Vice Chair of the Medicare for All Caucus
Leads prescription drug reform effort in the House, and helps pass a bill limiting the U.S. role in the War in Yemen.
Leads conversations about reorienting America’s foreign policy around peace and diplomacy.
- 20 bills and amendments introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives
- 12 bills and amendments passed in the U.S. House of Representatives
- 371 bills cosponsored
- 21,152 constituent letters answered
- 16 roundtables and town halls
- 879 meetings with constituents
- 189 constituent cases worked on
- $400,414 returned to constituents
- 28 bills and amendments introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives
- 16 bills and amendments passed in the U.S. House of Representatives
- 433 bills cosponsored
- 47,484 constituent letters answered
- 21 roundtables and town halls
- Over 1,000 meetings with constituents
- Over 200 constituent cases worked on
- $411,635 returned to constituents
- 48 bills and amendments introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives
- 19 bills and amendments passed in the U.S. House of Representatives
- 548 bills cosponsored
- 67,732 constituent letters answered
- 32 roundtables and town halls
- Over 1,300 meetings with constituents
- Over 400 constituent cases worked on
- $478,000 returned to constituents