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ICYMI: StarTribune Op-Ed On Why Big Money Donors Fear Rep. Omar


MINNEAPOLIS—On Friday the Minneapolis StarTribune published an op-ed by Habon Abdulle, the executive director of Ayada Leads (formerly Women Organizing Women Network). Habon writes about Rep. Omar’s many accomplishments in Congress and the millionaire Trump donors supporting her primary challengers:

“Minnesotans know all about making political history.

“We elected America’s first Muslim to Congress with Keith Ellison. And when he moved back home to run for Minnesota attorney general, we made history again by electing the first woman of color to represent our state, the first African-born member of Congress, and one of the first two Muslim women to serve in Congress: Ilhan Omar.

“Omar was elected in 2018 by a multiethnic, interfaith, intergenerational movement. A movement that recognized that the status quo wasn’t working. A movement that’s still pushing for change out in the streets today.

“As someone who is dedicated to getting more women of color involved in civic life, I know this movement. Omar is part of it. That’s why I was so surprised to see her seat challenged by several men (opinion pages, April 7, July 6), men I’d never seen at community meetings or late-night organizing huddles; who I’d never encountered in the movement for progressive change.

“Rep. Omar has spent her entire political career taking on people in power. And the people of the Fifth District elected her because of it. She spent her first term in Congress fighting for Medicare for All, for a Green New Deal, for a higher minimum wage, and for Homes for All. She’s following through on her promises to fight for the people. And that’s exactly why the establishment recruited Melton-Meaux to run against her.

“Omar makes Wall Street donors and special interests uncomfortable because she’s a leader in the movement for a more equitable economy. She makes the establishment uncomfortable because she challenges the status quo. So they’re looking for a friendlier face, someone who will play nicely with the corporations and special interests who already have political power, rather than demanding a seat at the table for the powerless. That’s why they like Melton-Meaux.

“As important as Omar’s election was in 2018, this election the stakes are even higher. This is an opportunity to prove that immigrants, Muslim Americans and Black women are just as deserving of seats in higher office as anyone else. This is our opportunity to prove that 2018 wasn’t a fluke. It was a mandate.”

You can read the full story here.

About Ilhan Omar: In 2018, Ilhan was elected to Congress representing the Fifth Congressional District of Minnesota, and was endorsed by the Democratic Farmer Labor Party (DFL) for once again in 2020. In her first year in office, she successfully passed 16 bills and amendments through the U.S. House of Representatives. Ilhan introduced the Student Debt Cancellation Act to end the student debt crisis, Homes for All legislation to end the homelessness crisis, and legislation to tackle child hunger by making school meals universal. She also co-sponsored the No Ban Act to combat Donald Trump’s xenophobic Muslim Ban, successfully pushed to extend DED status for the Liberian community in Minnesota, and introduced a War Powers Resolution to prevent war with Iran. 

She is Vice Chair of the Medicare for All Caucus, Whip for the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and Midwest Regional Whip for the Democratic Caucus. Ilhan has consistently worked to show that the American Dream is for everyone. This YEAR, she was awarded the Profile in Courage Award from the Town Project for her consistent engagement with constituents, even in the face of threats to her safety.

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