Ilhan Omar
Start writing a post
Politics

Ilhan Omar Is My Newest Role Model, She Should Be Yours, Too

Here's why.

801
Ilhan Omar Is My Newest Role Model, She Should Be Yours, Too

In my government/economics class in high school, my teacher tried to teach out of the box and relate the lessons to relevant, current events. He spent a day talking about this woman, a Somali-American working-class mother, a refugee, an American citizen who didn't look like everyone else in politics but was using her voice to change things that she saw as wrong.

This woman was Ilhan Omar, and she has recently become the first Somali-American woman—and one of the first two Muslim women—to be elected to Congress. Omar first made her journey to America as a refugee—she was born in Somalia and she and her family fled during the first Somali civil war when she was eight-years-old. They spent four years in a Kenyan refugee camp before moving to the United States in 1997.

In 2016, Omar became the first Somali-American and Muslim legislator in the United States, and her campaign team increased voter turnout that year by 37%. She was then elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives and continued climbing the ladder until she was elected to Congress in the 2018 midterm elections.

Okay, awesome, she's made history, but why do I admire her so much? Let's start with the fact that she uses her platform as a politician to actually enact useful change: she is pushing for a $15 minimum wage, subsidizing higher education costs for low-income students, and is one of the highest proponents for canceling the crushing student debt faced by most college students in the country.

Outside of improving quality of life and decreasing debt for as many people as possible in the United States, Omar is working to make sure that people of all faiths and beliefs are recognized and respected throughout the country. She is actively advocating to lift the ban on headwear on the House floor. Democrats introduced the proposal to remove the ban, and Omar has vocally shown her support on social media, posting on Twitter and Instagram, "No one puts a scarf on my head but me. It's my choice—one protected by the first amendment."


This rule regarding headwear states that a House member cannot enter the House "with his head covered," a rule that extends to not allow religious headwear in the House of Representatives. By advocating for the lifting of this ban, Omar is not only protecting her freedom but the freedom of any future members of Congress who may be affected by this same problem. She is paving the way for people of color and different religions to take their places and use their voices in government.

So far, Ilhan Omar has proven that women of color have a place in Washington and voices that need to be heard. She is for the people, and I, for one, am ready to see everything that she will achieve as she continues climbing up the political ladder in the United States of America.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
the beatles
Wikipedia Commons

For as long as I can remember, I have been listening to The Beatles. Every year, my mom would appropriately blast “Birthday” on anyone’s birthday. I knew all of the words to “Back In The U.S.S.R” by the time I was 5 (Even though I had no idea what or where the U.S.S.R was). I grew up with John, Paul, George, and Ringo instead Justin, JC, Joey, Chris and Lance (I had to google N*SYNC to remember their names). The highlight of my short life was Paul McCartney in concert twice. I’m not someone to “fangirl” but those days I fangirled hard. The music of The Beatles has gotten me through everything. Their songs have brought me more joy, peace, and comfort. I can listen to them in any situation and find what I need. Here are the best lyrics from The Beatles for every and any occasion.

Keep Reading...Show less
Being Invisible The Best Super Power

The best superpower ever? Being invisible of course. Imagine just being able to go from seen to unseen on a dime. Who wouldn't want to have the opportunity to be invisible? Superman and Batman have nothing on being invisible with their superhero abilities. Here are some things that you could do while being invisible, because being invisible can benefit your social life too.

Keep Reading...Show less
Featured

19 Lessons I'll Never Forget from Growing Up In a Small Town

There have been many lessons learned.

47297
houses under green sky
Photo by Alev Takil on Unsplash

Small towns certainly have their pros and cons. Many people who grow up in small towns find themselves counting the days until they get to escape their roots and plant new ones in bigger, "better" places. And that's fine. I'd be lying if I said I hadn't thought those same thoughts before too. We all have, but they say it's important to remember where you came from. When I think about where I come from, I can't help having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude for my roots. Being from a small town has taught me so many important lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.

Keep Reading...Show less
​a woman sitting at a table having a coffee
nappy.co

I can't say "thank you" enough to express how grateful I am for you coming into my life. You have made such a huge impact on my life. I would not be the person I am today without you and I know that you will keep inspiring me to become an even better version of myself.

Keep Reading...Show less
Student Life

Waitlisted for a College Class? Here's What to Do!

Dealing with the inevitable realities of college life.

120572
college students waiting in a long line in the hallway
StableDiffusion

Course registration at college can be a big hassle and is almost never talked about. Classes you want to take fill up before you get a chance to register. You might change your mind about a class you want to take and must struggle to find another class to fit in the same time period. You also have to make sure no classes clash by time. Like I said, it's a big hassle.

This semester, I was waitlisted for two classes. Most people in this situation, especially first years, freak out because they don't know what to do. Here is what you should do when this happens.

Keep Reading...Show less

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

Facebook Comments