Safiya Khalid defeated a fellow Democrat on Tuesday to become the first Somali-American Muslim woman to win a seat on the Lewiston City Council, Bangor Daily News reported.
Khalid, 23, won with 69.9 percent of the vote, according to unofficial results. She is also the youngest person to hold a seat on the council.
On Tuesday night, Khalid called her campaign a proof that “community organizers beat internet trolls”
Khalid ran unsuccessfully for school committee in 2017, when she was 20 years old and a senior psychology student at the University of Southern Maine.
Lewiston, Maine, makes history by electing a Somali-American, Safiya Khalid, to its city council for the first time pic.twitter.com/eFtPLp9uNB
— Reuters (@Reuters) November 6, 2019
Young Muslim Women
Nadia Mohamed also won a seat on the St. Louis Park City Council in Minnesota, Sahan Journal reported.
Also 23, the young Muslim politician fled Somalia’s war when she was a young girl.
“I’m running because I believe I can help our city reach out to everybody in St. Louis Park,” Nadia said in her campaign video.
Nadia won with 63% of the first-choice votes in the race, while Joseph Israel received 36% of the votes. She will replace Thom Miller, who did not run for reelection.
Throughout Nadia’s campaign, she emphasized the importance of being inclusive of the whole community.
“I really want to make sure that everybody [is] being heard and they are part of the building process,” Mohamed told the St. Louis Park Echo.
BREAKING: HUGE night for Somali women: Safiya Khalid wins a seat on the Lewiston City Council in Maine.
Nadia Mohamed also won a seat on the St. Louis Park City Council in Minnesota.
They are both 23 and will become youngest members to hold seats on their respective council. pic.twitter.com/6imSumGGhn
— Mukhtar M. Ibrahim (@mukhtaryare) November 6, 2019
History in Virginia
Democrat Abrar Omeish clinched one of three vacant seats on the Fairfax County School Board, Huff Post reported.
Celebrating her win, Omeish, 24, said she was the youngest woman to hold elected office in Virginia’s history and also the first Muslim woman to be elected in the state.
— Abrar Omeish (@AbrarOmeish) November 6, 2019
“Abrar’s campaign worked hard to elevate young voices and those of underserved and underrepresented communities, proactively reaching out to constituencies who have otherwise not been engaged by registering 1,500 new voters and training hundreds of new volunteers,” Omeish’s campaign said in a statement celebrating her victory to an at-large seat.
“She strives towards facilitating a school system that believes fully in the potential of the leader in every child and believes that the investment in that child is worthwhile no matter their race, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, religion, gender, sexual orientation, or immigration status,” the campaign continued.
Previously, many Muslim women have been making achievements in political circles recently.
For example, Zulfat Suara made history in September after becoming the first Muslim elected to a Metro seat in Nashville, despite facing a lot of Islamophobic comments and threats.
Also in 2018, Ilhan Omar was elected as the first Somali-American (and hijab-wearing!) Congresswoman in the US.
Moreover, Rashida Tlaib, a Palestinian-American Congresswoman, was also elected to represent the 13th congressional district of Michigan.
Movita Johnson-Harrell made history last March after winning the contested special election for the 190th District seat, becoming the first Muslim woman to be elected as a state representative in Pennsylvania.