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American Muslims Add to Diverse Election Wins
Nov 16 – Nov 29, 2023
nadia mohamed

St. Louis Park, Minnesota became what is believed to be the first city to elect a Somali American mayor in the United States. The Minneapolis suburb elected Nadia Mohamed this November. Outgoing mayor Jake Spano had endorsed her.

The first-ring suburb immediately west of Minneapolis had a population of 50,010 at the 2020 census. The population is more than 80 percent White.

While serving as a council member, Mohamed worked full-time as a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Specialist for the Minnesota Department of Human Services and is a member of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party.

Deqa Dhalac of South Portland, Maine, was the first Somali American to serve as mayor of an American city. However, that city's six-member council selected her in 2021 and she was not elected by the town’s voters.

Exonerated "Central Park Five" member Yusef Salaam won a seat on the New York City Council. The Democrat, who is also a Muslim, will represent a central Harlem district.  

His victory comes more than two decades after DNA evidence was used to overturn the convictions of Salaam and four other Black and Latino men in the 1989 rape and beating of a White jogger in Central Park. Salaam was arrested at age 15 and imprisoned for almost seven years.

During the case against the Central Park Five, now four times indicted, former President Donald Trump took out large ads in newspapers that implored New York to bring back the death penalty. In 2023, Salaam had this response in his full-page ad:

“On May 1, 1989, almost thirty-four years ago, Donald J. Trump spent $85,000 to take out full-page ads in The New York Times, New York Daily News, New York Post, and New York Newsday, calling for the execution of the Central Park Five, an act he has never apologized for, even after someone else confessed to and was convicted of the crime, the convictions of all five of us were overturned, and we were renamed the Exonerated Five.”

Salaam later said he already forgiven Trump.  He added, “Justice is always right on time.”
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