February 2023: What Happened Today and Highlights From Last Month

Rep. Ilhan Omar
5 min readFeb 2, 2023

Dear friend,

Today, as you may have seen, the House Republican Majority took a partisan vote to silence me and remove me from the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Representation matters.

I didn’t come to Congress to be silent.

I came to Congress to be a voice for families across my district, along with those who are displaced in refugee camps and those seeking justice around the world. That’s what this child survivor of war would have wanted, and that’s why I am here in Washington representing you.

You can watch my speech here.

But I also want you to know that this will in no way diminish the work I do on your behalf. I will continue to serve on the House Education & Labor Committee, and will be joining the House Budget committee this term.

I have also continued to work diligently in Minnesota to meet with the people I represent. In that vein, I wanted to give you a behind the scenes of our district work period last month. Convening with constituents is the most gratifying part of my job, and keeps me going on the long challenging weeks in Washington.

Monday, January 16th

I attended the 33rd Annual Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday Breakfast at the Minneapolis Convention Center. It was great to be in community with fellow Minnesotans to celebrate his enduring legacy.

Tuesday, January 17th

I started out the day at Sabathani Community Center and met with the Executive Director, Scott Redd. We talked about their environmental justice energy project aimed at improving air quality and reducing asthma rates for our communities — especially BIPOC. Last year, we secured $500,000 through Community Project Funding to repair their 100-year-old commercial building and upgrade their energy system. Community centers like these help Minnesotans strive for a more inclusive, heathy, and safe community.

I hosted our annual Legislative Luncheon for Minnesota’s Fifth District, where we celebrated legislators from our district who are filling prominent roles in the Legislature this session, including the President of the Senate, Bobby Joe Champion, the Senate Majority Leader, Kari Dziedzic, House Majority Leader, Rep. Jamie Long, and the Speaker of the House, Melissa Hortman. I can’t wait to see the amazing things they will accomplish for our district.

Next, I attended a press conference to celebrate the incredible work the Next Step violence prevention program with Mayor Jacob Frey, Hennepin County Board Chair Irene Fernando, Community Safety Commissioner Cedric Alexander, Interim Director of Neighborhood Safety Josh Peterson, and Hennepin Healthcare program staff to highlight the Next Step program. I’m proud my office was able to help secure a $500,000 federal grant to help them continue their important work to provide resources to those who have become victims of gun violence.

Wednesday, January 18th

I visited Shiloh Cares Food Shelf alongside Mayor Jacob Frey to serve meals, tour the food shelf, talk with staff, and learn about the overall operations. Shiloh Cares works to eliminate food hunger in North Minneapolis, and Hennepin County, by providing residents with meals and nutrition education. As someone who experienced hunger, fighting food insecurity remains one of my top priorities in Congress. Last year, I secured $1 million in federal funding to Shiloh Cares Food Shelf. You can watch a video recap of our visit, here.

Then, I participated in one of Councilmember Andrew Johnson’s monthly senior town halls at Nokomis Square Senior Co-Op to answer questions and provide an update on our work, including the $24.7 million in community project funding we secured.

Thursday, January 19th

I joined other elected officials to celebrate city, state, and federal funding to equip all 42 MPHA high-rises with fire suppression systems. I partnered with Senator Amy Klobuchar and Senator Tina Smith to secure $2 million in federal funding to accelerate the installation process for fire sprinkler systems, following the tragic fire at a Cedar-Riverside high-rise building in 2019. Since the horrific incident, I have fought for increased federal funding to improve public housing for Minnesotans.’

Next, I visited Fridley High School and Fair Middle School in Crystal to participate in a Q&A with students. School visits are my favorite district week activity. I love meeting with our incredible educators and the next generation of leaders. Since getting elected to Congress, I try to meet with as many students as possible every district work period.

After that, I had a meeting with our US Postal Service Regional Manager to receive an update on the recent delays people have been experiencing with their mail services.

Later that night, I hosted my first town hall of 2023 in Brooklyn Center at SEWA. I discussed the community project funding my office advanced for the district and the start of the new Congress. If you missed it, you can watch our livestream here.

Friday, January 20th

On Friday, I held a press conference with Senator Amy Klobuchar in Richfield at Wood Lake Nature Center to celebrate the $3 million in community project funding we secured. The funding will go towards making the building ADA-accessible and energy efficient to enrich the educational experience of visitors. This is one of fifteen projects that was included in the House-passed 2023 appropriations government funding package.

That’s a wrap!

In service,

Ilhan Omar

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Rep. Ilhan Omar

Representing Minnesota’s 5th District in the People’s House.