My District Work Period: Feb 16–21, 2021

I came to Congress on a promise of co-governance. As your Congresswoman, I do not only want to represent Minnesotans — I want to govern with you. Last week, we had a jam packed week in the district and I wanted to share some of the highlights with you.

Tuesday:

I hosted my first Congressional “Coffee and Kulan” community conversation on cannabis legalization with Rep. Barbara Lee and MN House Majority Leader, Ryan Winkler. We discussed our plans on both the state and federal level to implement restorative justice practices and end the war on drugs. If you missed it, you can watch the full conversation below.

Wednesday:

Meeting with MN State Chancellor and Board of Trustees: I met with Chancellor Malhotra and the Board of Trustees to discuss a number of higher education priorities for the 117th Congress. We discussed how the pandemic has impacted students and campuses across the state.

Meeting with AAPI leaders: Racist and xenophobic attacks against the AAPI community aren’t new. I met with local leaders to hear their stories and concerns. It is crucial we find ways to combat this hate together.

Housing Task Force: Since the start of the pandemic, I’ve been meeting with local leaders and stakeholders monthly to discuss ways we can combat housing insecurity in our district.

SBA COVID-19 Funding Options: I met with the Small Business Administration Minnesota District Office to hear how the Paycheck Protection Program and other SBA funding options can help the Somali community and other underserved populations receive critical funding.

Thursday:

Virtual School Visit: Northport Elementary + Cooper High School: Young people are often shutout of conversations with elected leaders. Since getting elected to higher office, I have met with young people throughout our district to hear from them and answer any questions they have. It’s critical we make government accessible to young people.

Hennepin County Leaders Meeting: In order to build a more just world, we need to stay rooted in community together. I met with members of the Hennepin County Board to discuss ways we can collaborate and bring meaningful change to our district.

George Floyd Memorial Visit: The closure of Chicago Avenue and 38th Street has received increased media attention over the last few weeks. I met with community leaders to hear their concerns and discuss ways to memorialize George Floyd Square through federal action.

Friday:

Minnesota Housing Partnership Meeting: Housing has been one of my top priorities in Congress. I was grateful for the opportunity to discuss housing priorities for our district and how federal action will impact our community.

Vaccination Visit: NorthPoint Health & Wellness Center: I met with healthcare workers and staff to hear about what’s been happening on the ground. This Community Health Center started receiving additional vaccine allocations last week and will play a vital role in addressing vaccine inequity among marginalized communities.

African American Leaders Constituency Meeting: I met with African American leaders in our community to hear their concerns and provide an update on my work in Congress to better the lives of all Minnesotans. We discussed the George Floyd memorial and the next COVID relief package.

Virtual Meeting with Public Health Officials: My team and I met with public health officials to share updates and discuss ways we can collaborate to provide health updates to members of our community. We talked about ways to improve our public health infrastructure.

Saturday:

Minneapolis Institute of Art Visit: I had the opportunity to see two exhibitions that involve art from and about Somalia with State Rep. Mohamud Noor. It was great to see the Somali community represented and depicted with a positive lens.

OPEIU Meeting: After my visit to both exhibitions, I met with local members of OPEIU to hear about the status of their contract with MIA and hear what action they are pushing for. Members are urging part-time MIA employees to be eligible for OPEIU membership, wage increase, and better benefits.

That’s it for this week! Let me know what you want to see next.

In service,

Ilhan Omar

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

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