From reporter Curtis Gilbert:
Abdi Warsame’s campaign has an ambitious mission: Change the way his fellow Somali-Americans see politics.
Although Warsame has never run for office before, last month he won the DFL party endorsement over a three-term incumbent. If successful, he could be the first Somali-American elected to the Minneapolis City Council.
“This community that I’m from doesn’t believe in the system. They only think President Obama solves problems,” Warsame said. “So when there’s a presidential election, they get very excited. But they don’t understand that what actually impacts their lives is dealt with not by the federal government, but by the local government, the city.”
Warsame ticks off a list of concerns facing his community: jobs, roads, housing, youth in need of mentors. He says his campaign has mobilized a community that now understands city politics matter.
As evidence, Warsame points to the Minneapolis DFL Ward 6 convention last month when his supporters dominated the delegation and easily handed him the party endorsement.
“You see these old ladies waving American flags, with the hijabs, and crying and feeling that they were part of the system. And I think that’s the most powerful thing, and that’s what motivates me,” Warsame said.