Thank you so much for choosing me to be your next Representative in Congress.
People will talk about the many firsts behind my name.
The first woman of color to serve Minnesota in Congress.
The first woman to wear a hijab to be elected to Congress.
The first refugee to be elected to Congress
One of the first Muslim women to be elected to Congress. A title I share with my beautiful sister in Michigan, Rashida Tlalib.
But I never ran to be a first. I ran because when I came to this country, I had heard of its promise.
But when I look around this district I see too many people who have never known the bounty of the American promise.
The promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. This is supposed to be a land where people have the tools they need to lead lives that are prosperous and yet;
Indigenous people, promised homes, are living in tents like refugees on their own land.
Immigrants, promised a land of opportunity, are too often met with bigotry and hate.
Millennials, promised the American dream if they study hard enough, only to find that dream deferred by the harsh realities of our economy.
I could not stand on the sidelines and watch those promises go unkept. My grandfather taught me that when you see injustice, you fight back. You do not give in to sorrow, you do not give into sadness, you organize. You build with people.
I would not be here without my people: my family, my father, my children Isra, Adnan, Ilwad and my husband, my best friend, my rock – Ahmed.
And my other family, my campaign team – staff, interns and volunteers – who have given endlessly of themselves and their time these past few months.
And I wouldn’t be here without the people of the Fifth Congressional District, who, in electing me, have said that we will fight.
For our bold, progressive vision.
For working families to ensure that they are paid a living wage and have access to safe and sick time, thanks in large part to labor unions who have our backs.
For healthcare for all.
We will fight for world-class education, tuition-free college and finally free students from the shackles of debt.
We will fight to abolish ICE and protect refugees, protect women’s rights and LGBTQ rights.
And we will fight to use the sanity of science to protect our environment and fight for climate change.
You, as Minnesotans, are the the North Star that guides our nation. You don’t back down.
You become your own promise.
When the call came to run for Congress, I had to answer. Because this time demanded it. A time when racism and white supremacy threaten our very existence. When my status as an immigrant, Black, Muslim woman means that the current administration doesn’t see me as an American.
You know I will not bow down to the hate. I will not back down in fear.
I will stand strong with you, as we fight to protect our immigrant families and neighbors, our children, our planet and our communities. That is my promise to you.
Our state is cold, but the people here have warm hearts. It has always made me feel like I’m part of the family because Minnesotans know, we don’t just welcome immigrants to our state, we send them to Washington.
Our beautiful journey does not end tonight. We must stand side by side and fight for our democracy. We must fight for our rights and the freedoms we value.
It is up to us to fulfill the promise of America. We must do this work to create the America we believe in. The America we deserve.
We are who we have been waiting for.