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Boost for Olat as he gets endorsements in Minneapolis Council race

By Derek Otieno
Tuesday, June 30th, 2020
Olat and Jibril.

Twenty nine year old former Somali refugee at the Daadab camp Suud Olat’s mission to become the representative of Ward 6 in Minneapolis City Council in the August 11, 2020 elections has received a huge boost with several endorsements.

A Principal City Planner for Policy and Master Planning for the City of Los Angeles, Faisal Roble said Olat’s passion to advocate for equity and equality in the community has endeared him to many.

“It is one thing to use politics as a source of employment. It is quite another to have the passion to advocate for the masses.

Suud Olat is an incomparable young activist with a passion, tolerance, and a vision for great ideals towards Somalis and Africans in the United States of America,” Roble said.

He added: “I see the future with a bright eye. Suud Olat, who is a young Somali activist in Minneapolis, is running for a council seat.

He, along with other young activists and office seekers in the West, represents our future. He stands for "a shining light" in a future that will completely divorce us from our past flailing.”

He said he had known Olat as an upcoming honest leader whose activism started in Dadab refugee camp.

And he is still a relentless activist. He never misses a minute to speak up for the down trodden.

 Abdirashid Sh-Ali Ahmed, a governance, security and justice team leader said: “I support Olat as a candidate for Minneapolis City Council Ward 6.

Because I have known him for many years, personally and professionally. He is a rising activist and leader in the growing and vibrant East African community in Minnesota. He is committed to social justice, public service and strives to influence.”      

“Olat advocates for immigrant communities and embodies a true success story of the American Dream -  starting from his long, and impressive, journey from a Kenyan refugee camp. He is a leader with a genuine desire to help others and make a difference.” 

Suud and Diane.

Jibril Ali Mohamed, a professor at the The Ohio State University said Olat’s compelling story hard work from the Daadab Refugee camp to Minneapolis is an inspiration to many.

“He grew up in the world’s harshest refugee camp in Dadaab, Kenya. He persevered and bounced back.

He will be an excellent role model for the city of Minneapolis which is bouncing back from its recent troubles,” the professor stated.

He said that  23% of the Minneapolis population lives under the poverty line and Suud has shown commitment in the fight against poverty through his activism work with the ONE campaign.

“As someone who experienced abject poverty and found an opportunity to transform his life, Suud understands the dreams and aspirations of people who live paycheck to paycheck or who face institutional and socio-economic barriers to employment.”

According to Jibril, public safety reform is a major item on the menu of the Minneapolis City Council.

“As the victim of anarchy of lawlessness that forced him to become a refugee at a young age, Suud understands the importance of the public service that our police departments offer.

On the other hand, as a Somali refugee who faced the wrath of corrupt and unaccountable Kenyan police, he understands the concerns of ethnic minorities and the need to ensure civilian oversight of police use of force.”

He further said Suud has shown great love for promoting academic excellence and inspiring youth

“Months after he landed in US soil, Suud called me to express his support for the SomaliCAN scholarship program in Ohio.

He traveled to speak at the event alongside Mohamed Farmaajo, the current president of Somalia, among others. A few years later, he earned a degree at Saint Claud State University.

If given an opportunity to serve, he will inspire more young people to earn degrees and seek public office,” said the professor in support of Suud Olat’s candidature.

He said Suud cares about civil rights of all people and takes pride in defending groups that face discrimination and  enjoys serving older adults, promoting refugee rights, standing up for progressive values and improving the living conditions of disadvantaged groups.

Olat also got endorsement from Diane Duncan, the Central Committee Member Clark County Democratic Party in Springfield (OH) who said Olat embodies the common core values of integrity, leadership, and vision that make him the best person for this position.

She said: “Why would a Midwestern farm girl from Ohio endorse a Somali refugee for City Council man of Ward 6 in Minneapolis?

Because I know Suud Olat. I know he embodies the common core values of integrity, leadership, and vision that make him the best person for this position.

I have worked alongside Suud as an advocate for people living in extreme poverty through ONE.

He has taught me more about perseverance, humanity and humility than anyone I have ever known. Proud to endorse this amazing young man- my friend and brother,”

Suud Olat grew up at the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya after his family sought refuge from civil war in Somalia in 1991.

For 20 years, he lived at the camp, surviving on food rations from the United Nations until 2012 when he got the chance to travel abroad to the United States.

Early voting for the Ward 6 elections started on June 26 with August 10 being the final day to cast early ballots and August 11 the primary voting day.