Al Franken, who won a second term as Democratic Senator from Minnesota, has appointed Osman Ali, the first Somali to work as a senator’s staffer in Minnesota, as reported by Somali Current. Osman Ali said, “I’m highly pleased to work with one of the most treasured American Senators.” Osman was born in Somalia, but his family fled to Kenya during the civil war in Somalia and eventually settled in Eden Prairie, Minnesota. Before joining Al Franken’s team, Osman worked with Congressman Keith Allison and Minneapolis Mayer Betsy Hodges.
Minnesota has the largest Somali community in the United States, and on Senator Franken’s webpage, he writes of the need to make sure refugees from Somalia’s civil war achieve equal footing and that Somalia will become stabilized. He outlined a policy that includes counter terrorism and humanitarian efforts “to relieve the intense suffering of the Somali people.” Senator Franken sponsored a resolution urging the Obama Administration to develop a strategy to stabilize Somalia, and the legislation passed the Senate by unanimous vote.