Deqa Dhalac, a 53-year-old Somali woman was elected as a mayor of South Portland in the state of Maine. With this victory, she has made history as the first black Mayor of the state and the first Somalian to achieve this feat.
Her victory has been widely celebrated due to the racial composition of the voter population which got her elected. The population of South Portland is considered 90% white, making her victory look more like a win for the human race as stereotypes are gradually being dealt with.
Sharing her experience Dhalac said “it’s an amazing feeling, but I don’t think it’s a milestone you can get unless you build relationships with all kinds of people… that contributed to where I am today.”
She added further that, “people will always have some kind of reservation … but will get to know you, listen to you and see who you are through that.”
Her impact in the community was duely recognized by the New American Leaders, a support group which helps immigrants and refugees to nurture and pursue their interest in public positions.
“As a Black, immigrant, and Muslim woman who was previously the first Black person and first Muslim elected to the South Portland City Council, Mayor Dhalac is a force for positive change in her community,” the group stated on their Instagram handle.
“We couldn’t be more proud to have her in our network of New American elected officials and look forward to all of the amazing things she will accomplish as South Portland Mayor,” they added.
Dhalac got into the U.S in 1992 at the breakout of Somalia’s civil war. With her entrance into the political sphere of the U.S, she was enthusiastic that many other immigrants, refugees and diverse people will break the stereotype and get elected into government positions.