St. Louis Park’s first Somali, Muslim mayor, Nadia Mohamed, was sworn in last week. Mayor Mohamed, a refugee who immigrated to the United States when she was 10 years old, will now lead the Minneapolis suburb which has a population of roughly 60,000 people.
Mohamed, who received DFL support in her mayoral campaign, previously served as a city councilor for St. Louis Park. Furthermore, Mohamed possesses a bachelor’s degree in “human resources management” and specializes in diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) work. She is currently employed by a state agency.
After winning the mayoral election on Nov. 7, 2023, Mohamed became the first Somali to be elected mayor of an American city.
In reporting on Mohamed’s new role as the first Somali and first Muslim to lead St. Louis Park, Alpha News sent a series of four questions to Mohamed related to her priorities as mayor, her Muslim faith, her thoughts on Minneapolis’s decision to allow mosques to broadcast the call to prayer, and her views on the Israel-Hamas conflict.
Included among the questions was: “St. Louis Park’s state senator, Ron Latz, has staunchly defended Israel and forcefully condemned Hamas terrorists in the wake of recent events in the Middle East. Do you share this position?”
Alpha News did not receive an immediate response from Mayor Mohamed. Instead, St. Louis Park communications director Jacque Smith told Alpha News that the mayor’s focus is on city business. Further, Smith said that interviews with the media “will be limited to topics related to policy decisions of the city where it would be appropriate for her to comment as mayor.”
Despite the spokesperson’s implication that it was not “appropriate” for Mayor Mohamed to answer these questions, Alpha News explained that it believes the question regarding recent events in the Middle East is of particular interest to St. Louis Park residents.
For decades, a significant Jewish population has resided in St. Louis Park. In the wake of the recent conflict between Israel and Hamas, one of the Twin Cities’ largest gatherings in support of Israel occurred at the Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park. Those who attended the event went to “sing, honor and grieve the hundreds murdered in Israel,” Fox 9 reported. Gov. Tim Walz and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, both Democrats, spoke at that gathering.
Additionally, St. Louis Park’s current state senator, Ron Latz, has been attacked by members of his own party for his condemnation of Hamas terrorists. Latz, a Jewish Democrat, has represented St. Louis Park in the Minnesota Legislature since 2003.
After a series of back-and-forth emails, St. Louis Park’s communications director sent the following statement:
“Mayor Mohamed denounces violence and the ill treatment or disrespect of any people, including acts of anti-Semitism or Islamophobia. Mayor Mohamed’s focus is on the policy decisions of the St. Louis Park City Council, which is where she and her fellow council members can effect change and ensure all people in the St. Louis Park community are treated with respect and care.”
Mohamed’s campaign for mayor included a platform of “racial equity,” “social connectivity,” “climate action,” and other initiatives.
In her bid to become mayor, Mohamed was endorsed by Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan and Jake Spano, the outgoing mayor of St. Louis Park. Last November, Attorney General Keith Ellison attended her election night party to “show support.”