St. Louis Park (Caasimada Online) – As the filing period for mayoral candidates in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, came to a close last week, the stakes for the November election have never been higher.
Nadia Mohamed, a state Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) specialist, and the city’s current mayor pro tem, is officially vying for the position.
If successful, she will shatter several barriers by becoming the first Black, Muslim, Somali, and youngest mayor in the city’s history.
Mohamed, who is set to face retired banker Dale Anderson, is more than just a candidate; she represents a transformative shift in local politics.
St. Louis Park, with a population hovering around 50,000, has undergone significant demographic shifts in the past two decades.
According to U.S. Census data, the city’s population of people of color has more than doubled.
This rapidly diversifying community uses ranked-choice voting for local elections and is a microcosm of more significant national trends.
From council member to potential mayor
“In 2019, I became the youngest council member in St. Louis Park and the first Muslim and Somali to hold the position. I bring an irreplaceable level of experience to my work as a representative,” Mohamed told Mshale in a recent interview.
This isn’t Mohamed’s first time making history. She had already broken ground as the youngest council member in the city when she won her at-large seat in 2019.
The city council in St. Louis Park comprises seven members: four representing specific wards and three “at-large” members elected citywide.
Alongside the mayor’s race in November, voters will also choose two at-large council members and a school board member, giving residents a unique opportunity to reshape the city’s political landscape.
Born in Somalia, Mohamed arrived in the United States as a refugee at age 10. She has called St. Louis Park home ever since.
Armed with a bachelor’s degree in human resource management from Metropolitan State University in St. Paul, Mohamed is also set to complete her master’s degree in educational leadership and administration from the University of St. Thomas later this year.
Her personal history informs her perspective on leadership.
“My lived experience as an immigrant and renter shapes my approach and will be an asset in how I serve as mayor,” she said.
Her campaign priorities include public safety and community-police relations, affordable housing, and support for small businesses—issues she’s been championing since her city council days.
Shaping the future and addressing concerns
Mohamed is particularly concerned about disparities in homeownership rates. He has laid out plans for expanding programs to benefit first-time homebuyers.
“I have advocated using tax increment financing to ensure developers build affordable housing units. Understanding government operations has taught me valuable lessons in how to make it work for all residents,” she explained.
One looming issue affecting St. Louis Park is the $2.7 billion, 14.5-mile Southwest LRT extension of the Green Line, connecting downtown Minneapolis and Eden Prairie.
Although this project falls under the Metropolitan Council’s jurisdiction, Mohamed weighed in on its implications for her city, citing concerns about potential gentrification.
“My main goal is to ensure that this project does not lead to gentrification but rather is surrounded by affordable housing options,” she highlighted.
This November’s election in St. Louis Park promises to be a bellwether, not just for the city but potentially for the entire state of Minnesota.
As the deadline for candidacy has passed, the town now waits to see if it will take a historic step forward.
Election Day is slated for November 7, with voters encouraged to register or update their information on the Secretary of State’s website.