Omar Fateh is a Twin Cities DSA member running for the Minnesota Senate in District 62. Fateh is the son of hard-working immigrants from Somalia. They instilled in him the values of leadership and personal sacrifice, while raising him to work first and foremost to increase opportunity, justice, and equity for our community. Having worked in government at the federal, state, and local level, Fateh has focused on using the administrative state to bring us closer to the society we envision.
As a DSA member, Fateh has been an active part of the movement for a democratic socialist agenda. He has called for stopping Line 3 and dismantling the fossil fuel industry. He has also advocated for a statewide $15 minimum wage, improved fare-free public transit, comprehensive single-payer healthcare, and more. In response to the COVID19 public health emergency, Fateh has joined DSA in efforts to ban evictions and cancel rent, mortgage, and utility payments.
In addition to his involvement with the TCDSA chapter, democratic socialism is expressed in Fateh’s platform in a number of ways. First, he is fighting to protect civil liberties and extend civil rights into the economic realm. By guaranteeing a baseline standard of living, i.e. eliminating poverty, we can free people from the material constraints currently preventing them from fully exercising their rights. We can bring down the cost of housing through rent control and by building affordable housing as well as public housing, raise the minimum wage to at least $15 dollars, and unionize the workforce. This will not only improve our residents’ quality of life, but will also empower them to participate in the political process in ways they were not previously able, for example, attending a caucus instead of working overtime.
Fateh also believes in extending civil rights to individuals that have not been traditionally protected, such as prisoners, ex-convicts, and those recovering from addiction. He is fighting to extend voting rights to prisoners and ex-felons as well as to ban employers from requiring prospective employees to disclose if they have a criminal history on job applications. Currently, being a recovering addict does not fall under a constitutionally protected class. Fateh believes that recovering addicts should be legally protected from employment, workforce, and housing discrimination and would support an equal rights amendment to the MN constitution which would include recovering addicts and ex-convicts.
Finally, Fateh is fighting to bring society’s resources under democratic control. Privatization has not improved the quality of utilities such as electricity or cable, but it has led to price increases and made services like broadband internet unavailable in rural areas where it isn’t as profitable. When it comes to the issue of healthcare, the people overwhelmingly believe that it should be a right, regardless of ability to pay, and we have seen that neoliberal efforts to provide high quality, universal healthcare have not made healthcare affordable. In cases of great public interest such as these, utilities and healthcare, Fateh believes that the most efficient, effective, moral, and humane solution is to provide them as a society. That is, we need to take over many utilities and institute MinnesotaCare for all.
Omar Fateh was officially endorsed by the Twin Cities DSA on Saturday, March 21, 2020. His next steps are to secure the DFL endorsement in early May and go on to win the primary and general election. You can learn more about Fateh’s campaign and how to support by visiting his website at omarfateh.org.