Omar Fateh is the son of immigrant parents from Somalia. His father arrived in America in 1963 on a full scholarship to Montana State University to study civil engineering. His mother immigrated later on, in the early 70’s. Omar was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Annandale, Virginia. Growing up, he spent every summer in Minnesota—here was his second home. After completing his Master’s Degree in Public Administration at George Mason University, Omar moved to South Minneapolis and has since been working to promote opportunity, justice, and equity for his neighbors.
Omar spent his early career helping underserved communities, especially communities of color, to find opportunities in education. He spent two years as a Community College academic advisor, where he counseled several hundred students in a Pathways program that worked with at-risk youth. These students were mostly students of color who came from low-income households, and many were the first in their family to attend college. He guided them on potential career paths, showed them how to effectively manage a budget, and assisted in paid internship placement and employment.
Since moving to Minneapolis, Omar has led efforts to increase voter turnout and to make the Democratic process more inclusive. He has worked for the City of Minneapolis as a Community Specialist, where he worked to improve the City’s outreach to East African communities. In that capacity, he helped register voters, provided election resources and training, and developed new methods of outreach and education for underprivileged and homeless residents.
Omar currently serves as the vice-chair on the Hennepin County 2040 Comprehensive Plan Policy Advisory Committee, which oversees the development of the Hennepin County 2040 Comprehensive Plan. This blueprint will be the County’s overarching policy framework in areas such as education, healthcare, housing, and transportation, with a goal of improving the health and quality of life of residents and the safety of the community. Omar is dedicated to achieving better outcomes for marginalized groups in a way that is targeted, respectful, and sustainable for generations to come. His recent focus has been working with youth groups to address addiction, which has affected youth across racial and socioeconomic lines with especially harmful impact to the Native, Latino, and African-American youth in district 62.
Complementing a career dedicated to service, Omar has been active with local organizations and initiatives such as Neighborhoods Organizing for Change, VoteYes4Kids, 15Now, Minnesota Association of Public Employees, and the DFL Somali Caucus.