Somali woman

Raised in Columbus, State Representative Munira Yasin Abdullahi (D-Columbus) yesterday became the first Somali American and Muslim woman to serve in the Ohio General Assembly.  

When she was three years old, her parents fled war-torn Somalia and settled in a northside apartment off route 161. Columbus has the second largest Somali community in US, with the population estimated at 45,000.

Rep. Abdullahi was a Columbus City School student where she developed a passion for community service. She received a degree in political science from the Ohio State University, and for ten years worked for local non-profits, advocating for youth development and community service.

With a population of nearly 120,000, Ohio House District 9 includes Northland and Minerva Park.

“I’m excited and honored to serve Ohio House District 9, and I look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure a more equitable and better Ohio for all. I urge all my constituents to reach out to my office for any needs that I can assist with,” stated Rep. Abdullahi in an email.

Rep. Abdullahi outlined her priorities for the 135th General Assembly, which include affordable healthcare, equitable education, and affordable housing.

“The affordable housing crisis has caused mass displacement, gentrification, and homelessness in our community,” Rep. Abdullahi told Ballotpedia.  “Ohioans continue to suffer due to rising rental and housing costs, specifically low-income residents and senior citizens. Communities of color are also disproportionately affected by the failures in our housing market. I will work to ensure Ohioans are afforded protection against price hikes, push for more diverse developers and expand housing services for our homeless community.”

According to Matriots (Ohio), a non-partisan PAC dedicated to supporting woman candidates, Rep. Abdullahi has type-1 diabetes and is passionate about making healthcare and medications affordable and accessible.

“When I was first diagnosed with diabetes, I found myself having to work full-time while completing my college education just to pay for insulin and quality care,” she told Ballotpedia. “I remember still falling short, racking up large sums of debt due to hospital emergency visits, and struggling to pay off my medical debt. No one should ever go into crippling debt just to stay alive. I will work twice as hard to make sure that Ohioans have access to high-quality medication and care, regardless of income or pre-existing conditions.”

According to Matriots, she will also focus on updating our public transportation and supporting small business owners. She wants to focus on making sure our teachers and students have all of the resources necessary to thrive, regardless of their unique needs, as well as functional facilities in which to teach and learn.

“I saw a need for community-oriented leaders who understand the struggles that everyday people face and are willing to fight for a more equitable and safe society,” said Rep. Abdullahi to Matriots.

Constituents of Ohio House District 9 can contact Rep. Munira Yasin Abdullahi’s office at