Oromo Minnesotans: Get Your Voices Heard!

Sibuu Production’s Director, Mr Amanti, talked with local Oromo youth activists about the upcoming Get Out The Vote event and the importance of getting involved in political process. In this moving short video, Oromo Youth Activist and leader, Arfasse Oromia, interviews Minnesota DFL Coordinated Field Organizer Anja Kresojevic.

Anja has been actively advocating for Oromos to get involved in the local politics and make their voices heard in the state of Minnesota and the country at large.

According to the organizers, the
October 16, 2010 event, the first of many similar Get Out The Vote efforts in this election season, is intended to introduce the growing Oromo community to local politicians who are running for re-election in Novermber. Minnesota, sometimes referred to as Little Oromia, boasts an estimated 20,000 Oromo immigrants.

The organizers hope that the event will go a long way to raise awareness about the plight of Oromo people besides giving Oromo Americans a platform to engage with local officials on issues of jobs, healthcare, immigration and education. Oromo people make up a significant portion of Ethiopian population (estimated at 40 million). Despite their number, the Oromo have historically been marginalized in Ethiopia.

In the last two decades, the minority led government of Meles Zenawi waged a repressive campaign against the Oromo in an effort to uproot the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Founded in 1973, the OLF struggles for the realization of Oromo people’s right to self-determination. Ethiopian authorities view every Oromo that is opposed to their tyrannical rule as sympathize or supporter of the OLF. That paranoia has led to an unaccounted number of extrajudicial killings, disappearances, and the creation of a large Oromo Diaspora. More than ninety percent of Oromos arrived in Minnesota following the mass exodus that took place after OLF withdrew from the Transitional Government of Ethiopia in 1992.

Today, there are two Oromo Community centers in the Twin Cities metro; numerous Oromo owned successful businesses and Oromo students have a vivid presence around many of Minnesota’s university and college campuses. The Oromo Youth, most of them first generation immigrants, has been forefront in raising awareness about Oromo people in Minnesota.

The event is OPEN to all OROMOs … not just American citizens. The actions of Senators, Representatives, members of School Boards and other political officials in MINNESOTA affects us ALL. Come and make sure you’re in the know. Please join us for an informational evening regarding the November 2nd election and how it will impact you … Immigration, Jobs, Education, Health Care, and much more.

Honorable Speakers
~ Congressman Keith Ellison
~ Senate Majority Leader Larry Pogemiller
~ State Representative Phyllis Khan

The evening will also include Oromo traditional dances, poetry and more …

Location: University of Minnesota Willey Hall (room 175)
Date: October 16, 2010 Time: 4:30 pm– 7:30 pm
Sponsored by Oromo Minnesotans

For more info, please contact DFL Coordinated Field Organizer Anja Kresojevic at akresojevic@dfl.org.



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Collaborative stories written or reported by OPride staff and contributors.

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