Maine DOE Team Member Makes U.S. History as First Somali American Elected as Mayor


We are proud to share that Maine Department of Education team member Deqa Dhalac has made national history. The Family Engagement and Cultural Responsiveness Specialist was sworn in as South Portland’s new mayor, the first Somali American to ever hold the position of mayor.

‘Amazing feeling.’ 1st Somali mayor in US shares her vision

Washington Post | 12/8/2021

PORTLAND, Maine — Deqa Dhalac is the first Somali immigrant to become the mayor of a U.S. city, but she describes her rise in local politics as very old fashioned.

Dhalac, 53, became mayor of South Portland, the fourth largest city in Maine, on Monday. She fled Somalia in the early 1990s as war broke out and settled in the coastal city of about 25,000 in 2008 after finding a job in social work.

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