The influx of Somali immigrants concentrated in Cedar-Riverside have started flexing their political muscle. First, Abdi Warsame was elected to Minneapolis City Council in 2013, and then Mohamud Noor gave Phyllis Kahn, a 42-year veteran of the state house, her first real competition in years during the last Democratic primary.
Now a proposal working through city approval will bestow commemorative Somali names on three streets surrounding Riverside Plaza.
Signs heralding Oromo Street, Taleex Avenue and Somali Street will soon hang from street posts around the neighborhood. Warsame says Oromo and Somali are actually the two most-used languages in Cedar-Riverside, and Taleex is a city with great historical significance in Somalia.
Oromo Street is taking over for 4th St. S between Cedar and 15th Avenue, Taleex Avenue is taking over for 16th Street between 6th Street and Hiawatha Bike Trail and Somali Street is taking over for 6th Street in between Cedar and 15th Avenue.
"This goes a long way toward making community members feel at home," he said, adding the Somali community will pay for the whole thing.
Lately commemorative names have focused on on sports heroes, with Bud Grant, Kirby Puckett and Rod Carew all honored.
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