First African Immigrant Elected In Lewiston


LEWISTON (WGME) — Lewiston residents will soon have some different faces serving on their School Committee. Jama Mohamed picked up ten votes in a ballot recount Thursday, making him the city’s first African Immigrant elected to public office.

Mohamed, 29, is a native of Somalia. He works as a case manager and interpreter at Trinity Junilee Center in Lewiston. He’s also the co-founder of Somali Bantu Youth Association of Maine, an organization that mentors students.

“I’m very excited but I know it’s a lotof responsibilty,” said Mohamed.

The father of six moved to the United States in 2004, to Lewiston in 2008. He hopes his election will not only add to the school comittee but encourage other immigrants to get involved.

Lewiston Schools have about 5,200 students, 23 % of them are English Language Learners, most of the ELL students, children of Somali refugees.

Mohamed says he hopes being a part of the School Committee will create a better link between the schools and immigrant population, and not just somalians.

“Sudan, Congolase, Morrocan… the populaiton is constant increasing in Lewiston,” said Mohamed.

Zamzam Mohamud was the first Somali immigrant to serve on the school committeee. She was appointed by Mayor Bob MacDonald, but lost her seat in this year’s election, making Jama Mohamed the first to win an election.

Mohamed became a write-in candidate in October, after Ward 5 School Committee member Sonia Taylor did not seek re-election and no candidate stepped forward.

City Councilors and School Committee members will be sworn into office January 6th.