Congresswoman Omar focuses on pay inequity, doesn't address controversies during town hall

April 24, 2019 11:06 PM

Minnesota Congresswoman Ilhan Omar is back at home speaking with her constituents. She held a town hall  Wednesday night focusing on gender and pay equity.

The Democrat addressed what she described as the barriers women and people of color face getting equal pay.


She entered the event with her family and was greeted by a round of applause.

“This is not a conversation only women need to have, it's a conversation we need to have a society,” said Rep. Omar. “When women are not being compensated for the work that they do, that impacts not only their families but it impacts their whole community.”

She joined five other women for a panel discussion, including Abena Abraham, an organizer for SEIU Healthcare MN, Richfield Mayor Maria Regan Gonzalez, Gender Justice attorney Christy Hall, MSP NOW Co-president Bri Sharkey-Smith, and The Coven CEO Alex West Steinman.

“I think that's a good first step and then the actions will then be able to follow,” said Gabby Keys, who traveled from Wisconsin to attend the forum.

Another attendee, Daniel Knewitz, said “It's important for me to be present to talk about pay equity and to talk about how I can be an ally, an accomplice in the solution.”

Rep. Omar focused her presentation on the Paycheck Fairness Act, a bill which recently passed the House of Representatives. It includes preventing employers from using salary history to determine future pay and preventing retaliation against workers who talk about their salary.

The Congresswoman said they're waiting for a senate hearing.

“Once that happens, then we can get the president, we know his daughter has been a big part of this conversation and maybe we can get her to urge them on and say this is a conversation that's past its due date,” she said.

She would not address the recent remarks President Trump made to KSTP reporter Tom Hauser.

Last week, Hauser asked President Trump if he had second thoughts about posting a video about 9/11, referencing the Congresswoman. Omar has said the video resulted in death threats against her.

"Look, she's been very disrespectful to this country. She's been very disrespectful, frankly, to Israel. She is somebody that doesn't really understand life. Real life," said President Trump.

The President also called her “unpatriotic”.

More from Trump's recent visit to Minnesota

Rep. Omar’s staff estimate about 200 people registered for Wednesday’s event. There was no visible Minneapolis Police presence.

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Callan Gray

Copyright 2019 - KSTP-TV, LLC A Hubbard Broadcasting Company


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