Hosanna Yemiru: Embracing challenges and striving for a better community
Hosanna Yemiru is a rising example of an immigrant Black woman finding her way through the United States political landscape. Despite being a minority in many identities and facing discrimination, Yemiru stands strong to her beliefs and philosophies - to understand the world that we live in and to strive for the community that we deserve. She is currently running to represent District 11 on the Dallas City Council.
Hosanna Yemiru was born and raised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where her father and mother, both working in the journalism and publication industry, were heavily involved in the country's politics. Being the only child in her family, both her parents involved Hosanna in their careers. She would often accompany her father to many political conversations, which expanded her perspective on Ethiopia's political structure. The exposure and interaction with her parents kindled the interest to understand communities, politics, and the impact created by leadership.
Moving to the U.S. is when everything changed for Hosanna. She was introduced to a world that had a completely different structure than what she had experienced in Ethiopia, and the ambiguity was coupled with many challenges. Although her parents were highly qualified, they had a hard time finding opportunities aligned with their interests. By the time Hosanna was 17 years old, she was earning more than her parents by not working at a minimum wage job! Discrimination, outright and microaggressions, also posed their own challenges, but Hosanna was quick to confront it by a "take it and turn the other cheek" attitude. These struggles, hardships, and challenges factored in and inspired her to drive change in her community.
In 2018, Hosanna started to volunteer as a fellow for congressional races, alongside working two jobs and going to school to study International Political Economy at UT Dallas. Her involvement as a fellow inspired her to take up politics and community service as a profession, bringing her closer to different congressional races and Dallas's political structure. As an organizer for congressional races, Hosanna's work was influenced by the principles taught by her parents - hard work, determination, and honesty. She was also inspired by leaders like Ayanna Pressley. Her familiarity with different candidates' schedules meant that she was never surprised by the long and tiring hours when she ran for office. Additionally, Hosanna has a great support system, composed of her family, friends, and community, all who serve as her accountability partners.
Hosanna's proudest accomplishment is what she achieved by training hundreds of high school and college students to become capable organizers and leaders. Since 2018, she had trained approximately six hundred students, who now work to support different organizations and causes that benefit communities across the nation.
If elected, as a member of the City Council, Hosanna plans first to tackle the coronavirus pandemic, lay down the necessary resources, and fund the initiatives to curb the virus's spread. With the virus bedeviling the local economy, Hosanna believes that the city has a huge role to play in supporting local businesses. Hosanna also takes a stance at the current housing and homelessness crisis faced by the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex and believes that the pandemic will catalyze these issues if left unattended. Her plan is simple yet effective - to provide housing that is profoundly affordable and supportive without the barriers that persist today. Hosanna also advocates for green jobs, which will improve the action for sustainability and promote better infrastructure for future generations. The success of these initiatives seems very likely with the Biden Administration and the current federal spending programs.
Her advice to women who enter politics is to find a "home" such as an organization or a community that will support, comfort, and act as a foundational pillar for that person. This will help emerging leaders understand the dos and don'ts of politics. Hosanna says that these organizations can be small and local and does not have to be electoral or political. The important thing is to find the support system that you are comfortable with!