May 28, 2024
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Meet Cicely Davis, Congressional Candidate Challenging Ilhan Omar in Minnesota

Cicely Davis, a Republican candidate for Congress in Minnesota’s 5th district, is sure to attract interest in the Jewish community, as she is challenging two-term Congresswoman Ilhan Omar.

Davis was born and initially raised in Rochester, New York, in a single-parent home. Her mother, who was a teacher’s aide in a Head Start program, took her two girls and moved to Minnesota to improve their circumstances. Davis writes that coming to Minnesota from New York, she was impressed with her new home’s strengths in education, economy and safety, “a state that was defined by clean, charming towns, diverse festivals, and plenty of space to explore and discover.”

Davis worked as the state director of BLEXIT Minnesota, part of a nationwide foundation whose vision is “to change the narrative that surrounds America’s minority communities—with a particular focus on African-Americans.” The BLEXIT Foundation operates through five program areas—advocating for school choice and alternative educational opportunities, promoting criminal justice reform and developing educational programs to help communities avoid incarceration, championing entrepreneurship and free enterprise, developing history programs that will inspire minority children to succeed, and presenting the messages of BLEXIT through evocative visual art and compelling live experiences. More recently, Davis was the clinic manager for Vona Behavioral Health-Volunteers of America.

Davis responded to questions emailed to her by The Jewish Link and offered the following answers.

The Jewish Link: What shortcoming(s) in the Congressperson currently representing your district prompted you to run for this Congressional seat?

Cicely Davis: Ilhan Omar is not fighting for her constituents; she’s fighting only for herself and to raise her celebrity status. Her rhetoric is hateful and divisive. She incites and divides. We need to come together and work together to find real solutions, and that won’t happen with Ilhan Omar constantly driving wedges into our community.

As a congresswoman, she’s also remarkably ineffective. Her congressional record on both domestic and foreign affairs clearly demonstrates that she wants to fundamentally transform America at home—using us as the nation’s crash test dummy—while she is working to realign the U.S. with our adversaries abroad.

We need a course correction. I’m here to represent all the people of my district, not to sow division with identity politics like Ilhan Omar does. We need calm leaders with steady nerves, not one who will experiment with the lives of those she is supposed to safeguard, such as her “defund-the-police” mantra.

I made the decision to run in 2022 because I’ve seen the consequences of what Ilhan Omar is doing. We deserve better.

If elected, what are your top three priorities for when you take office?

My political platform is focused on public safety, educational freedom, economic revitalization, individual liberty and responsibility, and a strong national defense that includes secure borders, among many other issues.

Minneapolis has been ground zero for the “defund the police” movement and Ilhan Omar remains the initiative’s biggest cheerleader. Meanwhile, since she was first elected in 2018, Omar has shelled out almost $100,000 to surround herself with private security. The results were predictable. Violent crime has skyrocketed and she’s driving businesses and residents out of the district. We simply can’t allow our cities to be set aflame and overrun by violent criminals. We need to fully fund and staff the police and press for effective justice.

I’ve spent the past several months meeting with police chiefs and public safety officials throughout the district. I was pleased to accept the endorsement of the Minnesota Police and Peace Officers Association (MPPOA) back in early November.

What are your thoughts on the importance of the U.S./Israel alliance? What would you do to improve the situation in the Middle East? Do you have an opinion on the BDS movement?

Israel is one of America’s closest allies. The relationship is a two-way street as both countries benefit tremendously from what each brings to the table. I remain committed to strengthening the special relationship and will stand firm against regimes and terrorist organizations that threaten either country. Israel has broad support among Minnesotans—including the over 60,000 Jews who live in my district. America is safer when our regional allies and adversaries know that we will have Israel’s back.

Last year, Ilhan Omar was one of only nine House members to vote against the supplemental appropriations bill to fund the purely defensive system that protects Israeli civilians—Jews, Muslims, and Christians alike—from the thousands of rockets Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad launch at Israel from Gaza. In a sense, Omar’s vote against funding the Iron Dome wasn’t merely anti-Israel, it was pro-Hamas.

The basis of President Trump’s foreign policy was actually quite simple. It was to support our allies and isolate our adversaries, while putting American interests first. In that context, bringing Israel and the UAE and Bahrain together for the historic peace and normalization agreements known as the Abraham Accords was only natural. So was punishing the world’s biggest state-sponsor of terrorism, the regime in Iran.

I remain very concerned that a Biden administration desperate for success overseas after the Afghanistan debacle will enter into another lopsided and dangerous deal with the regime in Iran that will once again pave their path to nuclear weapons.

I reject the Boycott, Divest, and Sanction (BDS) platform, which provides the basis for advancing antisemitism, and a phased plan for Israel’s destruction through its delegitimization and demonization, and by applying double standards. The movement’s shameful supporters cloak their motives in the language of peace, justice, and human rights to appeal to Western audiences but they must be called out for the antisemitism they endorse, whether in the halls of the U.S. Congress or in the United Nations. The BDS platform should be rejected and condemned.

What do you think Congress can do to counter the alarming rise of antisemitism in the U.S.? What could you do, as a member of Congress?

The fact is antisemitism is on the rise in the U.S. and around the world. According to the FBI, about 60% of religious hate crimes in the U.S. are against Jewish Americans. Ilhan Omar’s habitual antisemitic and anti-Israel rhetoric fuels this ancient hatred and threatens our Jewish neighbors.

One thing Congress can do is hold its own members accountable. Remember in 2019, after a long streak of antisemitic remarks from Ilhan Omar, there was a bipartisan push to pass a resolution condemning antisemitism. She pushed for the inclusion of anti-Muslim bias. In the end, the resolution simply condemned “hateful expressions of intolerance” and included every conceivable minority in the country. Ilhan Omar has never been held to account and I intend to do so this November.

What role do you see the federal government playing in managing the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and on schools?

States and local governments are best positioned to respond and care for their constituents and along the way, we can learn a lot. Under Governor DeSantis in Florida, we were able to see a very different approach to handling COVID-19 from the path former New York Governor Cuomo chose. Florida has fared much better than New York.

The Biden administration should pay more attention to what comes from the states and cities that have fared better than most. Instead, they focus their attacks on Governor DeSantis while issuing confusing guidelines in a one-size-fits-all policy.

It’s been clear for some time that we will have to learn to live with COVID on some level for the foreseeable future. The Biden administration appears unwilling to accept this reality, and thinks it can print more money and pass multi-trillion-dollar spending packages to rescue the economy. The results are record high inflation, skyrocketing violent crime rates, multiple supply chain crises, and a rising cost of living that impacts us all.

What do you think were the most significant accomplishments of Donald Trump’s administration? What were the most significant shortcomings?

President Trump racked up a lot of accomplishments while in office. On the domestic front, he was objectively the most pro-Black and pro-Jewish president ever. In reality, he was pro-individual and against treating people as part of a collective identity.

As president, Trump had a much freer hand to shape international affairs and this is where he excelled. The Abraham Accords were truly historic and monumental. Trump recognized Jerusalem as Israel’s true capital and moved the U.S. embassy there. He acknowledged Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights and declared that Israeli Jewish communities in the West Bank are not illegal, effectively removing the U.S. from being involved in the zoning disputes of our allies. He also freed millions of civilians from ISIS control, killed the ISIS leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and eliminated the world’s most dangerous terrorist, Iran’s Qasem Soleimani. He also removed the U.S. from the catastrophic nuclear deal with Iran and imposed maximum pressure instead.

On the other side of the ledger, his messaging or communications style often got in the way of his accomplishments. He seemed to enjoy swinging at every proverbial pitch, which wasn’t necessary since so much of what the Left threw at him was wild. Oftentimes he wouldn’t let good news breathe and be the story for a news cycle.

By Harry Glazer

 

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