The Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE) and Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA) released the following statements regarding the passing of Abdullahi Jama:
Statement from the Office of Sustainability and Environment (OSE)
“Abdullahi Jama will be remembered fondly for his kindness, generosity of spirit and commitment to the communities that he knew best. We at OSE are deeply grateful for Abdullahi’s immense contribution to countless programs and initiatives spanning across multiple government agencies, nonprofits, and small businesses.
Abdullahi was a founding member of the Community Participating Steering Committee that helped establish the City of Seattle’s Equity and Environment Agenda. Abdullahi was an inaugural member of the Environmental Justice Committee and was instrumental in providing recommendations in grant distribution for the Environmental Justice Fund. He also helped the Fresh Bucks program establish strong partnerships with small, Somali-owned neighborhood grocers to expand options for culturally specific produce for Fresh Bucks participants.
Abdullahi was fair minded, enjoyed a good joke and was a treasure trove of stories from his international travels and life experiences. Through Abdullahi’s mentorship and partnership, OSE has worked to implement equitable strategies to empower and serve our BIPOC residents and communities. His loss is deeply felt across OSE, but his impact will live on through the work he helped create and define.”
For more information about Abdullahi’s work with the Environmental Justice Committee, please see this 2019 interview: https://greenspace.seattle.gov/2019/12/environmental-justice-leadership-spotlight-abdullahi-jama/#sthash.M5fh93wv.dpbs
Statement from the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA):
Abdullahi Jama was a beloved friend and community leader whose passionate advocacy for immigrant and refugee communities contributed to the creation of the Seattle Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs (OIRA). Abdullahi worked closely with OIRA’s Language Access team on translating communication materials. His great knowledge and understanding of the Somali language and culture helped the City build strong relationships and trust in the community. His efforts have made Seattle a stronger, more equitable city for all. He was also a critical part of the development and growth of OneAmerica and played a key role in the successful challenge to the Justice Department on Somali deportations.
Even more than his effective advocacy and diplomacy, we miss Abdullahi’s mega-watt smile and friendship, his wisdom and grace. He had great humility – few people knew that he had a law degree and spoke 5 languages! We will always remember him as a local legend and cherish our partnership. In his memory, we commit to continuing the work to ensure that all people prosper and to being the generous and abundant friend that he was to all.