A strong advocate for women’s, immigrant, civil, and human rights, Pramila Jayapal has spent the last twenty years working internationally and domestically for the rights of these groups.
Credit: Twitter.Rep. Pramila Jayapal has been featured on Politico’s power list for 2018.
Jayapal, who represents Washington State’s 7th Congressional District, has been ranked 8th on the list of 18 leaders. The first Indian American woman elected to US Congress, is “a feisty freshman Democratic lawmaker,” according to Politico.
“Jayapal, a fast-rising Democratic star and determined critic of President Donald Trump, has assumed the mantle of a House “leader of the resistance,” said Politico.
From her spot as first vice chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, she has worked as “a relentless advocate of civil rights and immigration reform on Capitol Hill,” said her friend and fellow freshman House member Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.).
Born in Chennai, India, Jayapal immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 16, where she attended Georgetown University and received her MBA from Northwestern University.
In 2001, after receiving US citizenship, she founded Hate Free Zone — later renamed OneAmerica — dedicated to advocacy work including registering new immigrants to vote and lobbying for immigration reform.
In 2014, she became the first South Asian-American ever elected to the Washington state Legislature, and two years later, she ran for retiring Rep. Jim McDermott’s seat — earning Bernie Sanders’ endorsement.
“She’s really positioned herself to be an essential player in the future of the Democratic Caucus in the House,” said, Carla Marinucci, a political reporter for Politico. With determination, steely drive, and some well-placed tweets Jayapal has “taken a deliberate approach to get there,” Marinucci added.
A strong advocate for women’s, immigrant, civil, and human rights, Jayapal has spent the last twenty years working internationally and domestically for the rights of these groups.
Among her most recent drives: a legislative pushback against Trump threats to end Temporary Protected Status for thousands of Haitians and Salvadorans by allowing them to apply for permanent residency if they can prove they would face extreme hardship if they return to their home countries.