Pramila Jayapal (/prəˈmɪlə ˈdʒaɪəpɑːl/; born September 21, 1965) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for Washington’s 7th congressional district since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, her district includes most of Seattle as well as suburban areas of King County. Jayapal previously represented the 37th legislative district in the Washington State Senate from 2015 to 2017. She is the first Indian-American woman to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives. The district’s first female member of Congress, she is also the first Asian American to represent the State of Washington at the federal level.
Before entering electoral politics, Jayapal was a Seattle-based civil rights activist, serving until 2012 as the executive director of OneAmerica, a pro-immigrant advocacy group. Jayapal founded the organization, originally called Hate Free Zone, following the September 11 attacks. The organization successfully sued the Bush Administration’s Immigration and Naturalization Services to prevent the deportation of over 4,000 Somalis. Described by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi as “a rising star in the Democratic caucus”, Jayapal has been Co-Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus since 2019. She currently serves on both the Judiciary Committee and Budget Committee; she is the only member of Congress from the State of Washington on the Judiciary Committee.