Just months after Democrat Adam Kline announced his plans to leave the State Senate, Pramila Jayapal has emerged as the candidate to beat in an already crowded race for the 37th District seat.
Jayapal — longtime resident of the Southend district — is most widely known as the founder and former executive director of OneAmerica, the largest immigrant advocacy organization in Washington state. She is currently a Distinguished Taconic Fellow at the Center for Community Change and a Distinguished Fellow at the University of Washington Law School, and continues to be a staunch advocate for women and immigrant’s rights. In 2013 was recognized as a White House Champion for Change.
At her campaign launch party on April 1, 2014 held at New Holly Community Center in Rainier Beach, Jayapal received recognition not only as a champion for change, but as champion of community. Once the speeches began, no one missed an opportunity to comment on the sheer diversity of the crowd who packed the room. The 37th District is one of the more diverse districts in Washington encompassing part of Renton and much of Southeast Seattle and those demographics were reflected in the speakers who took the stage.
In a forum moderated by Rahwa Habte, the Youth Outreach Liaison for the Mayor, Jayapal received early endorsements from Mayor Ed Murray, King County Councilman Larry Gossett, former King County Executive Ron Sims, Aaliyah Gupta, Acting Direct of the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs, and Dave Schmitz, president of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union.
The most touching endorsement came from her teenage son Janak who unselfishly agreed to share his mom for the good of Washington. His remarks captured a common sentiment. Jayapal has already demonstrated her deep commitment to justice, as well as her persistence and ability to work with people from all backgrounds.
Since the campaign kickoff event, the endorsements continue to pour in. Jayapal has now received endorsements for two unions, four city council members, three representatives, King County Executive Dow Constantine, Senators Karen Keiser, Marko Liias, and Adam Kline himself, adding to the sense of inevitability.
And she’s coming for your vote. Jayapal announced will be beginning of her walking tour of the 37th district this Saturday at Genesee Park in Rainier Valley