Pramila Jayapal on Wednesday became the First Indian-American woman to be elected to the U.S. House of Representative, winning the Washington State Senate seat.
51-year-old Ms. Jayapal got 57 per cent of the votes from Washington State, leaving behind her rival Brady Walkinshaw who secured 43 per cent votes.
India-born Ms. Jayapal made a mark with her progressive agenda in the Washington State Senate.
Endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders, the former Democratic presidential aspirant, Ms. Jayapal is running from the seventh Congressional District of Washington State that encompasses Seattle and its neighbourhood.
Jayapal was born in India and raised in Indonesia and Singapore. She came to the United States in 1982, at the age of 16, to attend college. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, and an MBA from Northwestern University.
Jayapal founded Hate Free Zone after the September 11 attacks in 2001 as an advocacy group for Arab, Muslim, and South Asian Americans. Hate Free Zone registered new American citizens to vote and lobbied on immigration reform and related issues. The group changed its name to OneAmerica in 2008. Jayapal stepped down from her leadership position in May 2012. A year later, she was recognized by the White House as a “Champion of Change” for her work on behalf of the immigrant community.