Pramila Jayapal is the first woman of Indian American descent to serve as a member of the United States House of Representatives. She represents the Seventh Congressional District of Washington state, an area that includes most of Seattle as well as King County. Previouly, Jayapal served in the Washington state legislature. She is also the first Asian America to represent the state of Washington in a federal position. Jayapal is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus; she was the chairperson for the caucus from 2019 to 2021.
|Celebrated Name:||Pramila Jayapal|
|Real Name/Full Name:||Pramila Jayapal|
|Birthdate:||September 21, 1965|
|Birthplace:||Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India|
|Height:||5 ft. 4 in.|
|Children/Kids:||Michael and Janak|
|Is : Pramila Jayapal Gay?||No|
|Highest Political Office:||United States House of Representatives (representing Washington state)|
|Profession:||Business woman, Politician|
|Colleges Attended:||Georgetown, Northwestern University|
|Degrees:||Bachelor’s Degree (degree not disclosed), Master of Business Administration (Northwestern University)|
|Net Worth in 2022:||$1.5 million|
Biography: Early Life and Family
Pramila Jayapal was born in India on September 21, 1965. Her parents, MP and Maya, were involved in writing and in marketing. Pramila grew up in Indonesia, and she spent a great deal of her childhood in Singapore as well. She would come to the United States in 1982, when she was a mere sixteen years old.
Jayapal came to America in order to attend college. She would enroll at Georgetown University that same year and earn a Bachelor of Arts degree (her area of concentration has not been published). Jayapal would later enroll at Northwestern University to pursue a Master of Business Administration.
Jayapal has been married twice. Little is known regarding her first husband, but her only biological child, Janak, is from her first marriage.
Jayapal has released information that her child, Janak, identifies as non-gender binary.
Jayapal lost her Green Card years ago while she was in India visiting with her first husband. She was pregnant at the time, and she went into labor early while in India. She lost her Green Card because, at the time, she did not make it back to the United States in time to keep her Permanent Resident status.
Jayapal married her current husband, Steven Williamson, on an undisclosed date. The pair live in Seattle, Washington. Pramila Jayapal has a stepson has the result of this marriage, Michael.
Age, Height, and Weight
Pramila Jayapal is 56 years of age. She is 5′ 4″ in height and she weighs approximately 128 pounds.
Pramila Jayapal is listed as having a net worth of approximately $1.5 million as a net worth. Jayapal makes $174,000 annually as a member of Congress.
Jayapal worked in the private sector before entering politics; however, she has not worked in this capacity since 1991.
Jayapal does have one book to her author credits. It is titled Pilgrimage: One Woman’s Return to a Changing India. This book was published in March 2000, the same year that Jayapal received her American citizenship.
Career Outside of Politics
Jayapal’s first job after graduating from Northwestern University was at PaineWebber. Jayapal worked as a financial analyst. She worked a a variety of developmental projects across the world, from Thailand in the Far East to Chicago in the United States.
Jayapal also worked for a medical company up until 1991; she worked in sales and marketing for this undisclosed company.
Career in Politics
After the September 11 attacks on the United States, Jayapal organized the “Hate Free Zone,” an advocacy group that focused on immigrants. The organization assisted newly naturalized American citizens in registering to vote. The group also went before Congress to lobby on behalf of immigrants on a variety of issues.
The Hate Free Zone group would also sue the George W. Bush Administration. The suit targeted the Immigration and Naturalization Services of the Bush cabinet; at one time, the Bush Administration was set to deport more than 4.000 Somali citizens here in the United States. The lawsuit the Hate Free Zone filed was successful in stopping the scheduled deportations.
In 2008, Jayapal’s Hate Free Zone would change its name to OneAmerica.
Jayapal left the organization in 2012. The Obama Administration recognized Jayapal as a “Champion of Change.”
Jayapal has participated in a number of civil rights protests and activities. She was arrested in 2018 when she participated in a “Women Disobey” protest. The protest was intended to object a zero tolerance approach to illegal immigration proposed by the Trump Administration. The Women Disobey sit in took place at the Hart Senate Office Building. Jayapal was one of five hundred people arrested during the event. She later said she was “proud” to have been a part of the protest as well as taken into custody. She called the Trump-era policy both “inhumane and cruel.”
Jayapal was mostly involved in local politics prior to running for her Congressional seat. She was on a Seattle Mayoral Advisory board which would be the first to endorse and encourage the hire of Seattle’s first female police chief. The same group would also work for a city-wide (in Seattle) minimum wage of $15 per hour.
Jayapal would decide to run for her seat in the Washington state senate in 2014. At that time, the current senator, Adam Kline, had decided to retire. Then-Seattle mayor Ed Murray, with whom she had worked on the Mayoral Advisory Committee for a number of years, endorsed Jayapal in this state race.
Jayapal would defeat Louis Watanabe in November to ensure her position in the Washington state legislature. While in the state legislature, Jayapal would sponsor Washington state SB 5863. This legislation would instruct the State Department of Transportation to develop and utilize an apprenticeship program. Specifically, the program was intended to encourage the apprenticeship of women as well as people of color for the program.
Jayapal also sponsored a bill that would begin tracking as well as testing rape kits administered by police departments.
In 2016, Jayapal endorsed Senator Bernie Sanders in the 2016 Presidential election.
When Washington Representative Jim McDermott announced that he would retire at the end of his term, Jayapal announced she would seek to run for the position. Bernie Sanders, whom she had supported in the 2016 election, would return the favor and endorse her in the United States House of Representatives’ election. Like Sanders, Jayapal believes that public universities and community colleges should be tuition-free for all who wish to attend.
By August 2016, Jayapal had some close competition in a fellow Democrat, Brady Walkinshaw. The pair finished first and second in a primary for the Congressional seat; a first in the history of Washington state.
Both Jayapal and Walkinshaw described themselves as progressive Democrats.
Jayapal would eventually win the election with fifty-six percent of the vote.
Jayapal is the first Indian-American female to serve in the House of Representatives.
Jayapal’s progressive agenda is evident in much of her legislation and proposals. She objected to Georgia’s electoral votes which would be attributed to Donald Trump, eventually. No one would object alongside Jayapal, so the objection was dismissed.
Along with progressive Representative Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Jayapal would craft and introduce the Trump Transparency Package, which was intended to “promote transparency” in the Trump Administration as well as eliminate any possible conflicts of interest in the Trump White House.
No conflicts of interest were ever found, but, the bill never succeeded in getting out of the House of Representatives.
Jayapal is a staunch supporter of green energy as well as bills that would affect climate change. She is a co-chairperson on the United for Climate and Environmental Justice Task Force. This group would craft legislation meant to fight the impact of climate change on “front line communities.” Jayapal is a member of the group calling themselves “Justice Democrats.”
Jayapal has made it clear that she has never been a supporter of President Trump. During his inauguration on January 20,2017, Jayapal skipped the ceremony. Instead, she met with individuals who were a part of her Congressional district.
Jayapal has been praised for her “resistance” – Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has called her a “rising star in the Democratic caucus,” while a news outlet called her “a leader in the resistance.”
Jayapal has said multiple times that she has experienced sexism as a member of Congress. She had a viral exchange with a colleague when he referred to her as a “young lady.”
Jayapal has supported and promoted the Medicare for All act, which has a total of more than one hundred sponsors. The bill failed, but Jayapal has introduced a similar bill during the current Congress. Jayapal has also introduced legislation that affects her homeland of India; the bill would lift certain restrictions on communications with the Indian city of Kashmir. This bill has failed to move forward in Congress.
Jayapal is currently promoting the passage of the Build Back Better bill, which was effectively killed as written when Joe Manchin said publicly he would not vote for the measure.