Activist Pramila Jayapal, who created an organization called Hate Free Zone after the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to bring local Muslims and non-Muslims together, has announced plans to run for the 37th Legislative District Senate seat Adam Kline will vacate at the end of the year.
For Jayapal, 48, this is her first run for public office. She became well known across the state and the nation as an is an outspoken advocate on issues related to immigration, women’s rights and social justice.
“In my two decades of work for justice, I have seen the critical intersections between education, affordable housing, adequate family income, transportation, criminal justice and immigrant rights,” said Jayapal, an attorney, author and herself an immigrant. “It would be an honor to have the opportunity to represent these very issues for this district that I love and have lived in for nearly two decades.”
In 2008, Hate Free Zone changed it’s name to OneAmerica to remove confusion and reflect it’s broader mission on immigration and social justice — with a primary focus on people of color.
Under Jayapal it grew to become the leading voice in the state on immigration and an increasingly influential advocate in the ongoing battle for changes nationwide.
She stepped down from OneAmerica two years ago to focus more attention on national issues and is currently a fellow at the University of Washington law school as well as a distinguished Taconic Fellow at the Center for Community Change.
Kline, 69, announced in January that he would not seek re-election in November so he can spend more time with his family and travel more.
The 37th District stretches from Beacon Hill and South Seattle, where Jayapal lives, into Renton.