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Pramila Jayapal
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Pramila Jayapal

U.S. Senator, U.S. Representative (1965–)
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Pramila Jayapal is congresswoman representing Washington since 2017. A member of the Democratic Party, she became the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House of Representatives.


Pramila Jayapal was born on September 21, 1965, in Chennai, India. She immigrated to the United States with her family at the age of 16, where she attended Georgetown University and received her MBA from Northwestern University. As a young adult, she was a financial analyst on Wall Street before embarking on a career in social justice. 

After 9/11, Jayapal founded the nonprofit, Hate Free Zone (now called OneAmerica), which advocates for immigration issues and also helps new American citizens register to vote. Starting in 2015, Jayapal served as a Washington state senator and fought for commonsense gun safety legislation, easy access to healthcare, and for women and other minority groups to engage in the political process. She was endorsed by Senator Bernie Sanders and lauded by the White House as a "Champion of Change." 

After launching her candidacy for Congress in 2016, Jayapal won 56 percent of the vote in her state's general election. In January 2017, she became the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House of Representatives. Jayapal lives with her husband and son in the Seattle area.

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