Washington state Sen. Pramila Jayapal took her first oath of office last year, but she's been political for much longer than that. Joining the Washington state Senate may have been her first official political office, but she's been involved in civic life for decades as an activist for racial justice and immigrant and women's rights.

Shortly following the attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, Jayapal, a Democrat, founded Hate Free Zone, now called OneAmerica, a non-profit organization created to counter anti-Muslim backlash post 9/11. Currently, it serves immigrant communities in the Pacific Northwest, focusing on civic engagement, public policy, and community organizing.

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