Promising to be a “Bold Progressive,” Jayapal Announces Campaign for Congress

January 21, Seattle, WA — Pledging to fight against a system that is rigged for corporations and the wealthy, State Sen. Pramila Jayapal today announced her bid for the congressional seat being vacated by long-time U.S. Rep. Jim McDermott.

“I’m a bold progressive fighter who will stand up for Seattle’s values,” Jayapal said in her announcement speech. “I’m running for Congress because our system is rigged for corporations and the wealthy. The time has come to tackle this inequality: we need to raise the minimum wage, expand Social Security and Medicare, and ensure debt-free college for young people across America.”

When she was 16, Jayapal’s parents put together all the money they had to send their daughter here from India. For the last 25 years, Jayapal has focused on giving back to the community that has given her so much, by founding an immigrants’ rights organization, helping to lead the charge for Seattle’s groundbreaking $15 minimum wage, and passing meaningful legislation in Olympia.

Speaking to a packed room at Seattle Central College filled with supporters, labor leaders and progressive activists, Jayapal said she would stand up for women’s healthcare.

“With Planned Parenthood under attack, with clinics burning, we can’t settle for being on defense. I will fight to expand access to women’s health care, and that includes access to abortion care,” Jayapal said.

Jayapal also took a swipe at the hateful rhetoric coming from the front-runner for the Republican presidential nomination.

“People like Donald Trump are whipping up hate and fear across the country, resulting in a rise in anti-Muslim and anti-Latino violence. Like I have always done, I will lead in laying out a different vision because I know, like you do, that America's diversity is our biggest strength,” Jayapal said.

While Jayapal has a lengthy list of legislative accomplishments to draw from, she stressed her quarter century as a progressive community organizer as more emblematic of the type of Congressperson she'd be.