FOUNDED ONEAMERICA (FORMERLY HATE FREE ZONE)
In response to hate crimes and discrimination targeting the Arab, Muslim, and South Asian communities following the tragic 9/11 terrorist attacks, Pramila founded Hate Free Zone, which later became OneAmerica and was dedicated to organizing and advocating for many diverse communities of color. OneAmerica is now the largest immigrant rights advocacy group in the state.
SUCCESSFULLY SUED THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION OVER SOMALI DEPORTATIONS
In 2003, Pramila, as Director Of Hate Free Zone, organized the pro bono legal effort that won a ruling that declared the Bush Administration’s deportations of Somali immigrants were illegal. The ruling, which stemmed from a case in Seattle on behalf of four Somali men slated for immediate deportation, blocked the deportation of more than 2,700 people nationwide.
TRAINED 12,000 STUDENTS AND 1,000 TEACHERS
With OneAmerica, Pramila helped design and lead the Youth Program, which trained high school students across the Puget Sound Region to engage with political leaders to advance their values of democracy and justice. Youth leaders attended Immigrants’ Day at the State Capital, advocated on behalf of the DREAM Act at the Federal Way School Board Meeting, and gave testimony during the redistricting process in 2011.
HELPED REGISTER 23,000 VOTERS
Pramila led the largest voter registration drive in Washington State history in 2008. Working with OneAmerica (formerly called Hate Free Zone) across Seattle and the Puget Sound region, OneAmerica registered over 23,000 new and young Americans to vote.
ESTABLISHED THE WASHINGTON NEW AMERICANS INITIATIVE AND THE CITY OF SEATTLE’S OFFICE OF IMMIGRANT & REFUGEE AFFAIRS
Pramila helped establish the Governor’s New Americans Policy Council in 2008. Viewing immigrants as contributors to public life in Washington State, lawmakers and activists collaborated to create the Council in order to develop strategies to better provide services such as career-reentry and language accessibility to immigrant communities across the state.
Pramila also helped create the Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs and served on the Mayor’s Committee to appoint its first Director. The Office serves Seattle’s immigrant and refugee communities by streamlining access to services, encouraging immigrant communities to participate in city life, and receiving the input and contributions of immigrant communities.
SERVED ON THE 2007 POLICE ACCOUNTABILITY REVIEW PANEL
Pramila served as a member of the 2007 Police Accountability Review Panel that implemented police oversight in Seattle. The Committee conducted a comprehensive review of Seattle’s police accountability system and proposed additional measures to encourage a more effective citizen-complaint process.
In 2012, Pramila called for continued reform of the Seattle Police Department upon findings of officers’ excessive use of force. She called for an independent monitor to oversee the implementation of the proposed plan to reform the Seattle Police Department.
IMMIGRANT’S RIGHTS ARE WOMEN’S RIGHTS: CONNECTING GENDER & IMMIGRATION REFORM
Pramila launched the organization, We Belong Together, to forge a partnership between the National Domestic Workers’ Alliance and the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum. With We Belong Together, Pramila introduced a gender lens to the immigrants’ rights movement. The organization led a lobbying initiative in Washington D.C. that brought together women’s rights organizers to advocate for comprehensive immigration reform. Pramila helped coordinate national groups such as the National Organization for Women, the Y.W.C.A. of the USA, and the National Council of Jewish Women to sign an open letter to women in the Senate to urge them to vote for immigration reform.
SUCCESSFULLY HELPED PUSH COMPREHENSIVE IMMIGRATION REFORM THROUGH THE u.s. sENATE
In 2010, Pramila worked with members of the U.S. Senate to craft legislation on comprehensive immigration reform. She helped write pieces of the immigration bill that passed the Senate with 67 votes. The bill aimed to fix the broken immigration system by creating a pathway to citizenship for more than 12 million undocumented immigrants.