Of Washington’s 10 members in the U.S. House of Representatives, Pramila Jayapal of the 7th District has arguably the highest national profile.
As chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Jayapal was major player in the effort to pass national infrastructure funding and President Joe Biden’s signature Build Back Better agenda. That the latter stalled does not diminish the Seattle Democrat’s stature or effectiveness.
Jayapal deserves reelection to her fourth term.
The 7th District encompasses most of Seattle and its surrounding areas including Shoreline, Vashon Island, Lake Forest Park, Edmonds, and parts of Burien and Normandy Park.
The founder and former Executive Director of OneAmerica, an immigration advocacy organization, continues to fight for immigration reform as a member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Antitrust is another signature issue. She is involved with congressional scrutiny aimed at giant digital platforms such as Facebook and Google. Jayapal has been an effective watchdog of Big Tech and a strong supporter of the free press.
The editorial board has differed with Jayapal’s position on trade. For Washington, a state where about 40% of jobs are tied to trade, the positive economic impacts of global commerce are evident. She voted against the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement Implementation Act, which substantially improved environmental and labor protections over NAFTA, the 1994 agreement it replaced.
“It’s not about not having trade,” she told the editorial board. “It’s about how do we make trade fair for workers and how do we protect workers in the American economy.”
On supplying military funding to Ukraine, Jayapal said, “It is a question I’m struggling with every day.” She is concerned about escalating tensions with Russia but has so far voted for increasing aid. Congress must stand firm against Russian aggression.
Jayapal is appropriately focused on constituent services and bringing federal dollars into her district, such as potential new investments in the U.S. Coast Guard facility. Her stature on Capitol Hill has fueled rumors that she is seeking higher positions. That attention can be distracting, and Jayapal would be well-served by ignoring the political chatter.
None of the other candidates, Republicans Cliff Moon and Paul Glumaz and independent Jesse James have, mounted serious campaigns or made a convincing case for change.
Voters should return Jayapal to Congress. She is an effective voice for Northwest values and priorities.