Jayapal talks health care, climate change, fake news, battling Trump


Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, representing Capitol Hill’s 7th District in Washington D.C., held her first town hall since taking office Monday night, appropriately enough, at a packed Town Hall Seattle.

“Some people have called me the anti-Trump, and I’m so proud,” Jayapal said in front of a crowd that put its “AGREE” signs to frequent use.

Jayapal’s office estimated 1,000 people attended the First Hill session.

Jayapal took questions about a number of issues surrounding work she’s done during her first two months in office and her fight against the president’s agenda.

Immediately notable as the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House of Representatives, Jayapal started her career in D.C. with an early stance of opposition against the new president when she declined to attend the Trump inauguration. Jayapal joined the protest against the first Trump immigration ban with a call for the release of individuals held at Sea-Tac and joined Governor Jay Inslee in declaring Washington a hate-free state.

Jayapal’s status as a resistance leader puts her in good company replacing Rep. Jim McDermott retired after representing the 7th District for 14 terms and was considered by many as one of the most left-leaning members of Congress. She sits on two subcommittees — the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security and the Subcommittee on Regulatory Reform, Commercial and Antitrust Law, as well as the Committee on the Budget.

Monday night, the crowd greeted Jayapal with a standing ovation and signs supporting the congresswoman, making the event feel almost like a rally, but members of the public did ask her about the next moves for the seemingly pinned-down Democratic Party and how she and her fellow party members plan to fight the administration and Republicans in Congress on a number of issues. Continue reading

In protest of ‘actions that demean our history and our heroes,’ Rep. Jayapal won’t attend Trump inauguration

Her office may have been offering constituents free tickets to the big show but newly sworn-in 7th District Rep. Pramila Jayapal will not be attending the inauguration of Donald Trump Friday in Washington D.C.

“When I announced last week that I would not be attending the inauguration, I did not undertake the decision lightly,” Jayapal writes in a statement sent to media about the decision. “I had hoped in the days following the election that we would see a President-elect who broke from his campaign rhetoric and worked to unite the American people.”

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A last minute look at the cash in the races to represent Capitol Hill in Olympia, D.C.

screen-shot-2016-11-05-at-3-05-12-pmThe race to represent Capitol Hill and a good chunk of the area around our shores of the Puget Sound in Washington D.C. has been a money magnet — more than $4 million has flowed into the campaigns from right here in the 98112 and 98102 to the surprisingly powerful ZIP code of West Somerville, Massachusetts. Meanwhile, there are also money trails to track in the race to represent our part of Seattle in Olympia.

“Follow the money,” is the guidance Deep Throat offers journalist Bob Woodward in the classic All the President’s Men. It was good advice for ferreting out corruption in Washington D.C. but when it comes to covering local politics, a focus on campaign contributions and endorsements can result in a front-runner bias and a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy.

We’ve tried to start our coverage around the issues. In the WA 07 District race for Congress: Continue reading

Library fined for illegally sponsoring District 7 congressional debate

screen-shot-2016-11-01-at-4-22-16-pmThe Seattle Public Library has agreed to pay a $450 fine after the city’s ethics board found it violated election law by sponsoring a congressional election debate in July without inviting all the candidates on the ballot.

Republican candidate for the 7th Congressional District Craig Keller filed the complaint after he and five other eligible candidates were excluded from the July 14th debate at the Central Library. The debate featured Pramila Jayapal, Brady Walkinshaw, and Joe McDermott. Continue reading

7th District race to represent Seattle in Congress goes ‘contrast’

Jayapal didn't hide her skepticism during Walkinshaw's explanation of going "contrast" Monday night (Images: CHS)

Jayapal didn’t hide her skepticism during Walkinshaw’s explanation of going “contrast” Monday night (Images: CHS)

We don’t know about any nasty women but a nasty ad has put the race to represent Washington’s 7th District in Congress into a new light.

“They’re not negative. They’re contrast ads,” Brady Walkinshaw equivocated Monday night in a candidate discussion at Seattle University that began with the unavoidable: questions about the negative “We Have A Choice” ad campaign and PramilaFacts.com site that attacks Pramila Jayapal’s record in Olympia as ineffective.

Monday’s Seattle U discussion, moderated by the school’s public administration program director Larry Hubbell and journalist Joni Balter, was held in Pigott Auditorium and was lightly attended. Its timing was coincidental to the new ad campaign but the argument made for a livelier than expected start to the hour-long discussion that eventually touched on the issues the 7th District candidates plan to tackle and ended with the kinds of topics only the best kind of student questions can raise: automation tax, TPP, transgender bathroom rights, and injection sites. Continue reading

As Jayapal vows to take Seattle progressivism to D.C., Walkinshaw touts local focus in 7th District

Among all elected offices, Congress is somewhat unique, bearing both local and national responsibilities. Over the past few months the two candidates running for Seattle’s 7th Congressional District seat have come to represent those opposing roles.

On Saturday, Sen. Bernie Sanders headlined a rally for Pramila Jayapal, a prize endorsement given the former presidential candidate’s overwhelming popularity in the district. It also showcased Jayapal’s stronger national presence in the race.

Her opponent, Brady Walkinshaw, is hoping to overcome a large primary deficit by appealing to voters as the community-focused candidate. His strategy has relied on playing up the Capitol Hill-ties in bills he passed in the state Legislature and criticizing Jayapal for her outside-Seattle fundraising.

During a Thursday night debate between the candidates, the issue was further highlighted when a moderator asked how they would be different from retiring Rep. Jim McDermott, who was occasionally criticized for using his position to insert himself into international issues.

“Let’s be clear, United States Congress is a national position,” Jayapal said. “How do you deliver at home … also being able to articulate the values of this country?”

“I’m running because of our extraordinary home,” Walkinshaw said. “We need members of Congress who are rooted in their communities.” Continue reading

With ballots in the mail next week, 7th District underdog Walkinshaw faces Jayapal in library debate

In some races this November, the choice will be easy. Do you want to elect a hugely qualified former Senator and Secretary of State to lead the country or would you prefer to push the nation further into the mire of fascism? In others, because you live in Seattle, you will be choosing between two qualified progressives. One of your last chances to see the candidates to replace retiring 7th District Rep. Jim McDermott talk about their campaigns in person comes Thursday night at the downtown library:

This year the residents of the 7th Congressional District will vote to replace Rep Jim McDermott, who has held his seat since 1989. This will be a hotly contested race between Pramila Jayapal and Brady Walkinshaw, and one which will have a lasting impact on our region.

This debate is free and open to all. To submit a question for Jayapal and/or Walkinshaw click here.

Moderated by: C.R. Douglas (Q13 FOX News) and Essex Porter (KIRO 7 News)

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Mapping Capitol Hill’s political battleground in the August primary

Capitol Hill’s political divide was, once again, in effect in the August primary as candidates in two races split votes between the neighborhood’s apartment-dense south and single family home-dominated north.

In the 43rd District state House race, longtime homeless housing advocate Nicole Macri won 52.3% of the vote, making her the clear frontrunner heading into the November election. The densest parts of Capitol Hill and First Hill made up the core of Macri’s support, where she took at least 50% of the votes in dozens of precincts. Macri also had a strong showing around the U District.

(Images: nwmapt.com with permission to CHS)

Facing Macri in November will be trial lawyer Dan Shih, who took 24.6% of the district’s vote. Shih’s largest chunk of votes came from Capitol Hill precincts north of Aloha, as well as Montlake, Eastlake, and Madison Park. Continue reading

Walkinshaw vs. Jayapal in District 7 race for Congress

Walkinshaw mapping out his results on Election Night earlier this week at the Comet (Image: CHS)

Walkinshaw mapping out his results on Election Night earlier this week at the Comet (Image: CHS)

Capitol Hill’s Brady Walkinshaw will have his work cut out this November. The current 43rd District rep will go on to the general election this fall to battle 37th District rep Pramila Jayapal for a seat in Washington D.C. representing Congressional District 7.

Walkinshaw pulled ahead into second place in the August primary in Friday’s vote tally with 21.35% of the vote. The widening gap with Walkinshaw convinced King County Council member Joe McDermott to concede the race Friday night.

“I am excited to carry our positive progressive vision for the Pacific Northwest into the general election,” Walkinshaw said in a statement released Friday. “We need leadership that believes climate change will be a defining issue for the next generation of progressive leaders, and who will work together to deliver real results at home from transportation to housing.” Continue reading