When the Washington State Legislature convenes next week, it will be a day of firsts – not just for freshman lawmakers, but for state history. The state Senate will welcome the Legislature’s first Indian immigrant lawmaker and, over in the House, the youngest woman elected since 1936.
TVW sat down with the lawmakers to discuss the upcoming session ahead of opening day.
When Seattle Democrat Sen. Pramila Jayapal takes the seat left by recently-retired Sen. Adam Kline, she’ll become first Indian immigrant and the only woman of color in the Senate.
Jayapal is known for her work as a civil rights activist and founder of OneAmerica, the state’s largest immigrant advocacy organization.
She’s representing one of the most diverse districts in the state and bringing along “a set of perspectives that desperately need to be represented in Olympia,” she said.
Rep. Melanie Stambaugh is the youngest women elected to the state House since the 1930s, but said she’s not worried about a lack of experience.
The 24-year-old Puyallup Republican beat five-term Democratic Rep. Dawn Morrell in one of the election’s biggest upsets.
“No one can have enough experience to be sitting in this seat,” she said. “I take it as a great opportunity, being young and not having a bias of thought that I understand everything.”
This week’s edition of “The Impact” features interviews with the two freshman lawmakers — watch on Wednesday, Jan. 7 at 7 and 10 p.m.