Immigrant-advocacy group celebrates diverse collection of House winners
SEATTLE - - This midterm election had one of the highest voter turnouts in the last decade, and now some of those who worked to get voters out are talking about the impact they had on elections locally and across the country.
“We’re really so proud of our communities. They showed up, and they showed up in big numbers,” said OneAmerica Votes Board member Mubarak Elamin.
After last night’s midterm election results, groups like OneAmerica Votes are celebrating the record number of voters who turned out in Washington State and across the country.
“We had the largest voter turnout of people under 30 in the history of this country. In Texas, it was five times as high as it was in 2014,” said Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal from Washington's 7th Congressional District.
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal founded OneAmerica, an immigrant advocacy group that helps new Americans register to vote and lobbies for immigration reform. They say their members knocked on 10,000 doors throughout the state, resulting in at least 5,700 people casting votes.
“Seeing the turnout of your peers and having community members that I didn’t think were interested get interested, get involved was really important,” said Karishama Vahora, OneAmerica Votes Youth Leader.
OneAmerica Votes says 22 of the 29 pro-immigrant candidates they supported were elected to office last night. With Democrats also taking over the House, Jayapal says she’s looking forward to working with one of the most diverse groups Congress has ever had.
“Women now, over a 100 women that will be in the US House of Representatives. That is very significant but also folks of color, immigrants. We have the first two Muslim American women ever elected to Congress,” Jayapal said.
This is also the first time two native-American women and two African immigrants will serve. OneAmerica says now that the elections are over, it’ll remain focused on issues like immigration reform, education and healthcare, while keeping immigrant communities involved in the democratic process.
OneAmerica Votes says it’s also launching a new Justice for All PAC to have more influence on a federal level.