Use the Power You Have

A Brown Woman’s Guide to Politics and Political Change

Washington’s progressive champion explains how we can achieve a truly inclusive America that works for all of us

“Pramila Jayapal came to Congress in 2016 as a progressive outsider, but she’s quickly adapted to become the activist insider—negotiating with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with the goal of turning progressive ideas into real policy.”
Vox Magazine, February 20, 2019

In November 2016, Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, the first Indian American woman to serve in that role. Two years later, the “fast-rising Democratic star and determined critic of President Donald Trump,” according to Politico’s Playbook 2017 “Power List,” won reelection with more votes than any other member of the House. Jayapal, co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, proved her progressive bonafides when she introduced the most comprehensive Medicare-for-all bill to Congress in February.

Behind the story of Jayapal’s rise to political prominence lie over two decades of devoted advocacy on behalf of immigrants and progressive causes—and years of learning how to turn activism into public policy that serves all Americans. Use the Power You Have is Jayapal’s account of the path from sixteen-year-old Indian immigrant to grassroots activist, state senator, and now progressive powerhouse in Washington, DC.

Written with passion and insight, Use the Power You Have offers a wealth of ideas and inspiration for a new generation of engaged citizens interested in fighting back and making change, whether in Washington or in their own communities.

Praise

“Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal—activist, legislator, organizer—has written a handbook for anyone who seeks to improve their community and change our nation for the better. Through an honest reflection on her personal journey as an immigrant woman of color to the corridors of power, Pramila shares dynamic lessons on how those who are too often on the margins can become the center of a revolution. Use the Power You Have is an insightful testimony on the capacity for progress and a primer on creating opportunity for all.”
—Stacey Abrams
Use the Power You Have | The New Press

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