Jayapal Statement on the Passing of Abdullahi Jama
“I will miss him so deeply. My heart goes out to his family of whom he was so proud, and to the entire community who knew him and was buoyed by his spirit.“
SEATTLE — United States Representative Pramila Jayapal (WA-07), the founder of OneAmerica, issued the following statement this evening regarding the passing of Abdullahi Jama:
“I am heartbroken to know that Abdullahi Jama has passed away. Abdullahi worked with me as organizer, advisor, guide, and friend for more than a decade at OneAmerica. He was instrumental to all the work we did — from helping to organize the first ever Muslim Civic Engagement Project to the Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride to all the organizing within the East African community that helped to build and foster strong relationships and the organizations that came from that.
“Abdullahi knew how to organize. He knew how to listen and to mediate. He knew how to fight for what is right. He helped ensure that OneAmerica took on so many of our fights for the Somali community — from preventing thousands from being deported, to the work of rights on the job for shuttlers at the airport or at companies so that Muslim workers could practice their religion. As I document in my book, he also helped with the necessary organizing in SeaTac around the fight for $15. And so much of the ecosystem today owes itself to this brilliant, humble servant of justice.
“Few know — because he never spoke about it — the incredible work that Abdullahi did in Somalia for justice, the risks he took, and the counsel he provided to the UN Secretary General even while in Seattle for the cause of peace in East Africa. He was deeply loyal and I trusted him on everything. We went through so much building OneAmerica together, and there was never a single instance where his counsel to me was not true and thoughtful. His wisdom, maturity, and grace was always ever-present and I learned so much from him.
“I will miss him so deeply. My heart goes out to his family of whom he was so proud, and to the entire community who knew him and was buoyed by his spirit. Rest in power, my dear friend. Your legacy is everywhere.”