Jayapal, DelBene Host Congressional Anti-Bullying Event With 11 and 12-Year-Old Activists
Today, Reps. Pramila Jayapal (WA-07) and Suzan DelBene (WA-01), hosted a pledge-signing event to promote anti-bullying tactics in American politics. They were joined by other members of the Washington State delegation including Representatives Adam Smith (WA-09) and Derek Kilmer (WA-06). Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen, and Reps. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09) and Eric Swalwell (CA-15) also attended and spoke at the reception.
Prompted by the D.C. Bully Busters – a group of 11- and 12-year-old girls from her district in Seattle – Jayapal invited members of Congress to stand up to intimidation tactics and sign the Bully Busters pledge.
Those who signed the pledge promised to “represent the people of the United States of America without engaging in bullying or being a bystander in bullying tactics.”
“Opportunity only comes if you’re not discriminated against, if you’re not targeted, if you’re given the resources to actually do the things that you’re capable of doing,” said Rep. Jayapal. “What the Bully Busters are standing up for today is about all of that. It’s about how we continue to preserve this country as a great and diverse nation that respects—and not just tolerates, but actually believes in – diversity as a core principle.”
“I’m a firm believer that words matter. And we need elected officials who understand that and respect the important contributions others make,” Rep. DelBene said. “These young women are doing an amazing job and I would hope all lawmakers agree to sign their anti-bullying pledge. After such a divisive year, we should be working to bring our country together, not creating deeper divides.”
“Politicians have been behaving like bullies or acting as bystanders,” said Eliza Amon, mother of a DC Bully Busters organizer. “I’m proud that Congresswoman Jayapal and Congresswoman DelBene have stood with our kids against bullying in politics.”
D.C. Bully Busters was formed in the wake of the 2016 presidential election, after Seattle sixth graders noticed an increase in derogatory language and hateful actions. The girls began the nonpartisan project to encourage U.S. senators and representatives to take action against bullying and avoid being bystanders. The group began with letter writing campaigns encouraging politicians to recognize, refuse and report bullying and has grown into a national movement with chapters in multiple states.