Jamie Pedersen: A Fourth-Generation
Washingtonian Committed to Public Service
My Norwegian great-grandparents homesteaded in Washington Territory in the 1880s, farming oysters and fishing for salmon.
I grew up in Puyallup, graduated from Puyallup High School and worked at McDonald's to help put myself through Yale College,
where I studied Russian and history and graduated summa cum laude.
After spending a year living in Russia and collecting oral histories of Soviet Afghan war veterans, I attended Yale Law School.
I clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and then returned to Seattle - and Capitol Hill - 16 years ago to practice law at
K&L Gates. My partner is Eric Pedersen, who worked in public
education for 17 years and is now at home taking care of our four sons, Trygve, Leif, Erik, and Anders.
I was brought up through Boy Scouts, church, and the example of my public-school-teacher parents to
value community service. Since returning to Seattle, I have been actively involved in many community
and nonprofit organizations. I am the past President and current Treasurer of Central Lutheran Church
on Capitol Hill, where I helped to establish a nonprofit to run a community lunch program that feeds
hundreds of people each week.
I chaired the board of the national civil rights organization Lambda Legal
from 2003-2005, and served as Lambda's lead volunteer lawyer on our state's marriage equality case. Since 2005,
I have served as chair of Lambda's National Leadership Council. I have sung in the Seattle Men's Chorus for 16
years and helped to craft the vision of the Chorus: to create a world that values and accepts its gay and lesbian citizens.
And I provide free legal services to a variety of nonprofits, such as Pride Foundation,
Social Venture Partners, Seattle Girls Choir,
and Lambert House.
Every day, I work with small and established businesses and help them grow, create jobs in our community, and
bring exciting new products and services to market.
Having worked for many years as a volunteer and a lawyer on issues important to the district, such as health
care, transportation and civil rights, I am putting my experience, skills and commitment to use for you and our
district on the many important issues facing the Legislature.
I am doing my best to work collaboratively, respectfully and with integrity to help solve our state's
challenges and ensure that the citizens of the 43rd District are well-served in Olympia.