The Hon. Nima Kulkarni
Kentucky State Representative
In 2018, Nima Kulkarni became the first Indian immigrant to be elected in the history of the Kentucky Legislature. She has also managed her own immigration law practice since 2010, helping others achieve the American Dream.
Nima has dedicated her time as a public servant to helping the most vulnerable Kentuckians. She has been able to stop harmful anti-immigrant legislation, as well as gain bipartisan support for a historic bill that would ensure a fair and equitable judicial process for all Kentuckians.
In 2019, Nima was asked to serve as the only Democratic legislator on the Public Assistance Reform Taskforce. She was the first legislator from Kentucky to be invited to join the 2019 U.S.-Japan Council’s Asian American Leadership Delegation program, one of just six (6) legislators asked to participate from across the country. She was also honored to be the first woman from Kentucky named as a NewDEAL Leader, a national group of rising state and local elected leaders who are pro-growth progressives.
In 2020, Nima was named as one of a handful of Louisville leaders to serve on the Mayor’s Civilian Review Board Working Group, to achieve greater transparency, accountability, and trust between the community and law enforcement in the wake of Breonna Taylor’s death. She continues to work on crafting comprehensive police reform legislation for Kentucky.
In 2021, Nima was recognized as a NewDEAL Ideas Challenge Winner for her work with the Kentucky Maternal and Infant Health Project. She was awarded the Daniel M. Alvarez Champion of Justice Award for her social justice work and for bringing our community together in calling for an end to racial and ethnic stereotyping amidst the rise in hate crimes against Asian Americans. She also cofounded a podcast called “Where Y’all Really From”, to showcase Asian American stories in Kentucky.
Nima is focused on issues of economic, social, racial, and environmental justice for all Kentuckians. Most recently, she has sponsored legislation to decriminalize and fairly regulate adult cannabis use, establish a uniform bodycam policy for law enforcement, extend unemployment to domestic violence/stalking/sexual assault victims, create more equal footing between landlords and tenants, update and strengthen Kentucky’s hate crime laws, and monitor and regulate “forever chemicals” in Kentucky’s drinking water. Nima is the Kentucky State Lead for the National Council of Environmental Legislators, and represents Kentucky on a new nationwide task force to combat “Shoot First” laws.
She is a progressive voice for her district, and works with colleagues on both sides of the aisle to create policy that empowers Kentuckians.
Nima serves on the House Standing Committees on Judiciary, Economic Development, Agriculture, and Banking & Insurance. She is a member of the House Democratic Women’s Caucus, the Kentucky Nonprofit Caucus, the Louisville Metropolitan Caucus, and of course, the Bourbon Trail Caucus.