Jamaal is a middle school principal and has been a teacher and public school advocate for twenty years. He has seen firsthand how low-income families are being locked out of opportunity by a system that’s rigged for the wealthy and privileged few.
Jamaal was born and raised in New York City and spent his early years in public housing and later in rent-controlled apartments. He didn’t have much growing up but his mother provided him all that he needed: love, a stable family, and a sense of community.
Jamaal now lives in Yonkers with his wife and three kids. His approach to being a teacher and principal at a Bronx middle school has been grounded in service, love, and empowering each person to transform our communities. Over the past ten years, he has led community organizing efforts against standardized testing, the school-to-prison pipeline, and the corporate-driven privatization and chronic underfunding of our public schools.
The current representative of the district, Eliot Engel, has been in Congress for thirty years. During that time, he has voted for the war in Iraq, deregulating Wall Street, and building more prisons at a time we needed resources in the community for our children and families.
Over the past thirty years, our communities have seen the cost of housing, health care, child care, and education skyrocket, while wages are stagnating for most working families and the rich keep getting richer. It’s time for a Democrat who will fight for schools and education, not bombs and incarceration.
Less than 1% of Eliot Engel's donations in 2018 came from small-dollar donors. While Eliot Engel takes thousands of dollars from large corporate PACs, Jamaal isn’t taking a dime of corporate PAC or lobbyist money.