NEW YORK’S 16TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT (NY-16)

Summary

The Bronx and Westchester are at the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis and we need a leader who's in touch with the pain of our communities right now.

Jamaal Bowman is an award-winning Bronx middle school principal living in Yonkers. Bowman has been endorsed by New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and the largest union of nurses in New York State. He was raised in public housing in New York City and has been an educator in public schools for the past twenty years. As principal, Bowman created health clinics, afterschool programs to keep kids safe from gun violence, and helped low-income students get to some of the best colleges in the country. Bowman has already delivered results for thousands of families in our district and now he wants to make sure every child in the district has the same opportunities he did.

Voters need to see that Congressman Eliot Engel has been completely absent in the response to the coronavirus crisis. Voters in the district use one word to describe Engel’s leadership in the crisis: Absent. Engel misled his constituents. He pretended to be in the district handing out supplies during this crisis. But he’s been at his longtime home in Maryland and hasn’t stepped foot in the Bronx or Westchester ever since the pandemic hit in March. After 31 years of an absent Congressman, it’s time for a leader who actually lives in our district

Engel hasn’t been here for the Bronx and Westchester when we needed it most, and he hasn't been fighting for us. Jamaal Bowman is a Bronx middle school principal who actually lives in the community -- and understands our struggles.

After 31 years of the same representation, it’s time for a change.

This crisis is hitting our families hard. Nearly 40 percent of Black and Latino Americans have already missed a rent or utility bill due to the pandemic. That’s why Jamaal Bowman is fighting to:
* Keep workers on payroll by providing grants to businesses
* Expand Medicare to cover all coronavirus care and protect health care workers
* Suspend rent and mortgage payments
* Provide emergency monthly cash assistance of $2,000 for every American

No one knows when this pandemic will end, but we can decide what this country will look like when it’s over and when we defeat Trump. We’re doing everything we can to protect our communities in this crisis. We deserve a representative who will do the same.

Secondarily, voters also could see that Eliot Engel doesn’t have the best interests of our community at heart. In Congress, he joined Donald Trump in campaigning against President Obama's signature foreign policy achievement and he’s received thousands of dollars in donations from Wall Street and corporations that profit from selling arms overseas. He’s focused too much of his time on making America the world’s policeman instead of representing our families in the district.

News

Why Isn't Eliot Engel In New York. The Atlantic. May 14, 2020.
Last week, Engel’s office advertised that he would be part of two such events. He wasn’t. I asked Engel about one notice I’d seen on his campaign’s Twitter account: an announcement that “Congressman Engel will be joining” other officials for a face- mask giveaway at the city hall in Mount Vernon, New York, on the afternoon of May 8, the day before I showed up at his door.

“Which event?” he asked.

“They were handing out face masks in the district,” I said.

“I was part of that,” he said.

“But you weren’t there?” I said.

“I was not there, no,” he said.

Daniels suggested to me that other committee chairs stayed in D.C. after the CARES Act passed. But I checked, and Engel is the only committee chair in the New York delegation who has remained in Washington the entire time since that vote.

NY Rep. Eliot Engel ‘completely lost touch’ during coronavirus crisis, challenger says. New York Post. May 14, 2020.
“Engel spokesman Bryant Daniels went on to tell the magazine that the lawmaker had been in Washington ‘since passage of the CARES Act” relief fund — on March 27.’”

Report: Engel stays far away from New York, pandemic. Riverdale Press. May 15, 2020.
“The Atlantic's Edward-Isaac Dovere said he tracked Engel down to his suburban 'Washington home in Potomac, Maryland — a home Dovere says Engel has been huddling at since the end of March, when the House passed one of its first coronavirus financial aid packages. Engel told the reporter that he had been sheltering in both his Potomac and New York homes, although the congressman's spokesman, Bryant Daniels, informed the publication that the last time Engel was in New York was March 27.”

New York Nurses Union Endorses Progressive House Challenger. Huffington Post. May 19, 2020.
“Its reference to Bowman’s participation in a protest outside a hospital highlights a key distinction between Bowman and Engel. Bowman was able to join the demonstration because he has remained in the district, which includes parts of the Bronx and Westchester County, throughout the pandemic. Engel has stayed in his family’s home in Potomac, Maryland, a ritzy suburb of Washington, D.C.”

In New York’s 16th Congressional District, A Troubling Early Poll For Longtime Incumbent Eliot Engel. The Intercept. October 20, 2019.
“Six in 10 registered Democrats in New York’s 16th Congressional District aren’t sure who they’ll vote for in the June 2020 primary — despite longtime incumbent House Foreign Affairs Chair Eliot Engel’s place on the ballot — according to a new poll.”

“This is a wide open race, Engel is extremely vulnerable, and Jamaal, as a longtime middle school principal in the district, has the momentum and record of service to win this.”

Working Families Party, Jumaane Williams endorse Jamaal Bowman’s challenge to Rep. Eliot Engel. New York Daily News, February 11, 2020.
“Jamaal is ready to go to Washington to advocate for public education, racial justice, the end of mass incarceration and a Green New Deal,” Public Advocate Jumaane Williams said in a statement. “Unlike too many Democrats in Congress, Jamaal won’t just say he supports the right solutions – he’ll be a leader in fighting to get them passed.”

NY Rep. claims MD home for tax break. The Hill, March 14, 2009
“This seems like sort of a big deal, or at least potential material for political salvos: After claiming he is a lifelong Bronx resident, Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) has listed his house in Maryland as his primary residence for at least 10 years to get a tax break.”

Prodigal Son. Riverdale Press, March 19, 2009.
“He’s been two-timing the borough with a home in Maryland that he has claimed as a primary residence for tax purposes for the last 10 years, racking up $5,000 in credits. Mr. Engel has never denied his almost million-dollar home in Potomac, Md., an upper-crust suburb just beyond the Beltway, but has never called it his primary residence in public.”

Bronx Principal to Challenge Eliot Engel, Powerful House Democrat, From the Left. New York Times. June 18, 2019,
“Jamaal Bowman, a middle school principal from the Bronx, said Tuesday that he would take on Representative Eliot L. Engel, the 16-term New York Democrat who leads the House Foreign Affairs Committee, joining a rapidly multiplying slate of liberal primary challengers to powerful incumbents in 2020.”
Top U.S. House Foreign Affairs Democrat will vote against Iran nuclear deal. Reuters. August 6, 2015.
Representative Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee, joined Donald Trump in campaigning against President Obama’s signature foreign policy achievement.

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