Engel’s primary challenger, a local middle-school principal named Jamaal Bowman, has been appearing at some events in the district and calling in to others via videoconference, as he and other candidates across the state try to wage campaigns ahead of the June 23 vote.Several local elected officials in New York privately expressed surprise that Engel has not been in the district.
Further north, a pair of insurgent Democrats are similarly duking it out for the title of prime primary challenger to incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel, who represents parts of the Bronx and Westchester. National and local progressive infrastructure has lined up behind Jamaal Bowman, a public school principal running on a platform of Medicare for All, a Green New Deal, and new deals for housing and education.
The coronavirus pandemic is touching everything — including the way people run for office.
“It’s the world none of us have ever experienced," Jamaal Bowman, a congressional candidate in New York's 16th District, said at a recent Zoom event.
For Jamaal Bowman, that preparation includes looking at what hasn’t happened yet, like a political campaign mainstay — a series of debates. Bowman publicly challenged Engel to three televised debates in an April 28 letter, which would be hosted from their own homes as New York continues to social distance in response to the coronavirus pandemic. New York’s 16th Congressional District includes the northern swath of the Bronx as well as parts of Westchester County — including New Rochelle, one of the first “clusters” of COVID-19 infections in the state.

“Many voters I speak to say that they haven’t seen their representative in action or working to help people in the district,” Bowman wrote in his letter. “Constituents don’t know where to turn for resources or even basic necessities like food. Many feel the response from our party has been lackluster and hasn’t met the scale of what’s needed.”
Public educator Jamaal Bowman wants to win the congressional seat of hawkish 30-year incumbent Eliot Engel. Justice Democrats, the group that helped elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, are with him.
The liberal group Democracy for America (DFA) on Wednesday endorsed middle school principal Jamaal Bowman’s primary challenge against Rep. Eliot Engel (D-N.Y.) in the race to represent New York’s 16th Congressional District. Bowman, the founding principal for the public middle school Cornerstone Academy for Social Action, has also been endorsed by Justice Democrats, the progressive group aligned with Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.). Bowman is running on a progressive platform that includes "Medicare for All" and the Green New Deal.
In Congress, Jamaal Bowman, a middle school principal, is seeking to unseat Rep. Eliot Engel (D), a foreign policy hawk who has represented parts of the Bronx and Westchester County since 1989. 
Tiffany Cabán, a one-time candidate for district attorney of Queens, is endorsing a host of progressive candidates for Congress and the New York legislature, leveraging her influence to advance the left’s policy goals. Ahead of June’s Democratic primaries in New York, Cabán, a former public defender who is now working to elect and support progressive prosecutors, is giving her progressive seal of approval to congressional candidates Samelys Lopez and Jamaal Bowman.
Jamaal Bowman, a longtime principal in the east Bronx and a challenger for U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel in his congressional seat, rallied with health care workers at Saint Joseph’s Medical Center in Yonkers demanding better protection as the state works to “flatten the curve,” that is, slowing the infection rate, as to not overwhelm hospitals any more than they already are.
“That’s what our nurses are doing,” Bowman said. “They are on the front lines. They’re not protected. They’re getting sick. They’re putting their families in harm’s way. That’s what I’ve been hearing from doctors and nurses across the district.”
The scene was not entirely out of the ordinary during the current public health crisis. What made it unique is that the educator was Jamaal Bowman, who is seeking to unseat Rep. Eliot Engel (D) in New York’s congressional primary election on June 23. Engel has represented parts of the Bronx and Westchester County since 1989. Bowman is spending long days on the phone with potential donors and prospective voters, hosting video chats to keep the public engaged, and trying to help stranded residents get the help they need. All the while, he and his wife, confined to their home in Yonkers, just outside New York City, find the time to home-school their two young children.
“Campaigning, formally and informally, is nonstop,” Bowman told HuffPost. “This is the home stretch, and we’re trying to do everything in our power to connect with as many voters as possible.”
A few miles up the road, in the 16th District, Jamaal Bowman, a public school principal from Yonkers who is challenging Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel in the primary, was going for a walk with his kids, multitasking his campaign work with child care. In-person campaigning had shut down early for him too; the state put another city in the district, New Rochelle, on lockdown a few days earlier. He knew the writing was on the wall when he’d try to talk to voters. “I was going up to people and they weren’t really comfortable talking,” he said. That night, he was logging in to a chat session on Zoom with a dozen or so members of the Sunrise Movement, the youth-driven climate action group.
The group — which was instrumental to pushing the concept Green New Deal into the political mainstream and helped Bernie Sanders consolidate the left behind him in the presidential race — told POLITICO on Wednesday it is endorsing Holyoke, Mass., Mayor Alex Morse, who is running against Rep. Richard Neal, chairman of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee, along with Jamaal Bowman, a Bronx middle-school principal who is taking on Rep. Eliot Engel, chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee. Both challengers also backed by Justice Democrats, the group that launched now-Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign against another powerful Democratic congressman, Joe Crowley, in 2018.
Luke Hayes, a former Obama operative now helming the congressional campaign of Jamaal Bowman, a progressive trying to unseat Eliot Engel in New York, is also navigating the coronavirus crisis in real time. Engel’s district includes the city of New Rochelle, which has emerged as ground zero for the coronavirus outbreak.Phone banking—allowing volunteers to call and text voters remotely—has become a priority.
“We are training our canvassing volunteers on phone banking and texting as ways to engage with voters,” Hayes said. “This has certainly presented an unanticipated challenge to organizing. It is forcing us to think creatively about how we can continue to organize, even if we can’t do it in person as much as we’d like to.”
Jamaal Bowman, a congressional candidate who is challenging Rep. Eliot Engel and a former principal at Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School in the Bronx, said the city has been “a month too late on this, maybe more” in adequately responding to the coronavirus.
“It’s about closing a school in terms of the traditional schedule and maybe moving to a summer school schedule or something like it where we can still provide services to those who are most vulnerable,” Bowman said. “It’s about a holistic approach to providing child care and health care and food to those who need it most.”
As a working-class black male educator, I experienced the horrors and the trauma of how his police department treated people like me.
Is a future darling of the progressive movement about to move from the principal's office to Capitol Hill? Jamaal Bowman hopes so. The veteran principal of a New York City public school recently left the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action Middle School to run full-time against Rep. Eliot Engel, D-N.Y., in the Democratic primary.
The majority of American children have been traumatized by the American political and economic system. And if you’re black, brown, or poor, the trauma is more pronounced.
Progressive candidates challenging Democratic members of Congress in primaries are increasingly making foreign policy a central theme of their campaigns in the wake of President Donald Trump’s killing of Iranian Gen. Qassem Soleimani.
The grassroots group that backed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's run for Congress is trying to send another local candidate to Washington, D.C. in New York's 16th District. Jamaal Bowman is always thinking outside the box. He wants universal health care and free public college. He's so focused on defeating Rep. Eliot Engel that he recently resigned as a school principal to campaign full-time.
On January 19, Jamaal joined the People Before Politics Show to discuss Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and how he has been an inspiration to Jamaal, how Rep. Engel has "neglected and underserved" NY-16 by voting against the district and accepting controversial sources of funding, Jamaal's thoughts on criminal justice reform, his New Deal for Education and funding for Title I schools, the Green New Deal, and the Bronx hip-hop community and culture.
In this interview with the 950 Lounge, we hear from Jamaal why he chose to run for Congress versus other elected office, his love for hip-hop music and how it has guided him as an educator and as a Black man in America, the importance of having working-class people get involved in politics, the impact of concentrated poverty, and why he can be the change NY-16 needs.
In a crowded primary field, Jamaal is setting himself apart with high fundraising numbers and genuine progressive views that call into question Rep. Engel's positions on core issues such as immigration, war, and the economy, particularly during a post-AOC period in political campaigns.
Though a Federal Elections Commission (FEC) rule states that candidates can use their campaign funds to pay themselves a salary, candidates, particularly working-class candidates, can't leverage the rule until two months before their primary election. We learn a bit about Jamaal's work campaigning while having a full-time job, the financial challenges a working-class candidate like Jamaal faces when running for public office, and why he launched his campaign for Congress.
In this episode, amusements and managing editor Lyta Gold sits down with Jamaal Bowman, the founding principal of one of New York City's most successful public middle schools, and who is now running for Congress in New York's 16th district.
IN MAY 2018, Ivanka Trump celebrated the U.S. embassy opening in Jerusalem against the backdrop of Israeli troops gunning down 60 Palestinians in Gaza.In some quarters of the Democratic Party, the killings were sharply condemned. Rep. John Yarmuth, D-Ky., called the shootings a “horrific slaughter” and added, “We are witnessing the use of unabated brutality and force against civilians to stifle civil unrest.”
Meet the next round of young upstarts taking on Congress from the left. Do you know how hard it is to get six congressional candidates in a room together on one week’s notice? Honestly, it was pretty easy. We suggested a Wednesday afternoon for a photo shoot, and they all made it work, within hours of the request. To say this would have been difficult with sitting members of Congress is an understatement. You’d have to tell them there’s 60% off at Brooks Brothers – or at least promise that it would be aired on CNN.
One of the main pillars of middle school principal Jamaal Bowman's congressional campaign is his call for "restorative justice" — sinking money into communities, rather than turning to incarceration. Bowman, a Justice Democrat, has called to repeal the 1994 Crime Bill, a piece of legislation backed by his opponent, 16-term Democratic Congressman Eliot Engel, because he says the 25-year-old bill has unfairly discriminated against people of color, resulting in the rise of mass incarceration in the United States. For Bowman, there are better methods to clean up his community.
WBAI 99.5 FM Driving Forces Host Jeff Simmons interviews Jamaal Bowman, who is running against Congressman Eliot Engel in NY's 16th Congressional District, and Boris Santos, who is challenging New York State Assemblymember Erik Dilan in the 54th Assembly District in Brooklyn.
Three progressive challengers to establishment House Democrats won endorsements for their 2020 campaigns from climate action group 350 Action on Tuesday. The U.S. political action arm of the international advocacy groupcalled candidates Jamaal Bowman of New York's 16th district, Jessica Cisneros of Texas's 28th district, and Alex Morse of Massachusetts's 1st district "progressive climate champions, promising the climate leadership required to address the crisis and take us into the climate decade."
A Bronx educator got a big endorsement for his challenge to longtime Democratic Rep. Eliot Engel on Sunday. Zephyr Teachout, the liberal law prof who gave Gov. Cuomo a run for his money in 2014, announced her support of Jamaal Bowman, seeking to channel Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who shocked the Bronx and Queens establishment by beating Joe Crowley in 2018.
Jamaal Bowman is challenging powerful incumbent Rep. Eliot Engel in the Democratic primary for New York’s 16th Congressional District in 2020. The district, which covers the northern Bronx and the southern half of Westchester County, has been represented by Engel since 2013. Bowman, a former Bronx middle school principal, has the backing of the Justice Democrats, a progressive political action committee who previously recruited Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. He has also earned the support of actress and former gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon.
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 from Data for Progress. The burgeoning uncertainty over Engel’s reelection is just the latest example of an upending of politics as usual in the Democratic Party.
Engel below 30%; challenger Jamaal Bowman surging with eight months to go. A new poll from Data for Progress shows six-in-ten registered Democrats in New York’s 16th District are undecided on who to vote for in the 2020 Democratic primaries for Congress. When registered Democrats were asked who they would vote for if the primary were held today, 60% of respondents said they weren’t sure, 29% said Engel, and 10% were for Bowman. The poll also showed Andom Ghebreghiogis at 1%. Respondents who said they were “definitely not” going to vote in the upcoming congressional primary were excluded.
Conservative Democrat Eliot Engel’s grip on New York’s 16th congressional district appears to be slipping. We talk to Justice Democrats–endorsed contender Jamaal Bowman about the need to break with establishment politics.
Challengers to several members of New York City's congressional delegation have brought in substantial fundraising hauls, according to records filed this week with the Federal Election Commission. Prominent Democratic incumbents including Reps. Eliot Engel, Jerry Nadler, Carolyn Maloney and Yvette Clarke have all drawn challengers running as insurgents, seeking to repeat the upset that propelled Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to victory over former Rep. Joe Crowley last year.
Candidates report major success in Q3 fundraising haul from small-dollar donors. Building on the success of the 2018 upsets by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley, Justice Democrats primary challengers have recently published third-quarter fundraising numbers and are reporting success. All candidates have outraised Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s first-year total fundraising effort, which amounted to only $60,000 in all of 2017.
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