Corrigan backs Bowman in competitive NY-16 race

Photo courtesy of Audrey Corrigan

Corrigan backs Bowman in competitive NY-16 race

With local primaries (NY on June 23, NJ on July 7 and CT on Aug. 11) right around the corner, Tower spoke with Masters students and alumni who have been involved in various candidates' campaigns.

Congressman Elliot Engel (Democrat) has been in Congress for 31 years. Jamaal Bowman (Democrat), a middle school principal who was born and raised in New York City, is vying to begin a new chapter in New York’s 16th congressional district (NY-16). And it appears he may be successful: a recent poll released by Data for Progress showed that Bowman had a 41-31 lead over the incumbent Engel

Bowman is far more left-leaning than Engel and supports programs like Medicare for all, a Green New Deal, an improved education system and affordable housing, especially for communities of color. With recent protests arising in the community following the murder of George Floyd, Bowman has called for defunding police and reallocating resources. This is in stark contrast to Engel, who was recently caught on a hot-mic at a news conference following a night of looting and civil unrest in New York City saying, “If I didn’t have a primary, I wouldn’t be here.” Engel has since tried to walk-back and reframe that comment, but this is not the first time Engel has been criticized for his lack of presence – his primary residence isn’t in the district. It’s not even in New York. It’s in Maryland. 

Engel is a co-sponsor of the Justice for Policing Act which was recently introduced by House democrats. He is also Chair of the powerful House Foreign Affairs Committee. Engel’s campaign website states: “Hundreds of community issues have been solved and thousands of people have been assisted” through his efforts to improve education, build senior housing, expand health care services and fund public works projects, among other initiatives. 

Bowman has received endorsements from other progressives including Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, while established democrats like Hillary Clinton, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have spoken out in support of Engel. 

Audrey Corrigan ‘20, has joined Bowman’s campaign through the Sunrise Movement, a youth-led climate activism initiative, that supports the candidate. She has been involved in community outreach, phone-banking and educating citizens on the voting process and the candidate’s views on various issues. 

Corrigan explains what she has enjoyed most about the experience.

She said, “With everything going on, it’s made me want to get more involved. Having this opportunity to lead others to take tangible action and vote for a candidate who understands the peoples’ issues and who is going to work to change things, is really exciting for me.”


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