Jamaal Bowman is a Democrat running for Congress to fight for an America where all of us have what we need to thrive.
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 percent of 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.
Driven by a desire to bring people together and create a better future for the young people in his community, Jamaal has fought on behalf of the working families of the Bronx to ensure their children have the best education. He envisions a future where all students have an equal shot at a fulfilling life, career, and future, regardless of where they grew up.
Jamaal was born and raised in New York City. He spent his early years with his grandmother in public housing at the East River Houses and later in rent controlled apartments in public housing and 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. Her guidance led Jamaal toward becoming a teacher, school principal, and community leader.
After finishing high school in New Jersey, Jamaal earned a BA in Sports Management from the University of New Haven in 1999 — and immediately became a public school teacher back home in The Bronx. Jamaal went on to earn a Masters Degree in Guidance Counseling from Mercy College and an Ed.D. with a specialization in Organizational Leadership from Manhattanville College. Today, Jamaal and his wife now raise their kids in Yonkers.
His crowning achievement was in founding a public middle school, the Cornerstone Academy for Social Action (CASA) and serving as its first principal. Located in the Baychester neighborhood of The Bronx, CASA is an innovative public school with a strong emphasis on student voice, holistic education, cultural awareness and love. He has also led efforts to educate elected officials on the impact of toxic stress on health and education outcomes.
Jamaal has been an outspoken critic of standardized testing that ignores underlying inequities in educational opportunities that poor white, black, and brown students receive.
In 2015, Bowman’s middle school ranked first in New York City for improved test score average on the state’s English and math exams even as 90 percent of its students entering sixth grade with skills below grade level, Cornerstone Academy for Social Action (CASA). Despite high results, Bowman became one of the most vocal principals in New York City and New York state to defend parents’ rights to opt out of standardized tests.
Jamaal has fought to fully and equitably fund New York’s public schools so that every child can thrive in a healthy and prosperous society and grow no matter where they live.
As a Bronx principal, when millions are laid off and can’t afford their bills, those are parents I know.
When pollution and asthma cause higher rates of infection, those are neighborhoods I know.
Because unlike my opponent, I’ve actually been present in our district. #NY16
Posted by Jamaal Bowman for Congress on Wednesday, May 20, 2020