Jamaal Bowman: A few years ago, I was driving home from my teaching job at an elementary school in the Bronx, on my way to pick up my 3-year-old son and wind down for the evening. I saw sirens flashing in my rearview mirror.

Received this e-mail today from the Progressive Change Campaign Committee in support of Jamall Bowman’s (D. NY-16)  campaign:

As we see videos of the police shooting, beating, and driving through peaceful protesters — and even attacking reporters — we think about how we can redouble our mission to change the world by changing who holds power.

Systemic racism and police brutality happen every day to Black Americans when video is not rolling. Even many Democrats in power are silent or are part of the problem. We all must fight for racial justice and equality, and demand more from our elected officials.

Jamaal Bowman, a New York public school teacher and principal running for Congress, just shared one of his stories: While driving to pick up his 3-year-old son, Jamaal was pulled over for supposedly not using a blinker. He wound up in jail as his son waited for him. (Read his story below.)

In three weeks, this bold progressive is running in a primary against Eliot Engel, who has been in Congress for 31 years and was just exposed as not even living in New York!

Jamaal says, “We need leaders who understand what we are going through.” AOC made history in a district next door. We proudly endorse Jamaal for Congress in New York's 16th District. Please chip in $20 or what you can to his campaign right now.

Jamaal founded the highest-ranked middle school in New York for improving students’ test scores. He grew up with a single mother in public housing and gives voice to America’s families who struggle with an emergency of high rent, high debt, and high healthcare costs. Unlike Engel, he supports Medicare For All and a Green New Deal.

In addition to not living in the community, Eliot Engel has taken more money from weapons manufacturers than 144 House Republicans — the same manufacturers that benefit from militarizing local police. Engel's funded by corporate interests and is a hawk who opposed President Obama's Iran Deal, like Donald Trump.

Because Engel is so bad, a second progressive was also running against him. Today, Andom Ghebreghiorgis dropped out and endorsed Jamaal! He’s also endorsed by the Working Families Party, Justice Democrats, Zephyr Teachout, and Diane Ravitch.

We need people who have the real, lived experience of working people and oppressed people in this country to be the ones making our laws and holding corporations and the powerful accountable.

Jamaal is rising in the polls, and a victory on June 23 would be seen nationally as a victory for justice! Watch a video of Jamaal telling you why he's running — and chip in today to help him win!

Thanks for being a bold progressive.

— The PCCC Elections Team

This was not the first time I’d been pulled over by the cops, nor would it be my last. It is something one never gets used to, and every time it happens your heart skips a beat. You feel guilty even though you didn’t do anything wrong.

Jamaal Bowman: I remember the officers approaching the vehicle and telling me I hadn’t properly used a turn signal, and I remember them taking my license and insurance. I waited for what seemed like forever with increasing anxiety in every moment.

Jamaal Bowman: When the cops returned, they asked me to step out of the car, turn around and put my hands behind my back. I don’t remember asking why or if they just told me that my insurance was suspended. I knew this wasn’t true, but I didn’t dare open my mouth.

Jamaal Bowman: I was taken to the local police precinct and put in a cage not much bigger than a bathroom, with two other people, one bench and one toilet. While one person gets to occupy the bench, the other two are forced onto the filthy floor.

Jamaal Bowman: When you are locked in a cage, you are suddenly no longer human. You’re an animal. Your spirit shifts into survival mode.

Jamaal Bowman: I spent what must have been a few hours in one cell before being transferred via paddy wagon to another cell. I was handcuffed and placed in the back of a dark van behind a cage. You lose your bearing because you don’t quite know where you are or where you’re going.

Jamaal Bowman: After spending another few hours in the second cell, I was released without seeing a judge. No explanation. No apology. No car either, as it was impounded. I had to borrow money just to get it back the next day.

Jamaal Bowman: I was grateful to be free and get home to my son and my mother, who was watching him. We didn’t speak much about the incident because I was just happy to be home.

Jamaal Bowman: The year before, I was arrested and accused of stealing my own car because I parked somewhere illegally. My son got to see his daddy arrested by the police. Once again, I recall being detained for hours before being released without charge.

Jamaal Bowman: The only way police departments are going to change is by shrinking their function. Don’t give them funding to harass people like me. Don’t give them funding to drive through protest crowds like madmen. Invest in services that actually keep people safe. Then things will change.

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  • June 1, 2020
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