Born and Raised Right Here in Our Community
Jamaal Bowman was born and raised in New York City, spending 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.
Jamaal has fought for teachers, students, and families for twenty years. Through his work in education, he has seen firsthand how low-income families are locked out of opportunity by a system that’s rigged for the wealthy and privileged few. Seeing these inequities, Jamaal took action. He founded Cornerstone Academy for Social Action (CASA) in Baychester in the Bronx, which has become one of the best public middle schools in the city.
In addition to his work as a teacher and a principal, Jamaal has always organized the grassroots to achieve real, tangible progress for working families. Jamaal organized teachers and parents from diverse backgrounds across the state in the opt-out movement to steer our schools away from broken standardized testing. He built coalitions to improve early learning on the New York State Early Childhood Blue Ribbon Committee. He partnered with Bronx Legal and Visiting Nurse Services to push for policies that train every teacher in New York State in trauma-informed practices.
As an advocate and educator, he saw the results of inadequate housing, homelessness, mental health, the racist immigration system, the school to prison pipeline, food deserts, and trauma-filled environments. This experience spurred Jamaal to action as he saw his local representative in Congress, a 16-term incumbent, take big corporate donations and turn a blind eye to the issues at hand in our community. Jamaal led a grassroots, people-powered campaign and vowed that the people of the Bronx, Yonkers, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle and beyond should have a member of Congress who is present, refuses corporate donations and delivers results for our community.
Leading the Fight for Us
Elected to Congress during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jamaal got right to work on delivering real progress for all New Yorkers. As a direct result of his advocacy, FEMA opened a vaccination site in Yonkers and New York City opened a vaccination site in Co-op City, each site with the capacity to vaccinate 1,000 people a day.
With deep roots in the district, Jamaal has made sure the voices of working families can be heard loud and clear in Washington. In less than 12 months, Jamaal has held over 7 in-person and virtual town halls, in addition to roundtables with community leaders and activists on housing, immigration, gun violence, mental health, small businesses, apprenticeships, foster care and more.
As a member of Congress, Jamaal has been working to ensure we tax the wealthy and invest in our community. In less than a year, Jamaal has secured federal grants of over $10 million in community development investments, $22 million for affordable housing and $14 million to rebuild our roads, rails and bridges. In addition, he’s passed through the House investments in local community organizations including the NYC Health + Hospitals-Jacobi, Mount Vernon Neighborhood Health Center, Yonkers YMCA, New Rochelle YMCA and more.
Jamaal believes that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere, so he has elevated the cause of working people outside our district as a progressive leader in Congress. When Amazon workers pushed to unionize, Jamaal went down to the Bessemer, Alabama Amazon plant. When our racist immigration system endangered the lives of thousands at the border, Jamaal visited Laredo, Texas to speak truth to power.