Newly elected Congressmen Jamaal Bowman and Mondaire Jones joined the Business Council of Westchester on Thursday and last week as part of the 2021 KeyBank Speaker Series. The Congressmen described their legislative priorities and answered questions from the Business Council of Westchester’s members.
“It’s very rare for a county like Westchester to not only have one, but two new members of Congress,” said BCW Executive Vice President and COO John Ravitz, who moderated both talks. “To be able to talk to them, to build a relationship, to build a strong line of communication is very important.”
Questions ranged from the Covid-19 vaccine process, child care and pandemic-related rent relief to health care, education, tuition debt, retirement savings and funding for the large social programs.
Jones replaced former Rep. Nita Lowey to represent the 17th District comprising central and northern Westchester County and Rockland County. His top priority is pandemic recovery legislation. “We must crush the virus, deliver relief for working people and small businesses, and fully reopen our economy,” said Jones. “Just last night, I voted to pass a budget resolution that will fast track President Biden’s $1.9 trillion Covid bill and finally deliver real relief to the American people.”
Bowman succeeded Eliot Engel to represent the 16th District comprising southern Westchester County and the northern Bronx. One of Bowman’s priorities is addressing economic inequity. “We traveled through Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, Yonkers quite often as we engage with the district, Riverdale as well. And what you notice quite starkly is some of the economic disparities that exist within our district. We have some of the highest real estate values and tremendous wealth in certain areas and in other areas we have kids and families struggling with poverty.”