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June 18, 2024 40 mins
Congressman Jamal Bowman discusses the importance of early voting and the need for active participation in elections. He highlights the significance of knowing your district and representatives and emphasizes the power of individual votes. The conversation then shifts to the issues of Black maternal health and the impact of collective and individual trauma on communities of color. Congressman Bowman discusses the need for comprehensive solutions, such as the Momnibus Bill, to address the racial disparities in maternal health. He also emphasizes the importance of grassroots organizing, holding elected officials accountable, and building power within the community. The conversation concludes with a discussion on economic issues, including the need to raise the federal minimum wage and provide universal childcare. Congressman Bowman acknowledges the challenges of implementing policies and emphasizes the importance of local organizing and advocacy. He also addresses the role of political parties in serving the best interests of the Black community and highlights his commitment to listening, learning, and enacting change.

Takeaways

Participating in early voting and being informed about your district and representatives is crucial for active participation in elections.
Black maternal health is a pressing issue that requires comprehensive solutions, such as the Momnibus Bill, to address racial disparities and provide necessary resources and support.
Grassroots organizing and holding elected officials accountable are essential for creating change and addressing the needs of the community.
Economic issues, including raising the federal minimum wage and providing universal childcare, are important for improving the well-being of working-class individuals and families.
Political parties play a role in serving the best interests of the Black community, but there is still work to be done to address racial disparities and advance racial justice.
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Transcript

Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
(00:00):
Hello, everyone, Welcome to MeEternal. I am Keny Gibson, and
I am sitting here with a veryspecial guest today, Congressman Jamal Bowman.
Welcome to the podcast today. Thankyou for having me. Peace and love
to you. Good to be here. Yes, peace and love back,
so you're in. We were talkinga little bit about the marathon and the
sprint of early voting is open,right, and everybody has an opportunity to

(00:23):
get out early, cast the voteearly, but then it closes when just
so people know, So it closesSunday, June twenty third in Westchester at
six pm in the Bronx at fivepm, but it started this past Saturday,
so you could have voted this pastweekend. You can still vote today
before six or before five, dependingon where you are. And it's going

(00:46):
to be open all week in theBronx from nine to five in Westchester from
ten to six, And if youlive in Westchester, you can vote at
any location. It doesn't have tobe a location near your home or near
the place where you use, theplace where you usually vote. And so
yeah, it's going on all weekand we're encouraging people to vote early because

(01:06):
we know election day can get crazyfor sure. For sure. Now you
serve New York sixteenth Congressional area,can you just kind of explain like what
that encompasses and like what your constituent'sthere. Yeah. So the sixteenth Congressional
district covers the Northeast Bronx and southernWestchester County. So in the Northeast Bronx

(01:27):
you have co Op City, youhave eden Wall, you have Baychester,
and in southern Westchester County you haveMount Vernon, Yonkers, New Rochelle,
Greenberg, the rivertowns, Watchmart andMarinick, the Soundshore, Scarsdale, White
Plains, Portchester, and a fewother towns and villages in between. It's

(01:48):
a majority minority district, I believe, I forget the percentages exactly, but
it's definitely more Black and Latino andpeople of color than white. But in
primary elections though, the white communityis much more active. And so not
just for this race, but goingforward, you know, I really want
to make sure like the entire districtis very active, especially people of color,

(02:09):
because as you know, you know, the people we vote into office,
will I either advocate for the thingswe want or be completely silent on
the things we need and deserve,and so yeah, that's the district.
And I think it's important for peopleto understand like what district they're in,
right, because I think sometimes wehave representatives and you don't know who's representing

(02:30):
you, you don't know who's advocatingfor you. So I'm glad that you
laid that out and you brought upa really important point about the difference between
us and other races, right interms of how we go out and how
we exercise our vote. And Ithink there is a little bit of a
consensus going around that, you know, sometimes my vote doesn't count or it's
not important, or why should Ivote? And what would you say to

(02:51):
someone who feels like their vote isdoesn't have any power. It always counts,
It's always important, And when youvote, you actually feel physically and
spiritually stronger because you have just participatedin our democracy. You just exercise the
muscle that you might not always exercise, or you may exercise it in a

(03:15):
general election, because usually most peoplevote in the generals. They vote for
president or governor or mayor, butdo not always look at the down ballot
races like congress or like district attorney, like right now in Westchester County,
we have not only this very bigimportant congressional race, but we also have

(03:36):
a district attorney's race, like arace that's going to decide the next district
Attorney in Westchester County pretty much theperson that's going to be responsible for quote
unquote law and order. So weneed to know who those people are.
We need to be engaged, youknow, in that race. At the
same time, I understand the apathyand I understand the feeling that the system

(03:59):
doesn't work for us because for somany years, if not our entire lives,
it hasn't. But it's like achicken in the egg scenario. In
order for it to work, wehave to make it work. In order
to make it work, we haveto participate, which means voting. But
they're also holding us accountable once weget in. If I tell you something,
can you if I tell you I'mgoing to do something or be a

(04:21):
champion of something and you see mesilent on that issue, it's your job
to hold me accountable, to makesure I keep my word and to make
sure I continue to work for thedistrict. And so it's to vote,
but it's also the accountability piece aswell. I'm glad you bring that up
because I feel like, sometimes,you know, there's a huge disconnect,
like when somebody gets into office.You know, people get up there,

(04:45):
they advocate for you, they say, oh, we're going to do this,
We're going to do that. Like, I guess, what can we
be doing as constituents to make surethat that level of accountability is there,
like almost like a checks and balancesystem is in place for us YEP,
call us, email us, tweetat us, post about us that all

(05:05):
matters we track and document in archiveevery single call we make, excuse me,
we receive, and every single emailwe receive, and it's documented in
archives based on categories. So let'ssay you and you know ten twenty thirty
of your girlfriends wanted to call myoffice about black maternal health or a particular

(05:29):
bill that's coming up, or morefunding or whatever the issue is. I'll
look at those calls and be like, damn, within this week we got
calls on this issue, Like what'shappening there? We should pay attention to
that because for every person that iscalling, there's probably one hundred people who
feel the same way who aren't calling. And so we understand that. So
those calls really matter because you're actuallybeing a voice for people who don't have

(05:56):
a voice for sure. For sure, And I was telling you a little
bit about my story before the podcaststart, and I feel like there's a
lot of women that look like meand even in twenty twenty four, who
were still not receiving adequate health care, especially when it comes to birthing a
baby. You know, there's ahuge health inequity when it comes to the
Black maternal health crisis and what's goingon. Black women are three times still

(06:17):
more likely than white women to diefrom maternal health complications and a lot of
that is still, unfortunately happening inthe boroughs and quite frankly in the Bronx
right. So, what would yousay are some of the solutions or some
of the conversations that you have onthe table right now to kind of combat
that situation. So Lauren Underwood hasan incredible piece of federal legislation. It's

(06:43):
called the Momnabus Bill, and it'sall about addressing the issue of black maternal
health through a holistic lens. It'sabout providing more funding to ensure that we
have the resources necessary, not justfor midwives, and duelers, but for
additional health care providers overall, butalso the retraining that is necessary to deal

(07:06):
with the issue of racism and biasin our health care system and racism and
bias institutionally in all of society,because you know, Black people have to
deal with racism every day. Itlives in the body, it lives in
the bones. Black women, ofcourse have to deal with that, and
they have to deal with the challengeof being a woman, so sexism.

(07:28):
So when you're a Black woman andyou're pregnant, you're dealing with racism,
you're dealing with sexism, and you'redealing with a healthcare system that in present
day practices bias and racism and maynot even be aware of it, but
historically has also practiced racism, whetherit's the case of Henrietta Lax or other

(07:49):
cases. When you talk about thebeginning of obg y and n care in
this country, black women have alwaysbeen sort of the victims of that,
and so that historic context, thatpresent day context, federal legislation is all
very important. We from the verybeginning, even when we started running in
twenty nineteen, we connected with localbirth workers to help us understand what was

(08:16):
happening on the ground and so thatwe can be advocates for them as it
relates to federal or state policy.One birth worker I want to shout out
her name is Nubia Martin. Shehas an organization called Birth from the Earth.
She's based in Yonkers, and sheschooled me on the need for more
duelers and more midwives in the spaceas we address this very pressing issue.

(08:41):
That's great, that's awesome, andit's so refreshing to hear that, right,
because I know you also have abackground in education. You have your
doctor in education, right, soyou've also studied some of the trauma and
the complexities when it comes to communitiesof color. Like, what would you
say is the impact collective and individualtrauma when it comes to communities of color.

(09:03):
So the overall impact is the inabilityor the additional challenges involved as it
relates to our own self determination andour own self actualization. That's one.
The other impact is self harm andcollective community harm. That's also the impact.

(09:24):
Other impacts include poorer or lower educationoutcomes, economic outcomes, and healthcare
outcomes, particularly even a shorter lifeexpectancy. And as we know, you
know, research has shown how traumalives in the body and how it remains

(09:45):
in the body and remains part ofgenerational trauma as it's passed on from one
generation to the next, which iswhy we have to do everything in our
power to focus on our healing individuallyand collectively, as well as creating nurturing
environments that begin during the prenatal phaseand and stays with us across the lifespan.

(10:11):
Because if there's toxic stress and chronictrauma in the developing brain of a
pre natal prena through the pain fromthe prenatal phase to age three, then
the brain actually doesn't develop accordingly.The higher order thinking skills, the prefrontal
cortex doesn't develop accordingly, which leadsto potential disproportion referrals to special education UH

(10:35):
and potentially being a part of theschool to prison pipeline. And so we
need healing, we need nurturing,we need we need to at least acknowledge
it first and foremost, and weneed to talk about the different ways of
healing that are necessary in our communities. Now, it's great that you bring
that up too, because I've youknow, been just studying a lot about

(10:56):
some of the adverse childhood studies thatare out there that demonstrate, right,
that correlation between black maternal health andthat pipeline to prison. So is there
anything specifically that you're working on thatis alleviating you know that you know lost
laws situation, especially when it comesto black males right in terms of how
they get caught up in the systemand how that just turns into this lineage

(11:20):
of just negativity. Yeah. Sothere's a program in my district called the
Westchester Youth Shelter, and the WestchesterYouth Shelter supports young people who have committed
a crime and don't require hard jailtime, but require accountability and so it's

(11:41):
an alternative to an incarceration system.However, what they found when they got
to know the young people in theirprogram was that these young people struggle with
poverty, substance abuse, mental healthchallenges, and all of these social determinants
that lead to poor health outcomes andalso social determinants has manifested through their trauma.

(12:09):
And so we partnered them with anorganization called the Cares Program in Harlem,
in which now this Cares program throughJacobi Medical Center is going to be
providing a co support for children whodeal with co occurring disorders, which are
mental health disorders and substance abuse disorders. So that's one way that we are,

(12:31):
you know, and we gave themone point six million dollars to grow
this program in Westchester County. Sothat's one example of what we've done to
kind of respond to the trauma weknow what's happening on the ground. Another
example is a program in New YorkCity called the Every Child and Family Known
Program, and it's all about usingthe school as a hub to provide holistic

(12:54):
supports to children and families who aregoing through trauma. So the school takes
in data, takes in information digitally, the parent can update that information in
real time, provide to consent forschools to find resources for the child,
and then bring resources to that childand to that family in a preventative,

(13:16):
proactive way as opposed to waiting for, you know, a catastrophic incident to
a curb. And we provided twomillion dollars to New York City Department of
Education for that program. Those arejust two examples. But the way in
which I govern is is always toa holistic perspective, and it's all about
taking in the social determinants of healthin supporting the communities that we serve.

(13:39):
That's very interesting, you know,and it brings me back to something that
I heard you bring up in anotherinterview where you had mentioned how we can
use complex nuanced thinking like and makeit applicable to solutions about what's going on
in Black America. So I likeyou to kind of expound upon that a
little bit more, because I thinkthat's a very interesting concept. Yes,

(14:01):
the world is not black and white, even though you know, we are
often forced into these black and whitedecisions or ways of thinking, you know,
us versus them, men versus women, white versus black, this versus
that up or down, and thatthat's also rooted in like scarcity mindsets as

(14:22):
well, where this thinking that,well, you know, I have to
keep resources for me because there's notenough resources to share with other people.
That that's completely false. That justsupports the racial and economic and gender based
caste system that we have in ourcountry, and we gotta we gotta completely

(14:43):
break away from that. I mean, nuanced complex thinking is is just acknowledging
and and understanding and learning within thefifty shades of gray. If you will
you know. So One example ofthis is, you know, when we
when I was a middle school principaland I was an educator for twenty years,

(15:05):
and you know, I served asa teacher, school counselor, and
middle school principle, and of theseventeen to twenty years, I was in
the Bronx as a middle school principlein a Title I community, in the
redline community. Oftentimes the parents inthat community are seen as deficits, like
there's something wrong with them and weneed to come in and save them.

(15:26):
They're not deficits. I don't careif they're teenage moms or you know,
have addiction challenges. They are assetsto that community, and they are assets
to what we need to do tosupport them. And so that's what we
mean. We have to decolonize ourminds away from a right or wrong scarcity

(15:50):
approach to living, learning and healing. And part of that is accepting each
other with dignity and respect and curiosityso that I can learn as much about
you as I can understand how youare an asset to what we're trying to
do, and then ask you foryour help and support as we try to
accomplish that particular thing. I guesshow do you accomplish that though? Right,

(16:11):
because it's a mindset shift, it'sa cultural shift. I mean is
do you do that through policy?Do you do that through whole list?
Like what is the soul? BecauseI feel like it's very it's very intertwined,
like it's multi layered in terms ofthe solution. Yeah, all of
the above. So it's a policy. There are policy responses to it,

(16:33):
but that's not enough. Education isreally important, and grassroots organizing connected to
education is really important. Patience andpersistence are really important. Like a lot
of conversations like this and conversations inour living rooms are really important. And
you know, individually and collectively continuingto learn and grow and then and then

(17:00):
put our imprint on a particular communitythat we need to impact as it relates
to a particular issue. So,for example, if the Bronx continues to
have terrible health and economic excuse me, health and specifically maternal health challenges,

(17:22):
then how are we working together inthe grassroots way to ensure that we're holding
policy makers accountable so that they arepassing legislation and bringing in resources to help
us deal with this particular issue.And how does the private sector factor in
if it does so, for lackof a better term, lobbying from the

(17:48):
grassroots towards people like me who arean elected office to make sure we are
doing the right thing for the communityis the job of the community. It's
not enough to talk about it andacknowledge it. Got to do something.
And this is a democracy. We'reall tax payers, so we all have
agency to have a voice and havean impact. And it's better to have

(18:11):
a voice and have an impact andhave agency if you're doing it with a
collective group of people. Yeah,so smart, right, because I think
in terms of like having that cohesivenessand working together as a community like So,
for example, one of the organizationsthat we work with on this platform
is March of Dimes and the reasonwhy we partner with them is because they're
able to give us data and analyticsto show us kind of where those gaps

(18:33):
are still. Right, So whenwe take a look at maternal health deserts
right where they're located, we actuallyhave a report card that we take a
look at twice a year to kindof measure what that impac is. So
we're not just talking right because Ithink it's great to have these conversations,
but if there's no you know,measurement to where or threshold where we're moving
towards, I think it just kindof falls, you know, on deaf

(18:56):
ears, and it doesn't make anymovement, right. So I like to
hear that you have that mindset towardsyou know, working together collectively at as
a community and keeping those checkpoints rightin there so that we can hold folks
like yourself accountable, right, BecauseI know it's probably not an easy feat
right to represent so many people,right, and so many different interests.

(19:18):
So I guess how do you balanceall that out right as a congressman?
Like, how do you represent thepeople in a way where you you know,
are representing their best interests, butyou're also not you know, kind
of dealing with a level of compromisein the same Yeah. No, absolutely

(19:38):
compromises a trigger word for me becausewe have been compromising, we meaning our
government, our country have been compromisingsince it's our inception and for several decades.

(19:59):
And when we compromise, women,women of color, black women,
people of color, poor people arealways left behind. And so what I
was gonna say to you is theaccountability piece is key, and the urgency

(20:22):
piece is key. And as peopleof color, especially as Black people,
we are excellent at giving grace.We are excellent at being polite, we
are excellent at being decent. Andbecause we are those things, we are
often hesitant to be assertive or combativeor aggressive. And I can tell you

(20:48):
from personal experiences other communities are combativeand assertive and aggressive with what they want
at need, and as a resultof that, they get it. They
don't get it in fifty years ortwenty years, they get it in two
years. And so now that I'min Congress going into in my third year,

(21:12):
hopefully going into my third term,I'm like, we need it right
now, y'all, Like we justneed it right now, because you know,
it's not a mistake that the blackand brown people in the black and
brown areas of my district are whereyou have most homeless people, the most
concentrated poverty, where you have gunviolence, addiction, substance abuse, lack

(21:37):
of affordable housing under That's not anaccident. These are policy decisions made by
people. It's not an accident thatthe Bronx has the worst health outcomes overall,
and black maternal health is the worstin the Bronx in a city where
it's already bad. In the statewas already terrible, if I'm not mistake
in New York State is one ofthe worst in the country. And then

(21:59):
black women even worse. Right,And so that's not an accident. So
we need to fight like hell anddemand demand the things that we deserve.
We are tax payers. We havebeen harmed by the system. There have
been no reparations, no repairing ofthe harm. We have to fight for

(22:22):
what we deserve thousand percent. AndI would ask you, you know,
I guess, how do you thinkthat we can build more power in a
broken system that really doesn't is notset up to serve us. Well,
work with me, That's exactly whatI'm trying to do. But work with
all of your elected officials. Theyneed to know who you are. They

(22:44):
need to have a relationship with you. You need to have a relationship with
them. You need to go totheir events, you need to be around,
you need to be involved, youneed to be engaged. We all
do, because that is how thoserelationships matter. And as those were relationships
get stronger, our issues take centralstage in the mind and the hearts of

(23:06):
the people that represent us. Soyou got to know your not just mayor,
governor president, who's your city councilperson, who's your town council person,
who's your village trustee person, who'syour member of Congress, who's your
state senator, who's your state assemblyperson? Listen, not just name six

(23:30):
positions and none of them are president, mayor, governor, right or US
senator. These six people matter.Your taxpayer money. Our taxpayer money goes
to these people, and they aresetting priorities based on the squeaky wheel,
based on how many times can youcall my office this week? How many

(23:52):
letters I got from you know,Kenya's organization this week? Like this is
how we think. I'm telling you, this is how it is. And
so that's how you do it.You just you just plug in and stay
plugged in and understand you're gonna haveto stay plugged in for the rest of
your life. Yeah, yeah,So just staying very top of mind and

(24:12):
almost borderline annoying, if not annoying, altogether correct and dedicate, dedicate an
hour or two a week to democracy. Right, So, whether it's you're
learning about something or you're contacting yourmember of Congress, right, we gotta

(24:34):
always be doing that, especially thecontact part, like I wanted. Like
when I got into office, everygroup under the sun contacted me because they
knew I'm now in the position ofauthority and power where they can keep their
agenda front and center. I didn'tget much contact from like your local black

(24:59):
or organization do do dot? Youknow, And it's because we we you
know, we're running all over theplace. We tired this with that,
but ultimately we haven't built the infrastructure. And right now I, me and
others are trying to build that infrastructure. Well, I'm glad you bring that
up because I feel like socioeconomically,we're very behind right as a culture,

(25:22):
right and as a community. Imean, I know one of the things
that you were advocating for was toraise the federal minimum wage, which I
think right now is maybe seven dollarsand twenty five cents an hour, something
like like what is it? Yeah, that's it, Oh, that's it,
Okay, that this is actually it'sreally crazy. Yeah, And I

(25:45):
think that's like a gallon of milk, right. So literally when you look
at you know, in hindsight,you're like, I'm it's taking me an
hour if that's what I'm making toearn, you know, a gallon of
milk for my family, which iscrazy to me, right. And I
also was looking at how you wereadvocating for universal childcare, which also is
a big socioeconomic impact because as amother, like, if I cannot go

(26:08):
out and you know, make aliving, I can't afford to feed my
family. So, you know,with all these things in place, which
is wonderful, I mean, Iknow it's not a one man show,
right, Like, what else canwe be doing as a community to make
sure that we're creating the fortitude tosupport what you're doing from a policy level,
but also on our own right tomake sure that these things shift and

(26:32):
change. No, it's a greatquestion. So New York State, just
raise the federal excuse me, justraise the minimum wage I think to seventeen
dollars in something an hour a fewyears back, not too long ago,
just recently it was it was initiallyraised to fifteen dollars an hour. So
there are certain policies that can beimplemented at the state level that the federal

(26:56):
government hasn't implemented yet. So youknow, we're talking about minium wage with
their other policies as well, right, that can be advocated for implemented at
the state level. It's important forus and your network to have like an
agenda, like a priority list ofthings that you want to put forward and

(27:18):
move forward at the state level andthat you would advocate for with your state
representatives. That's really really important.But at the federal level, yeah,
mentioned all the elected officials that youshould be in contact with. At the
federal level, we also have twoUS senators. We have Senator Jillibrand and
New York and Senator Schumer. Inevery state as two senators, you got

(27:40):
to be in touch with them aswell. And again, squeaky wheel gets
the oil, right, and sothey get all these calls from a certain
organization, They're going to pay attentionto those calls. And if you all
say, listen, we support universalchildcare, we need universal childcare, we
demand childcare, they will listen.And but it's again it's a fight,

(28:04):
it's leverage, it's accountability is keepingit going. I mean, look at
let's zoom out for a minute andnot just look at childcare or minimum wage.
Let's look at the issue of affordability. There are people with college degrees,
master's degrees, doctorate degrees, whoare underemployed, meaning they are working

(28:26):
a job where they are not earninga living wage. That's on the one
end, wages need to go up. On the other end, you have
childcare that's not affordable. You haveutilities that are not aff affordable. You
have housing that's not affordable. Youhave transportation that's not affordable. Right,
you have food that's not affordable.And if you have children, you know

(28:51):
who. Let's say your child isstruggling in math. You want to give
them a tutor. You can't affordthe tutor. Let's say your child school
doesn't have extracurricular activities, but weknow extra care, regular activities are key
for healthy development. You can't affordextracurricular activities. And then what you start
doing, you start using this creditcard for this, this credit card for
that, this credit card for that, because you know you got to help

(29:11):
your children, to help yourself asmuch as possible. And so all of
these issues are issues that like Iam dying on the sword in congress fighting,
and it's I'm saying it that dramaticallybecause when I got to Congress,
and so we couldn't raise the minimumwage. I'm like, what are we
doing and when? And when youlook at our wealth in this country and

(29:37):
how wealthy the top one tenth ofone percent are versus everybody else, and
we can't get childcare, we can'tget paid leave. And again I'm biased
towards children and babies because I'm alifelong educator, and I know that harmful

(30:00):
environments for babies manifest in learning challengesin school, and so we need I
mean, listen, people think I'mcrazy. I want two years paid leave.
I want paid leave until I wanteighteen months at least. So,
because that bond is shunting time,that bond is sacred, we can talk

(30:23):
about six weeks in most cases,and then you can't afford the childcare because
you're under employee. It's true,It's so true. I remember, Yeah,
it's crazy. My son was sixweeks old. I remember being a
full time college student. I wentback and worked full time at a daycare

(30:45):
just so that I could watch himwhile I got paid, right, because
I was just so worried about,like what childcare was going to look like.
Right, So you're right, sixweeks is not a long time.
I mean when my daughter came along, it was a little we were in
a better spot economically and I couldhome up, but still I think it
was only maybe three months and thenI was like, Okay, we can't
afford this anymore. I have togo back to work. So I totally

(31:06):
get what you're saying, which Ifeel like it's disheartening to hear, like
the basics right can't or don't seemto be able to get solved, Which
is why I want to kind ofget your perspective on. Like, we
have also a big presidential year electionyear coming up, right, Like,
do you feel like you've seen anyformal plan to advance the black community from
either party? Not put that way. So when you say advance to black

(31:33):
community, I hear black agenda,not put that way. However, President
Biden and VP Harris have something calledthe Justice for the Initiative where they are
moving to align all the federal resourcesto ensure that forty percent of those resources
go towards helping the black community,which is a big deal. That's that's

(31:57):
an absolute big deal. The challengethere is there are a lot of federal
federal agencies and a lot of Secretariesof agencies, and so implementation looks different
for different people. And so wepass the Inflation Reduction Act, which is
going to make historic investments in climatejustice with a specific focus on environmental racism

(32:22):
and environmental justice. But the implementationby the Department of Energy and other departments
it has been challenging, you know, especially as you try to move lower
income people and people with bad creditoff of gas stoves, for example,
and fossil fuels in their homes towardslike electric fully electric homes. If you

(32:45):
don't got the credit, you can'tapply for the loan that you need to
buy the utilities that you will thenbe reimbursed for, and you won't be
reimbursed fully, right, And ifyou don't have the money saved in your
bank account, you can't buy thethe appliances you need. So that's one
one thing I've learned since I've beenin Congress. We passed these these bills,

(33:08):
and they're well meaning and well intentioned, but the implementation goes south.
And this is where local organizing comesinto play as well, because oftentimes our
legislation goes to the state, thecounty, city, and the money goes
to them, and if you're notadvocating from the bottom up that money will
go wherever that mayor or governor ora county executive wants it to go.

(33:30):
And so it needs to be both, and it needs to be you know,
like from federal government down and youknow, grassroots up got it.
And I think it's an interesting pointbecause it's almost like when we don't have
a formal plan or play in place, it almost distorts like what the American
dream looks like for black Americans,right, So it don't almost it does.

(33:55):
But to your original question, Democratsmuch further along in the issue with
regards to the issue of racial justiceand a black agenda than Republicans. I
mean, if all goes well andDemocrats went back to the House, Hakeem
Jeffries will be the first black speaker, Kontaji Brown Jackson, first black women

(34:19):
Supreme Court justices, record number ofPellate Court judges appointed by President Biden.
American Rescue Plan completely rooted in equity. The majority of that money went to
black and brown municipalities and poor municipalities. And so there have been some things,
many things from the Democrat Party,from the Republican Party, not much

(34:40):
other than Trump, you know,saying and doing some stuff as the Release
to Justice reform, you know,and some re entry stuff, which you
know, I've got to give creditwith credit is due, but in terms
of the real comprehensive truth racial healingreparations agenda, where we're far away from

(35:00):
that from with both parties. Yeah, And I would say it's you know,
there is some perception and like evenstatistical data that shows that economically,
some would say Black America was,you know, you know, in a
better situation economically under Trump in termsof like unemployment rates and so on and

(35:20):
so forth. What would you sayin terms of do you feel like there
were any benefits for Black America underthe Trump administration? No, And I
think it's the exact opposite. AndI need to look at those economic numbers
again, because employment is one thing, underemployment is another. So I need
to take another look at that.But if you just look at Trump's response

(35:44):
to COVID, it was really horrificand horrendous and it really was incompetent.
And how many black people died duringCOVID disproportionately, how many lives could have
been saved if he if he governeddifferently. So no, I don't.
Look. I immediately thought about COVIDwhen you ask that question. And in

(36:06):
terms of economic benefits, I meanmaybe, and again I have to look
at the data here. Maybe ifyou are a corporate person at a certain
level, maybe, And we havemany African Americans who are at that level,
and Trump's trillion dollars trillions of dollarsin tax cuts for the wealthiest probably

(36:28):
benefited many of them. But interms of the working class black people,
not that I have seen. Doyou think historically the Democratic Party has served
the best interests of Black America.I think they do better than Republicans,
you know, just looking at contemporaryhistory, though, I mean I'm not
going way back to radical Republicans whoabout a slavery. I mean, obviously

(36:52):
they win when we talk about youknow, historic competition. They win well
in terms of contempt history, interms of like and this hasn't only just
benefited Black Americans, right, butthings like Wick and all those things that
benefits all people from low income whoare disproportionately black, even though the total

(37:15):
number is more more white than black. Investments in HBCUs, you know,
affirmative action when it before it wastaken away voting rights and all that.
Like, Democrats won those things rightand now Republicans are trying to take those
things away, and those are allcritical to racial justice in our country.

(37:37):
HM. So what is your promiseto the constituents that you serve going into
this next election. I'm gonna keeplearning, keep working, keep listening,
uh, and do everything I canto meet to meet the needs of my
constituents. You know, this jobis all about listening and learning and really

(37:58):
understanding what people are going through andwhat the needs are. And that's it.
I mean that, that's my promise. And when I've done that,
you know, we have yielded somepretty good outcomes. You know, like
when we first got in the office, we got a vaccination site for co
Op City, a vaccination site forYaka's, vaccination site for Eden, wallhouses,

(38:20):
vaccines from Mount Vernon, a mobilesite in New Rochelle. We brought
over a billion dollars to the districtthrough the American Rescue Plan and the Chips
and Science Tech and the Safer CommunitiesAct and so many other grants and bills.
You know, we brought in tensof millions of dollars to reduce gun
vialance, invest in education, investin healthcare, build partnerships that provide holistic

(38:45):
supports to our most vulnerable populations,you know, invest millions and workforce development
and food security. And so we'vedone incredible work and my reputation kind of
kind of speaks to that. Butit's start first, and foremost were listening
and learning. I will make thatpromise every time. And once I learned
something, you know, especially asan educator and middle school principal, I

(39:08):
usually are enacting it. Great.So where can people go learn more about
you and support you? Yes,so go to Bowmanfocongress dot com. That's
b O W M A N fO R c O N g R E
S S. Bowman for Congress dotcom. It's the website campaign website see

(39:29):
all the stuff we're doing. Also, you follow me on social media at
Jamal Bowman and why and you spellmy name Jamal with two a's at the
end j A M A A Lb O W M A N and why.
I'm most active on Instagram. That'sthe best place to follow without all
of the poison and and vitrol anddiscuss. That's on X So you can

(39:52):
most follow me on uh on Instagramand yeah, those two areas well.
We appreciate you here and being onMaternal today. You know, like I
was telling you before the podcast started, you know, there's a lot of
young black mothers that engage with thisplatform that I feel, you know,
want to have a voice and wantto be heard, and you know we're

(40:12):
creating a space for them. Sowe appreciate folks like yourself who come to
the platform and help us lead theseconversations. And just give everybody your website
one more time, yes Bowman forcongress dot com and for spelled out fo
R not the number four Bowmanfocongress dotcom. Great, well, thank you
so much for being here today.I am Kenya Gibson. Joining us today

(40:37):
was Congressman Jamal Bowman. And you'vejust heard Maternal on iHeartRadio. Until next time.
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