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Summary of Democratic Debate between Candidates Bowman and Latimer

By Staff

June 20, 2024: On Tuesday, June 25th, there will be a democratic primary for New York's 16th Congressional District, which includes Bronxville, 

Jamaal Bowman is seeking to keep his seat and is facing challenger Westchester County Executive George Latimer.

The two candidates participated in a debate on Wednesday, June 13, 2024, and differed on many issues. 

This article includes a summary of most of the questions in the debate but does not include every question or answer. Also, the candidates' answers to questions 1- 26 below are paraphrased from their spoken answers. You can see the full debate here

CLICK HERE to learn more about the candidates and where and when to vote.

Debate Summary

Israel-Hamas War

Candidate Bowman does not want to send any more weapons at this time to Israel because he says, "they are engaged in collective punishment by killing mostly women, children, and babies in Gaza."  He says, "We need a permanent cease-fire now, we need the release of all of the hostages, and we need the humanitarian aid to get into Gaza as quickly as possible." 

Candidate Bowman said the US should fight for both the safety of Israel and the safety of the Palestinian people.  He thinks that the US needs to ensure a Palestinian State.  

Candidate Latimer said you must have both parties at the table to negotiate a long-term solution.  He said that Hamas has proven to be a terrorist organization, which is "antithetical to having the peace we need in the long run."  He supports a "peace process" and does not want to see "a concession that leaves Hamas strengthened by this process."

Congestion Pricing

On June 5, 2024, Governor Kathy Hochul announced that New York's "congestion pricing" program, which was supposed to begin June 30th, would be paused indefinitely.

In the debate, Candidate Latimer didn't say whether he was for or against congestion pricing, but he did say that it would not solve the MTA's financial problems and that New York needs more aid from the federal government to help fund the MTA. "We need a federal commitment to mass transit in the metropolitan area," he said.

Candidate Latimer discussed how Westchester County had electrified its buses and expanded the number of electric vehicle charging stations around the county.

Candidate Bowman did not comment on congestion pricing but said that the MTA has been underfunded for "several decades."  He further said that infrastructure spending should be aligned with climate goals to get off fossil fuels by 2030. 

Cross Questioning

Candidate Bowman asked Candidate Latimer how he was going to have an impact on "structural racism" within the county.

Candidate Latimer said that Westchester has invested over $140m on capital projects that directly benefit the poorest neighborhoods in Westchester County, including $35m+ to restore Memorial Field, an important recreation place. He also said Westchester spent ¼ of a billion dollars on minority-owned enterprises.

Candidate Latimer asked Candidate Bowman if he is going to support Mondaire Jones, who is running for Congress in New York's 17th Congressional District. Candidate Bowman said he didn't know as yet.

Lightening Round

The next part of the debate was a series of questions asked directly to each candidate.

Question 1: Do you support the push to rename the Mario Cuomo Bridge back to Tappan Zee bridge? 

Neither candidate had an opinion on this.

Question 2: Will you support your opponent if he wins the primary?

Latimer: Yes

Bowman: Yes

Question 3: There are efforts underway to make the Empire City site in Yonkers a full-fledged casino? Do you support that?

Latimer: Yes

Bowman: No

Question 4: Have you ever placed a mobile bet?

Latimer: No

Bowman: No

Question 5: Should members of Congress be term limited?

Latimer: Yes

Bowman: Yes

Question 6: What is your favorite park in the District?

Latimer: Glen Island Park

Bowman Tibbetts Park

Question 7: Have you ever voted for a Republican?

Latimer: No

Bowman: No

Question 8: Do you own or rent?

Latimer: Own. I own one residence and co-own another residence

Bowman: Own. I own one residence.

Question 9:  When was the last time you took Metro North or the Subway?

Latimer: Three weeks ago

Bowman: A few weeks ago

Question 10: Should the Number of Supreme Court Justices be increased?

Latimer:  I would need to know who the president is and who is the head of the Senate.

Bowman:  Absolutely

Question 11: Have you driven an electric vehicle?

Latimer: No

Bowman: No

Question 12: What rating would you give Mayor Adams?

Latimer: Incomplete

Bowman: 2

Question 13: Westchester County is housing fewer than 500 migrants.  Is that the most the county can do?

Latimer:  The three locations for migrants is not the sum total of migrants.  Westchester is prepared to be helpful, but all the counties need to be helpful.

Question 14: Mr. Bowman, what about migrants from other countries?

Bowman:  Our nation has always been open to migrants seeking asylum. Mass migration is a global issue. We should have a global foreign policy to help people in other countries. We have been working with local organizations to support the migrants that have come into Westchester.

Question 15:  Would you support the "Babies over Billionaires" Act that would tax the capital gains of billionaires?

Latimer:  I would need to read it first. It depends on how much of a tax and where the money will be allocated.

Question 16: Mr. Bowman. You have repeatedly said you want to increase taxes on the wealthy. Do you support that?

Bowman: Yes. The majority of people support raising taxes on the wealthy.  

Latimer: We have cut property taxes in Westchester County, and it was not by community.  Regarding the Trump tax cuts, I said I would analyze them and then decide what I thought of them.

Question 17: Some housing needs assessments have shown that the county is short by 11,000 units of affordable housing.  The Governor has supported development along mass transit lines. What is the best way to address this?

Latimer:  The proposals out of the State highlighted all housing, not affordable housing. My administration has put on the ground 2,500 new units of affordable housing.  What's missing is a federal commitment.  We need to fight for that money.

Question 18: Westchester ranks as one of the highest-income counties in America, and the Bronx is one of the poorest. What would you do to address this?

Bowman: We need reparations and repair the historical harm.

Latimer: We have done affordable housing. We need to create a study group and analyze the focus of reparations.

Question 19: Homicides are down, but felony assaults and grand larceny, robberies and rape are up.  What more that needs to be done?

Latimer: We need to put time, energy and effort into the urban parts of our district.  There needs to be more money from the federal government.  You have to work with local officials and that's what I've done.

Bowman: Alot more needs to be done. We have passed the "Safer Communities Act" to stop the massive trafficking of guns into our communities. We have dealt with healthcare, education, workforce development and mental health in the Bronx and Westchester.  The Westchester Youth Shelter serves children who are incarcerated.  

Question 20: The State Legislature passed the Climate Change Superfund Act which if signed into law will require that oil and gas companies contribute $3 billion/year for 25 years to help pay for infrastructure projects needed as a result of climate change.  Should the Governor sign this bill into law and should something similar be done at the federal level?

Bowman: Yes. Defund the fossil fuel industry. We need to move as quickly as possible to green, clean renewable energy. We have to do this at the federal level. I've been leading on this issue at the federal level.

Latimer: Yes. This should be signed into law and something similar should be done at the federal level.

Question 21: Mr. Bowman, do you stand by voting against funding the $1.2 billion infrastructure bill.

Biden's agenda was the Infrastructure Bill and the Build Back Better Act. We cannot leave seniors and the working class behind. We didn't get Build Back Better but we got the Inflation Reduction Act.

Question 22: Pepsi was found to be one of the top five plastic companies contributing to pollution worldwide.  Should companies like Pepsi be held accountable?

Latimer: We should let that play out in court.  We have taken action to reduce single-use plastic.

Question 23: Give us an example of an issue that you don't see eye to eye with Biden and how you would handle.

Latimer: There is a need for us to correct things at the border and there needs to be a legislative effort to do that.  I would work with the Democratic leadership.  I think President Biden has done a good job overall for the district.

Bowman: I disagree with the President's response to Gaza. I don't think we should have sent additional weapons to Israel.  I worked closely with President Biden during my first couple of years on the CHIPS and Science Act that helps build wealth in marginalized communities.

Question 24: Would you support a legal cannabis dispensary in our District?

Latimer: We have legal cannabis in our District. Local governments make the decisions in this area. We in the county don't have a direct role to play.

Bowman: Yes. We have to make sure the revenue from legal cannabis benefits those unjustly incarcerated as a result of cannabis.

Question 25: Should the government use its anti-trust power to limit the size and power of major tech companies like Facebook?

Bowman: Absolutely. We need comprehensive tech legislation.

Latimer: In terms of the break-up of big tech companies, that is something to look into.

Question 26: What do you think about the issue of money in politics?

Latimer: I would support campaign finance reform across the board.

Bowman: Billionaire Republicans are buying our democracy. 

Make sure you vote and support your candidate on June 25th!




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Bronxville Overview

Bronxville is a quaint village (one square mile) located just 16 miles north of midtown Manhattan (roughly 30 minutes on the train) and has a population of approximately 6,500. It is known as a premier community with an excellent public school (K-12) and easy access to Manhattan. Bronxville offers many amenities including an attractive business district, a hospital (Lawrence Hospital), public paddle and tennis courts, fine dining at local restaurants, two private country clubs and a community library.

While the earliest settlers of Bronxville date back to the first half of the 18th century, the history of the modern suburb of Bronxville began in 1890 when William Van Duzer Lawrence purchased a farm and commissioned the architect, William A. Bates, to design a planned community of houses for well-known artists and professionals that became a thriving art colony. This community, now called Lawrence Park, is listed on the National register of Historic Places and many of the homes still have artists’ studios. A neighborhood association within Lawrence Park called “The Hilltop Association” keeps this heritage alive with art shows and other events for neighbors.

Bronxville offers many charming neighborhoods as well as a variety of living options for residents including single family homes, town houses, cooperatives and condominiums. One of the chief benefits of living in “the village” is that your children can attend the Bronxville School.

The Bronxville postal zone (10708, known as “Bronxville PO”) includes the village of Bronxville as well as the Chester Heights section of Eastchester, parts of Tuckahoe and the Lawrence Park West, Cedar Knolls, Armour Villa and Longvale sections of Yonkers. Many of these areas have their own distinct character. For instance, the Armour Villa section has many historic homes and even has its own newsletter called “The Villa Voice” which reports on neighborhood news.

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