NEW YORK – Congressman Eliot Engel was joined by members of the Black Clergy from New Rochelle, Yonkers, Mount Vernon, and the Bronx yesterday for a Zoom roundtable discussion yesterday on racial justice, police reform, and the continued fight for civil rights in America.
The meeting was moderated by Deputy Westchester County Executive Ken Jenkins and included Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard and Congressman Greg Meeks, Chair of the Congressional Black Caucus Political Action Committee.
During the event, Congressman Engel discussed the need to quickly pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, which would bring much needed reforms to policing in America by holding officers more accountable for their actions, reform qualified immunity, ban chokeholds, demilitarize the police, establish a national police misconduct database, and make lynching a federal hate crime. The Congressman also touched on his work to bring resources back to New York’s 16th District during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has disproportionately hurt communities of color.
“I thank my friends from the Black Clergy for holding this roundtable with me, and I also thank my colleagues in government for joining the discussion. The support from the Black Clergy is overwhelming and I thank them for their continued partnership. We’re all fighting for the same thing: a better, stronger, fairer district for all of the people we represent,” said Congressman Engel. “Next week the House will vote on the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, and not a moment too soon. We need to reform qualified immunity, hold our police more accountable, and bring an end to the forces of systemic racism that still pervade in our country.”
“Congressman Engel has my unequivocal support,” said Mount Vernon Mayor Shawyn Patterson-Howard. “He has helped procure millions of dollars for Mount Vernon housing, health care, and community groups. He has done outstanding work for our city and we need to keep him in Congress.”
“The reason we stand with Eliot Engel is because he has always stood with us,” said Congressman Gregory Meeks. “Every time we needed Eliot, he would say ‘what can I do to be helpful.’ As Chair of the CBC political action committee, we don’t endorse people for the sake of endorsing them. We endorse people who stand with us on the issues that matter. Look at Eliot’s record. If he wasn’t responsive to the community, or working with us on the legislation that matters, it wouldn’t have taken 31 years to discover that. Eliot is a hard worker, and hard work should be rewarded.”
“I can unequivocally say Congressman Engel has been a friend to me for 20 years; he is someone we can always reach out to and who always has his community’s best interests at heart,” said Reverend Troy DeCohen. “I remember many occasions where Congressman Engel stood arm-in-arm with members of the black community. I am proud to support him.”
“Rep. Engel has never let us down. He is a great friend of the Caribbean people,” said Minister Patrick Tyson. “He has my 100 percent support. I believe in him and what he brings to the Bronx and Westchester community.”
“I wholeheartedly support Congressman Engel,” said Rev. Dr. Allen Paul Weaver. “He has consistently delivered services to New Rochelle and I have no problem recommending him to members of my congregation, friends and associates.”
“Congressman Engel has my full support,” said Pastor Omar McDowell. “His position inside Congress is extremely important, especially in getting the legislation we need passed, passed.”