July has been a pretty dangerous time for people living and working in New York City — and the presumptive Democratic nominee for Congressional District 16 has taken notice.
Gun violence last weekend jumped 277 percent compared to last year, creating 28 victims out of 22 shootings, including a 1-year-old sitting in his stroller near a playground in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
“We have to stop everything and come together at the table to get serious about solving the senseless violence in our communities and finally centering (on) the lives of our children and our babies who are dying in the streets,” said Jamaal Bowman, in a release. “On a personal note as a father, I hate that when I’m driving with my children in the car that I have to think about a stray bullet coming in and killing my child. I hate it.”
Still, Bowman — who likely beat incumbent U.S. Rep. Eliot Engel in the June primary — said he isn’t blaming the different neighborhoods themselves that have had an uptick in violence.
“The problem is systemic,” he said. “Our communities have been neglected for decades, failed by the government at every level. It’s not just about those who are pulling the triggers, but the elected leaders who have yet to take on the ongoing problems of systemic injustice.”
However that’s done, it can’t be by throwing more money at police, Bowman said.
“If we’re going to break the cycle of violence, our response can’t be centered on law enforcement since we’ve seen how that only exacerbates the problem,” Bowman said. “I’m talking about directing resources to help the community leaders who have been doing the work on the ground.”
Jessica Haller is trying to catch up to the hefty campaign chests a couple of her competitors have raised in what is expected to be a crowded field looking to replace Councilman Andrew Cohen next year.
Haller raised more than $55,000 from more than 425 donors in her first campaign finance filing period, according to a release. That means she can expect to have as much as $220,000 available to her in a year when matching funds become available.
“I am honored to have the support of so many people, specifically in the district, in the midst of unprecedented public health, economic and social justice crises,” Haller said, in a release.
“With the pandemic hitting shortly after our campaign was launched, I am proud that we were able to quickly devise an online strategy that mobilized hundreds of donors and volunteers committed to a sustainable, resilient and equitable New York.”
Neither Eric Dinowitz or Dan Padernacht have filed campaign finance updates for July. As of Jan. 11, based on their most recent filings, Dinowitz raised just under $71,000 from more than 300 contributors.
Padernacht has raised $56,000 from 386 donors.
A third candidate in the race, one-time Riverdale Press intern Dionel Then, has raised $1,320 from 21 contributors through July 11.
Dinowitz is a school teacher and son of Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz.
Padernacht is a Kingsbridge Heights real estate attorney who is a former chair of Community Board 8.
Haller is a climate activist who also is a LEED-accredited professional with the U.S. Green Building Council.