52 endorse Engel in Democratic Congressional primary for effectiveness, seniority, high ratings

To the editor:

If you’re a Democrat, Rep. Eliot Engel of New York’s District 16 has earned your support. He’s been repeatedly rated as one of the ten most effective House members in his party. His seniority has earned him the chairmanship on the important House Foreign Affairs Committee. He’s delivered billions to his constituents, including $5 billion for New York hospitals just last month. He led part of the presidential impeachment effort; a columnist called Engel one of Trump’s “worst enemies you’ve never heard of.”

If you’re a progressive Democrat, Engel’s representation gets even better. He has long supported healthcare for all, a $15 minimum wage, the Green New Deal, campaign finance reform and criminal justice reform. He has an “A” rating from the NAACP and an “F” from the NRA. He is endorsed by major reproductive rights groups, LGBTQIA organizations, unions, the Congressional Black Caucus and many more. Even his primary challengers have said he’s a good guy whose views they share.

So why is this man in the primary fight of his life?

Eliot Engel isn’t slick. Where some candidates are more quotable, Engel is more likely to share detailed policy analyses. He doesn’t think in terms of photo ops or sound bites; that’s why it was easy to take a recent comment of his out of context. While Engel was explaining that normally he would not care if he had the opportunity to speak on stage in front of a group (he is that rare politician who truly doesn’t seek the limelight), his challengers have painted a false picture of a man who does not care about his constituency. This could not be further from the truth as his years of public service prove.

In a time that often rewards charisma over substance, Engel’s sincerity makes him a target for challengers who promise how much better they’d be in Congress; promises always sound better than real, imperfect achievements. Especially in our media-saturated world, doing a good job often doesn’t matter as much as seeming to do a good job. Who has time to look up voting records and figure out the difference?

We do.

We are your Congressional District 16 neighbors. We want what you want: the best Congressional representation we can get. Eliot Engel has consistently delivered for his district. This is in stark contrast to his primary opponents, who right now are just full of promises. We’ve done the research on this race, and we’re deeply concerned that our effective, dedicated congressman could be replaced by a challenger with zero experience in public office. If there is ever a time not to send in a rookie to learn on the job in the U.S. House of Representatives, surely this is that time.

His challengers argue that Engel could be better; everyone could. That doesn’t mean they would be better. If you can, research this for yourself. If you can’t, please know: Eliot Engel is serving our district well. We ask you to vote for him in the June 23 Democratic primary.

Submitted by

Marin Zielinski

60 1st Street


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