County Legislator Catherine Parker, a longtime Rye resident and former City Council member, is in the home stretch of the Democratic primary race for the 16th Congressional District, hoping to unseat Jamaal Bowman, who is in his first term. The other Democratic candidates running are Vedat Gashi, a County Legislator representing northern Westchester, and businessman Mark Jaffe.
We asked Parker how she differs from the incumbent and what residents can count on if she is elected.
What do Rye voters need to do for you to win on Tuesday?
Every registered Democrat needs to vote early, through August 21, or vote on Election Day – Tuesday, August 23 between 6 a.m.-9 p.m. Every Democrat also needs to call three friends to remind them to vote and ask them to call three friends…
What are the three biggest differences between you and Mr. Bowman?
I have always been a pragmatic progressive and responsive to my constituents’ needs. That means that I will fight for the policies and issues we care about without backing down, without conceding our shared values, and still delivering results for us.
I have always been a public servant, not a politician. I got into public service because I wanted to leave a better environment than I inherited for my kids.
Here are some big differences:
Women are only represented by 27.3% of Congress. As the only pro-choice woman in this race, the only way women will see any progress in passing the Equal Rights Amendment, codifying Roe, or protecting our rights… is to elect pro-choice women.
I would have voted for the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs bill.
I am responsive to local government and constituents. My constituents will feel my presence, whether I am in Washington or at home.
What is at the top of your agenda for the 16th District?
I will get to work with government officials to ensure that federal dollars will be coming in to help mitigate flooding caused by climate change.
Next, I will look to build bridges and relationships with other representatives, no matter their party, to collaborate on some of our district’s key issues, such as: women’s reproductive rights, combating climate change, funding infrastructure projects, and continuing the effort to eradicate gun violence from our communities. And that’s just the start, my to-do list is long.
What are your proudest achievements as an elected official?
The passage of legislation in Westchester County to create the position of Energy Director and Office of Sustainability.·
Co-sponsoring and passing the Clinic Access Bill, which protects women right here in Westchester as they seek reproductive health care.
As a vocal advocate for infrastructure and flood mitigation funding, I have helped bring in millions of dollars from the County, State, and Federal governments to fund these life- and property-saving projects.
The creation of many units of affordable housing while serving as a Rye City Council member.
As Democratic Majority Leader, I led the Westchester County Legislature to pass a groundbreaking series of local laws that protect human rights, keep our families safe, lessen the tax burden, preserve and protect our natural resources and habitats, and invest in our businesses.
During the past 14 years, six as a Rye City Councilmember and nine as a County Legislator, I have delivered results time and again.