Pediatrician and former mayor of Scarsdale Dr. Miriam Levitt Flisser, 76, is the Republican Party’s nominee to challenge Rep. Jamaal Bowman in New York’s Congressional District 16. The district includes most of Westchester County, with its four cities: Mount Vernon, New Rochelle, White Plains, and Yonkers, as well as part of the north-central Bronx. The district was represented until 2020 by Eliot Engel, who was beaten by Bowman in the Democratic primaries.
Levitt Flisser’s website says her parents were resistance fighters who smuggled her out of Eastern Europe, hidden under a mail truck, to a displaced persons camp. She and her parents saw the Statue of Liberty for the first time from the deck of a US Marine troopship. Raised in the Bronx, she attended Bronx High School of Science, the NYU Bronx Campus, and YU’s Albert Einstein College of Medicine. She has worked as a pediatrician for several decades and is also a pediatric consultant in school districts in the Bronx and Westchester County.
In a Forbes interview, Levitt Flisser, an Independent running on the GOP ticket, was asked what are her district’s most urgent issues.
“Increase in crime is a major issue,” she said. “We must reduce the flow of drugs from the border, and the related influx of indentured criminals, due to the cartels’ control of the system.”
“A failed immigration process, which enables the abuse of unaccompanied minors, requires major change,” she said. “I am horrified about what happens to young girls crossing the border; they will carry this trauma for the rest of their lives. And immigrant boys are forced into criminal gangs.”
To control the rising crime wave, she says “we must support our men and women in police departments in our district, and around the country, who keep us safe. The various efforts to ‘defund’ the police are misguided, dangerous, and a central part of my opponent’s campaign. I will support legislation to ensure that our police departments are sufficiently funded so that they have the people, training, and equipment they need to reduce and prevent crime.”
“Bowman is not representative of the people of the district,” she said. “He’s much more extreme.”
In September 2021, Bowman was among 38 House Democrats to vote against the $778 billion National Defense Authorization Act of 2022. The bill was approved easily in a bipartisan 316-113 vote. Bowman’s proposed amendment that would have prohibited US troop presence in Syria unless Congress specifically authorizes it was rejected by 286-141.
During his first run for office, Bowman assured his district’s large Jewish constituency that he was “in full support of Israel.” And yet, his actions in Congress have proven otherwise. Bowman withdrew his support from the Israel Relations Normalization Act, a bipartisan bill that seeks to expand peace in the Middle East by expanding good relationships between Israel and its Arab neighbor states that have recently recognized its right to exist as a Jewish state (the Abraham Accords).
In May 2022, Bowman signed on to Squad Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib’s House Resolution 1123, “Recognizing the Nakba and Palestinian refugees’ rights.” As Pro-Israel America put it, “The biased, one-sided resolution attempts to re-write history by ignoring that Palestinians launched a civil war and Arab nations invaded Israel to thwart Israel’s declaration of independence, by failing to mention the Palestinians’ history of rejecting multiple two-state solution deals and offers to negotiate in good faith, and by simply ignoring nearly 100 years of Palestinian political violence against Jews. While Israel’s other neighbors have moved on and embraced its existence, this bill encourages Palestinians to continue their call to reject Israel’s right to exist as a Jewish state – a backward stance that furthers violence and conflict.”
Asked by Forbes, “What legislation would you introduce in Congress?” Dr. Levitt Flisser answered: “My priorities are jobs, security, schools, and family.”
“We need to focus on creating better manufacturing and value-added jobs here,” she continued. “Too many manufacturing jobs have been exported abroad. In fact, it is dangerous to export certain jobs like pharmaceutical production, medical supplies, infant formula, and semiconductors. We need to create jobs that at least pay minimum wage. Our workers spend money in our own communities.”
Finally, she said, “I understand that there are caucuses of moderates from both sides in Congress. Since I am a centrist on many issues, I believe that I would be able to bridge the gap.”
I would vote for her over the other guy.