Activist Julio Pabón Announces City Council Special Election Run

Julio Pabon Announces_2016-1
Bronx businessman and community activist Julio Pabón announced today that he is running in the February 23, 2016 (unofficially) Bronx Special Election for the 17th Council district. The incumbent Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo announced earlier this month that she’s resigning her South Bronx seat effective December 31.
 
Pabón, a Democrat who ran against CM Arroyo in 2013, says that he is a different kind of candidate.
 
“Historically the voices of the community have been shut out many times by its own political leaders.” Pabón pledged to empower his community by engaging in participatory budgeting and involving local residents and stakeholders in any and all development plans.
 

He says he will focus on the needs of small businesses, as well as seek to redress the effects of gentrification by maintaining affordable housing, and obtain criminal justice reform, economic and environmental justice.

Pabón chose the Bronx County Courthouse to kickoff his campaign because it reflected the spirit of his campaign for reform. Calling the courthouse “the prime symbol of justice in the Bronx,” Pabón says his campaign hopes to push forward a message of justice for all.

Other people who have expressed interest in the council seat include Arroyo’s chief of staff Joann Otero, activist and businessman Julio Pabón, Rep. Jose Serrano staffer Amanda Septimo, preacher and businessman Rev. J. Loren Russell, Human Resources Administration Director of Business Development Anthony Sanchez, and  1199SEIU political projects director Helen Hines-Foreman. All but Ms. Hines-Foreman have registered with the NYC Campaign Finance Board and the NYS Board of Elections.

Rafael Salamanca, district manager of Bronx Community Board 2 and president of the 41st Precinct Community Council, is rumored to be the choice of the Democratic political establishment. Pabón alluded to that rumor when he held up an envelope claiming that it contained the name of the Bronx Democratic Party favorite to replace Arroyo. He said that he sent the letter to himself before attending a screening interview at Bronx Democratic party headquarters a few weeks ago.

In New York City, special elections are held to temporarily fill vacancies in city offices caused by an elected official’s resignation, removal, death, or permanent incapacitation. Under the City Charter, the special election must be called by Mayor de Blasio for the first Tuesday at least 45 days after the office has been vacated. 
 
And that special election must be nonpartisan, ie, candidates may not run under the banner of a major political party such as the Democratic or Republican parties. Candidates will have twelve (12) days after the Mayor’s proclamation to submit ballot petitions to the New York City Board of Elections.
 
Mr. Pabón has indicated that he plans to run under the political banner, “The Bronx Is Not 4 Sale.” The name is a nod towards and recognition of local concerns regarding gentrification and its displacement of poor and working class people from South Bronx neighborhoods.
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