Bronx 17 City Council District: DON’T CAST A BLIND VOTE! BE INFORMED


by Jessica Clemente, MUP


The announcement of the resignation of former Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo created a leadership vacuum at a critical time when the challenges and opportunities surrounding the community have never been more serious. Issues of housing and the fears of gentrification, along with the overburden of homeless shelters, high unemployment rates and the dramatic percentage of persons living below poverty level are just a few of the many real challenges that the next Council Member for Bronx Council District 17 must be prepared to address.


Despite the timing of Arroyo’s announcement during the Christmas and New Year holidays presenting a challenge to the district in responding, we were able to activate a network of concerned citizens and community based stakeholders to ensure that the community is informed and aware.


In short order,  we galvanized a number of community stakeholders in coordinating a candidate forum for today, Wednesday, January 27, 2016 at Pregones Theatre to hear directly from those wanting to represent us in the City Council.

17 CO Candidates List

There are many serious questions to be asked of those who would seek to serve in this position; considering it is a midterm election, what are the most important items of legislation for the new representative to advance?


At this time our neighborhoods and stakeholders are grappling with important land use decisions that will be coming up for consideration.

  • What are your positions on comprehensive neighborhood planning, economic development & preservation? Support for manufacturing jobs?
  • How do you define predatory development, and most importantly how will the interests of the community be protected?
  • How do the current development projects throughout the district, (and proposed future development) effect community infrastructure – like schools, parks, public transportation
  • And how will the community manage the impact upon current and future capacity needs?


These and many other important questions and issues must be confronted, on day one by whomever takes the seat as representative for the 17th NYC Council District. We need every community member to know what is taking place, engage in the process and speak up, knowing that the future we hope for depends upon it, we deserve better!


In the event you are not able to join us on at the candidate forum, we are encouraging community members and stakeholders to coordinate “candidate forum viewing parties” throughout the district in an effort to ensure the community is aware of this special election, and ultimately able to fully participate both in hearing from the candidates and casting informed votes in the February 23, 2016 special election.


For a change we want to be able to demonstrate that our local residents care by voting in significant numbers.

[The candidate forum will be streamed live at:]


Jessica Clemente, MUP, is the Chief Executive Officer/President of We Stay/Nos Quedamos, a nonprofit community development and housing corporation.


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