Arroyo recently made a surprise announcement that she will resign from her position on the council at the end of the year due to family issues, and 33-year-old Anthony Sanchez, director of business development at the HRA, hopes to take her place, he said on Friday.
The Morrisania resident mainly focuses on helping low-income and homeless New Yorkers find work and become self-sufficient in his current position at the HRA, he said.
"For the last three years, I’ve been working directly with low income New Yorkers trying to place them with jobs," he said.
Sanchez has also worked in the non-profit sector but said he was impressed by how much bigger of an impact his efforts had after he started to work for the government and hopes to continue this trend by winning a political job next.
"Knowing that I can possibly help more people if I’m in a political position really pushes me to do that," he said, explaining why he wanted to run for Arroyo's seat.
He would plan to focus mainly on improving education and police-community relations in the South Bronx if he gets elected to the New York City Council.
"It’s a double-edged sword, both making sure that police officers are held accountable for misconduct or unprofessionalism and then also ensuring that the good side of them is seen through the community," he said.
Arroyo's term would have been up in 2017 if she had finished serving it out, and a special election for her seat will likely occur in February.
She represents District 17, covering neighborhoods in the South Bronx like Hunts Point and Longwood, and the race to replace her is already getting crowded.
Sanchez said his passion for helping others would set him apart from the rest of the candidates.
"I’m a big advocate, and I know how to advocate for people, and I know how to speak on other people’s behalf," he said.