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Former State Assembly Candidate Joins Jam-Packed City Council Race

By Eddie Small | January 7, 2016 1:18pm
 Former State Assembly candidate George Alvarez has entered the race for Maria del Carmen Arroyo's old City Council seat.
Former State Assembly candidate George Alvarez has entered the race for Maria del Carmen Arroyo's old City Council seat.
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Alvarez Campaign

SOUTH BRONX — The candidates just keep coming.

South Bronx businessman George Alvarez has joined a group of at least eight Bronxites interested in running for the City Council seat recently vacated by Maria del Carmen Arroyo.

Alvarez ran for the 79th State Assembly District in 2014, where he lost to current Assemblyman Michael Blake, and he would plan to focus on improving local schools, raising the minimum wage and creating affordable housing if elected to represent the 17th City Council District, which covers South Bronx neighborhoods including Longwood and Melrose, he said.

"I’m not running to be just a council member," Alvarez said. "I’m running to change The Bronx. I’m running to bring hope to the people."

Alvarez holds a masters degree in Political Science from Columbia University and helped to start the Coalition for a New Future in The Bronx, an organization that aims to help low-income residents get loans to start businesses, buy homes and pay for education.

He also served as vice president of Democrats in the Heights, a political club meant to help residents of Upper Manhattan take part in local politics.

He currently lives with his wife and two children in Morrisania.

Arroyo's resignation took effect on Dec. 31, and the special election to replace her has been set for Feb. 23.

Alvarez derided the behavior of "traditional politicians," saying that they did not do what the voters elected them to accomplish.

"They have to put more resources into the district ... They have to create more opportunity for our people, and that’s what I’m going to do," he said. "I’m going to create more opportunity for our people here. I’m going to make this environment safer for our people to walk on the street, and that’s my main goal."