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Another Forum for District 17 Council Candidates is Planned for Feb. 18

By Eddie Small | February 7, 2016 4:17pm
 Community Access will host a forum on Feb. 18 for the candidates running to represent the 17th City Council District.
Community Access Candidates Forum
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SOUTH BRONX — Candidates for a vacant City Council seat in the South Bronx will square off in another forum set for Feb. 18, just five days before the special election.

The forum is being put on by Community Access, a group that works to provide job training, counseling, support services and education to groups including people with mental health concerns, people with HIV/AIDS, veterans and the formerly incarcerated. DNAinfo New York will help moderate the event.

The event will take place at 1189 Tinton Ave. from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., and refreshments will be provided.

So far, candidates Amanda Septimo, Julio Pabón, Helen Foreman-Hines and George Alvarez have committed to attending the event, according to Carla Rabinowitz, advocacy coordinator for Community Access.

The 17th District covers South Bronx neighborhoods including Hunts Point, Longwood and Melrose, and the seat opened up after Maria del Carmen Arroyo abruptly said she would resign at the end of 2015 due to family issues. The special election to replace her will occur on Feb. 23.

The empty council seat has attracted a large amount of candidates, many of whom faced off at a Jan. 27 forum put on by Nos Quedamos and co-sponsored by DNAinfo.

Rabinowitz described the upcoming election as one in which a lot of issues were at stake, and she hopes that the Community Access forum helps drum up awareness of and voter turnout for the race.

"This is a special election, and there are not that many people still [who] know about it," she said, "and it's very important for people to come out and vote."