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5 City Council Candidates Set to Square Off in Upcoming Forum

By Eddie Small | February 17, 2016 3:03pm
 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 — Five candidates hoping to become New York's newest member of the City Council will face off in a forum on Feb. 18, less than one week before the special election.

Candidates Julio Pabón, Marlon Molina, Rev. J. Loren Russell, Joann Otero and George Alvarez all plan to debate at a forum put on by Community Access, a group that serves people with mental health concerns, at 1189 Tinton Ave. from 5 to 7 p.m. DNAinfo New York will help moderate the event.

“This candidates forum is an excellent opportunity to build community in District 17 at an important time when residents are grappling with who to vote for and why their vote matters,” Advocacy Coordinator for Community Access Carla Rabinowitz said.

Candidates are expected to face questions about issues that impact the district ranging from gentrification to tourism to medical marijuana.

The forum will take place just a few days before the Feb. 23 special election for Maria del Carmen Arroyo's former City Council seat.

Arroyo abruptly resigned from her post at the end of 2015, creating a vacancy for the 17th District, which covers South Bronx neighborhoods including Hunts Point, Longwood and Melrose.

More than 10 candidates were initially vying to replace her, but the Board of Elections recently kicked several of them off the ballot for a variety of reasons.

Six candidates now remain, all of whom plan to attend the Feb. 18 forum except for Bronx Community Board 2 District Manager Rafael Salamanca, who has been endorsed by the Bronx Democratic Committee.