HARLEM — The 13 candidates fighting to represent Harlem on the City Council will debate housing issues Tuesday.
The forum is backed by PALANTE, also known as People Against Landlord Abuse and Exploitation, a tenants’ rights organization based in Harlem.
All candidates have been invited. They will discuss affordable housing, landlord abuse and homelessness, among other issues.
“Given our work as an advocate for tenant rights and the current administration's focus on affordable housing, we thought a debate focused solely on housing was appropriate to hold,” said Elsia Vasquez, the head of the organization.
“It is our hope that this debate will illuminate the candidates’ plans and thoughts on housing, particularly since some of the community districts the eventual council member will represent suffer from very high numbers of housing code violations and predatory equity landlords buying up entire portfolios of property in our city.”
The debate will be held at 6:30 p.m., Jan. 24 at the Lt. JP Kennedy Community, located at 34 W. 134th St. A previous debate focused on LGBTQ issues.
A special election will be held Feb. 14 for the district 9 seat which was vacated when Inez Dickens was elected to the state Assembly.
Candidates expected to attend are:
►Charles Cooper, a former Community Board 9 vice-chairman and businessman
►Marvin Holland, political director for the Transit Workers Union Local 100
►Mamadou Drame, a community activist
►State Sen. Bill Perkins
►Donald D. Fields, a businessman
►Pierre Gooding, former general counsel for Success Academy
►Troy Outlaw, a former City Council aide
►Dawn Simmons, a teacher and social worker
► Athena Moore, an aide to the Manhattan Borough President
► Larry Scott Blackmon, the former Deputy Commissioner for Community Outreach at the city Parks Department
► Todd R. Stevens, a real estate broker
► Cordell Cleare, a Democratic District Leader and chief of staff to State Sen. Bill Perkins
► Shannette M. Gray (no information publicly available)