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The newest member of the New York City Council, Rafael Salamanca Jr., will be sworn into office in a new blue suit. Like most everything in his life, it has a South Bronx connection.

“I try to buy everything local,” Mr. Salamanca explained.

He means it. All of his winter coats, caps and umbrellas come from the South Bronx. So do the gloves he recently bought for his campaign volunteers on a freezing morning. The head shots for his campaign posters? South Bronx, naturally. Even the phones for his phone bank to get voters to the polls were local.

Mr. Salamanca, 35, is not just an advocate for the small businesses in the South Bronx district that he will represent, he is one of their best customers. He puts his money down where it counts, in a corner of the city that is known less for shopping bargains than for chronic struggles with poverty, crime, unemployment and health problems, including asthma.


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Just before a special election for a Bronx City Council seat, the county Democratic Party’s pick, Rafael Salamanca Jr., announced he had been endorsed by New York City Comptroller Scott Stringer.

Salamanca, the district manager for Bronx Community Board 2, is vying against five others in a non-partisan election on Feb. 23 to replace former New York City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who resigned in January. The other candidates include: George Alvarez, a small business owner; Marlon Molina, a banker and self-described community activist; Joann Otero, who was chief of staff to Arroyo; Julio Pabón, who started the borough’s first bed and breakfast and a sports website; and J. Loren Russell, a self-employed church finance consultant.

Stringer said Salamanaca knows the community he is seeking to represent.

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FIRST LOOK — Make the Road Action will announce their endorsement of Rafael Salamanca for CD17 in the Bronx. María Rubio, a member of Make the Road Action, said in a statement, the group is “excited” to support Salamanca, “because of his strong commitment” to “raising the minimum wage to $15 per hour and passing the Right to Know Act. And, as the City Council prepares to vote on the Mayor’s housing plan, we were thrilled to hear Mr. Salamanca’s commitment to ensuring that any new citywide affordable housing include more units for low-income residents, including those earning 30 percent of Area Median Income.” — Azi Paybarah

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It’s official. On Friday, before a packed crowd, Bronx BP Ruben Diaz Jr endorsed Rafael Salamanca, Jr’s bid to become the next  City Councilman in the 17th Council District.


Other backers included Bronx Democratic County Leader Assemblyman Marcos Crespo, Senator Rev. Ruben Diaz, Sr., Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda, Senator Jose M. Serrano, and former mayoral candidate Rev. Erick Salgado.


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“As Community Board District Manager we’ve done a lot of good work – improving quality of life by closing down all five topless establishments in Hunts Point, making our streets safer with traffic improvements on Bruckner Blvd, and expanding local public transit with the new Bx46 bus line. But there is still much more to do, and that’s why I’m running for City Council,” said Democrat Rafael Salamanca, Jr.

“Together, we must fight for our fair share from City Hall. The South Bronx needs housing that is truly affordable for local families, excellent schools for our kids, safer streets for our seniors, and good jobs that pay a living wage. I will work to deliver results for hard working families in the Bronx.”

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Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo has recently endorsed Rafael Salamanca for the upcoming special election to fill her daughter’s Councilmanic District 17 seat.

“The leadership that Salamanca has already demonstrated as a community leader makes me confident he is the best choice,” said Arroyo of her decision.

The assemblywoman is heading up a group of about 50 influential women in the Bronx who are throwing their support behind his candidacy, by forming ‘Women for Salamanca’.

These women plan to boost Salamanca’s woman’s vote over the other nine candidates by going door to door to elicite support.



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Members of the City Council’s Progressive Caucus announced Thursday they are backing Rafael Salamanca in the campaign to replace former councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who stepped down last month.

Salamanca is district manager of Bronx Community Board 2 and president of the 41st Precinct Council in the district. Since joining the crowded field to replace Arroyo, Salamanca has been endorsed by the Bronx Democratic Committee, the Council’s Bronx delegation and a coalition of 50 prominent women from the Bronx.

Councilman Antonio Reynoso, who co-chairs the Progressive Caucus, said he has known Salamanca through his work on health care initiatives in North Brooklyn.

“He made a tremendous impact in my district then, and his energy and passion to give back to the place he grew up, paired with his progressive values, will lead to him being a big presence on the City Council, and a huge asset for the people of the Bronx,” Reynoso said.


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Mr. Cohen and northwest Bronx Assemblyman Jeffrey Dinowitz have pledged their support for Rafael Salamanca Jr. in the special City Council election for District 17 in the South Bronx.

“He really has the substantive experience to represent,” Mr. Cohen said.

“He has a very solid community record,” Mr. Dinowitz said. “He seemed to be the most on the ball in terms of understanding the community.”

Mr. Salamanca is the district manager for Community Board 2, which represents Hunts Point and Longwood, and is also the president of his local precinct community council. He has so far raised close to $50,000 for his campaign.

Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo stepped down from her seat during the last days of 2015. She cited family matters as an influence for her decision and has since taken a job in the private sector. According to her district office, Ms. Arroyo has not yet endorsed a candidate.

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Rafael Salamanca has received the backing of state Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo, as well as 50 other prominent women from the Bronx, in the race to succeed Arroyo’s daughter on the City Council.

“The challenges this community faces are great, but fortunately the leadership that Salamanca has already demonstrated as a community leader makes me confident that he is the best choice to represent us on the City Council,” Arroyo said in a statement.

Salamanca is district manager of Bronx Community Board 2 and president of the 41st Precinct Council in the district. Since joining the crowded field to replace former Councilwoman Maria de Carmen Arroyo, who stepped down at the end of last year, Salamanca has also been endorsed by the Bronx Democratic Committee.

“I’m incredibly grateful to have the support of Assemblywoman Arroyo and so many other prominent women,” Salamanca said in a statement. “The Bronx is served well by a number of leaders who, like Assemblywoman Arroyo, not only are women but are more importantly some of the strongest voices we have in government.”

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Democrat Rafael Salamanca Jr., candidate for the New York City Council for District 17 in the Bronx, announced that he will report $49,715 raised by his campaign in tomorrow’s January 15 filing deadline. He will report $44,689 cash on-hand. This will be the first filing due for candidates running in next month’s Special Election to succeed former Council Member Maria del Carmen Arroyo.

Salamanca, who is participating in the New York City Campaign Finance Board Matching Funds Program, also announced that $5,070 he has raised is eligible for the program’s 6:1 match in public funds ($30,420) and that he has passed the in-district threshold requirement with 76 contributions.

As a result, Salmanca will have $80,135 in funding to launch his campaign. Salamanca is on track to raise the maximum amount of funds allowed under the city’s Campaign Finance Board.

“I’m incredibly proud of the amount of support my campaign has received, and the amount of momentum we continue to gain,” said Salamanca.  “With such a short window to get out our message, we’re going to keep working hard, and I look forward to continue to talk to my neighbors about how I will be a strong voice on Council.”

Friday’s filing deadline is the first for the Special Election and covers all funds raised through January 11th.  The Special Election will take place on Tuesday, February 23rd.

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Rafael Salamanca, district manager of Bronx Community Board 2 and president of the 41st Precinct Community Council, will join the crowded race to take Maria del Carmen Arroyo’s former seat on the New York City Council.

Salamanca has been district manager of the CB since 2010 and president of the 41st Precinct Community Council since 2013. He is a board member of the Community Healthcare Network and the Hunts Point Economic Development Corporation as well.

He was born and raised in Longwood, one of the South Bronx neighborhoods that the 17th Council District covers, and he currently lives there with his wife and children.

His lifelong experience with the neighborhood will help set him apart from the several other candidates seeking Arroyo’s seat, he said.


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