Union endorses Rafael Salamanca in City Council special election

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City Council candidate Rafael Salamanca speaks at a news conference at union headquarters on Jan. 27, when DC 37 announced its support for him in the race for the vacated 17 Council District seat in the Bronx. Photo: Mike Lee

By ALFREDO ALVARADO

District Council 37 became the first labor union in the city to endorse Rafael Salamanca in his City Council race to represent the 17th Council District in the Bronx.

DC 37 Executive Director Henry Garrido announced the union’s endorsement on Jan. 27 at union headquarters during a news conference.

“Our endorsement is a statement of trust,” said Garrido, who was surrounded by a dozen local presidents. “And we trust he will be a champion for working people in the City Council.”

Salamanca is a lifelong resident of the Bronx district, which represents Hunts Point, Longwood and Morrisania.

“This endorsement is an honor, especially since my mother was a member of DC 37,” Salamanca said at the news conference. Salamanca’s mother was a member of Municipal Hospitals Employees Local 420.

The special election takes place on Feb. 23, and will fill the seat left vacant by Maria de Carmen Arroyo, who resigned.

A well-known activist in the community, Salamanca has worked as the District Manager for Community Board 2 since 2010 and chaired its health committee for five years.

New York State Assembly member and chair of the Bronx Democratic Committee Marcos Crespo also attended the press conference to express support for Salamanca. “He has shown us what he can do as District Manager,” Crespo said.

If elected, Salamanca said his priorities would be improving transportation, affordable housing and speeding up apartment repairs at the New York City Housing Authority. “I’m ready to get to work and with your support we can tackle these issues,” he said.

The union’s Delegates Council voted to endorse Salamanca at its monthly meeting the day before the news conference.

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