Vol. 14, No. 16    Aug. 30 - Sept. 12, 2001 


The Race for the 15th Council District

The following numbered questions respond to the numbered responses of the candidates below. The questions were presented in writing to the candidates by the Norwood News and they responded in writing. Their answers appear in full and have been edited only in a few instances for clarity.

1. If you are elected to the City Council, will it be your only job or do you plan on holding another position as well?

2. What are your three top priorities? What specific proposals do you have concerning these priorities?

3. Park groups have proposed designating one percent of the annual city budget toward parks. Do you support this proposal?

4. The redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory will have an impact on the entire northwest Bronx. What kind of development do you support in the Kingsbridge Armory? Do you support the construction of schools, stores, recreational facilities or other type of construction? Be specific.

5. How do you propose to help solve the overcrowding problem in School District 10? How much money is required for your proposal, and where will the money come from?

6. What do you think of the 52nd Precinct's Operation Capture plan for 194th St.?

Name/Age: Edwin O. Ortiz, Jr., 35

Education: Attended College of New Rochelle

Occupation/Employer: Self-employed

Past Employment: Project Director for the Bathgate Local Development Corporation

Other Experience: Entrepreneur and founder of a not-for-profit community-based youth organization.

1. My goal is to serve the people of the 15th Council District. I will only hold this position as long as the voters desire me.

2. Three top priorities. My three top priorities are education, housing and social services. The overcrowded schools and lack of resources, the lack of affordable housing, decent housing and the overwhelming bureaucracy that people are forced to face with HPD and section 8 services.

3. 1% for Parks. Yes I do support any proposal that will increase the city's annual budget towards the Parks Department.

4. Kingsbridge Armory. I would support build[ing] new schools [for] the morning periods and provide recreational activities during after school hours. The after school recreational services would operate under similar concepts like the Beacon School.

5. Overcrowding. One way to solve the issue of overcrowded schools is to build new schools. As a new city councilman, I will work hard to lobby the federal government, the state, and the private sector to provide and invest capital dollars to address this crisis.

6. Operation Capture. As your new city councilman, I will work closely with the community, the merchants and the Police Department to finally rid our community from drug pushers. I totally support the 52nd Precinct's efforts and goals to ask merchants to help in the fight to eliminate drug pushers from roaming our streets.

Name/Age: Joel Rivera, 22

Education: Political Science Major at Fordham University

Occupation: Council Member, 15th District

Past Employment: Prior to becoming a Council Member, I worked with the New York City Parks & Recreation Department, Citibank; as a Financial Services Advisor.

1. This is my only position and I look forward to being a full time Council Member. In addition, as any other adult who holds a full time position while obtaining their degree, I will continue my educational goals.

2. Top three priorities.

Education: we must reduce class size, repair our schools; provide technology in order to modernize our schools; increase funding for our schools and after school programming; provide better wages for our teachers; and we need to conduct stringent background investigations to ensure that the personnel working within our public schools will not harm our children in any way, shape or form because we must protect our children.

Housing: we need to provide increased funding for affordable housing within our community; this is why I will support and advocate for a $15 billion plan to increase affordable housing. In addition, rehabilitation of existing housing projects and improved inspection is a necessary step in providing safe and respectable affordable housing for all.

Community-Police Relations: we need to return to the days of the beat cop in order to restore mutual respect and confidence for both our community and the police; increase the Community Affairs presence within our neighborhoods; provide workshops with the Police Department and the community residents so that they can share their concerns.

3. 1% for Parks. As a former Parks employee, I do support this proposal and have committed myself to work toward getting that 1% for parks by signing onto their campaign.

4. Kingsbridge Armory. The redevelopment of the Kingsbridge Armory will absolutely have an impact on the entire northwest Bronx and this is why I support the construction of two new schools within the Armory. In addition, recreational facilities for our youth should also be provided within the Armory.

5. Overcrowding. In order to help solve school overcrowding in School District 10, we must develop schools within the Kingsbridge Armory, allocate the $4 billion real estate property tax and direct it to the public school system. In addition, we must identify additional sites for school construction.

6. Operation Capture. No answer

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