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Learn more about this district in Searchlight 2002
x-Maria Baez, Dem 7,595 - 80 percent
Brian Draper, Rep 1,072 - 11 percent
Agustin Alamo, Con 507 - 5 percent
Sergio Villaverde, Ind 367 - 4 percent
Maria Baez 4,456
Israel Ruiz 3,137
Charles Williams 1,953
Sergio Villaverde 1,219
Agustin Alamo 660
(Official Vote Count from the Board of Elections)
Incumbent: Adolfo Carrion Jr.
- Augustin Alamo (Con)
- Maria Baez (Dem)
- Brian Draper (Rep)
- Sergio Villaverde (Ind)
- Charles Williams (Dem)
Contributors to these candidates, according to the Campaign
to Augustin Alamo
to Maria Baez
Brian Draper has not filed
to Israel Ruiz
to Sergio Villaverde
to Charles Williams
Official Primary Election Voter Guide for Residents of District
14 candidates' statements on the issues, at Savvyvoter.org
The current City Councilman of the Northwest Bronx, Adolofo Carrion
Jr. was one of the few whom term limits would not have forced
out of office. Supporters spoke of him as a good candidate to
become the new City Council Speaker. But in May, Carrion announced
that he is giving up his seat to run for Bronx borough president.
That is not the only reason there was a last-minute scramble
in district 14. After protesting the United States Naval bombing
on Vieques Island, Carrion was sentenced to 40 days in jail, and
is currently campaigning for borough president from a prison cell
in Brooklyn, one of the Vieques Four. The other three are the
Rev. Al Sharpton, State Assemblyman Jose Rivera , and, most to
the point, the head of the Bronx Democratic Party, Roberto Ramirez,
This turn of events has left the Bronx Democratic Party little
time to hand-pick the candidate to succeed Carrion. Still, recently,
the party did manage to endorse Maria Baez, a chief clerk at the
Bronx Board of Elections, and someone with close ties to the Vieques
Four. Baez served as Jose Rivera's chief of staff when he was
City Councilman, and Baez was honored last year by Carrion at
a party entitled "A Salute to Bronx Superheroes." Baez would not
return calls to comment on her candidacy.
Two other candidates also have announced they are running for
the seat, and they say they object to the power that the Bronx
political machine is trying to assert over the district.
"Everybody is fighting," said Israel Ruiz, who represented the
district in City Council from 1991 to 1997. "Where is the new
blood they're all talking about? It is the same clique just taking
care of themselves. The ones that are really suffering are the
people who they are supposed to be representing, and this is one
of the poorest areas in the Bronx."
Candidate Sergio Villaverde, a community lawyer and former police
officer in Kingsbridge Heights , said he is running in hopes of
making politics in the Bronx more just.
"People say you're a nice guy, why are you getting involved in
politics?" said Villaverde. "I'm still a nice guy, but the only
way to make politics fair is to get involved."
Ruiz said that after he left City Council in 1997 to run for
Bronx borough president (and lost to Fernando Ferrer), the programs
he implemented fell apart.
"After I left they just dropped everything instead of building
on what previous administrations do," he said.
One specific project both candidates want to reinvigorate is
the abandoned Armory building in Kingsbridge Heights, which is
seen as an opportunity for economic development, but also as a
possible site for schools or a recreation center.
Ruiz plans to reinstate his proposal for converting the 500,000
square foot space into a school and a media complex for Lehman
College. Villaverde wants to convert the building into an extensive
sports facility, something similar to Chelsea Piers, he said,
which would bring both economic development and increased visibility
to the area.
Thanks to several incidents of police brutality in the Bronx,
both candidates also cite police-community relations as an important
issue. Villaverde, the former police officer, blames the poor
relationship on the lack of community beat officers, who only
exist in name now, he said, and are never seen patrolling the
neighborhood. Ruiz wants to implement psychological screenings
for police officers, to make sure they can cope in the tense environment
of being a police officer in the Bronx. "They see so much death
and blood that they become desensitized and death doesn't mean
anything to them anymore." As a state senator, Ruiz says, he implemented
similar psychological screenings for correctional officers in
Although both candidates feel community-police relations are
important, they also see a bigger injustice to the community in
its children not getting the education they deserve. District
14 has the second lowest test scores in both math and reading
in the city.
"Of course getting unfairly harassed by a cop is unfair, but
reading at second grade level in the fifth grade will hurt these
children more down the line," said Villaverde.
"I have a great distrust for the Board of Education," added Villaverde,
who supports the abolishment of the Board of Education and the
creation of an agency with an elected commissioner. "Teachers
are caught up in bureaucracy that doesn't work."
If elected, Ruiz plans to restore some of his after-school programs
like the tutorial program in P.S. 33 that was cut and which Ruiz
says increased students' test scores dramatically. In order to
alleviate the teacher shortage in New York City, Villaverde wants
to implement a CUNY Core, a program similar to the Police Cadet
Core, in which students studying to be a teacher can go to college
Ruiz and Villaverde are also looking forward to the major change
in the city's administration as an opportunity to introduce fresh
"The system has been stagnant," Ruiz said. "Every politician
says that education and children are their main issues on their
platforms but nothing changes. We have to take from the best and
try to implement that because what we have tried in the past isn't
working for a lot of people."
Since City Councilman Adolfo Carrion announced his run for Bronx
Borough President several weeks ago, a host of new candidates
have begun their campaigns in district 14.
There are now eight candidates hoping to be in the ballot this
fall and the two rival Bronx Democratic organizations have endorsed
their candidates. Pedro Espada, Jr., who is running for Bronx
Borough President, has endorsed Charles Williams, former President
of Community School Board 10. Roberto Ramirez, head of the Bronx
Democratic Party, has endorsed Maria Baez, the chief clerk at
the Bronx Board of Elections.
Due to the late announcements of these campaigns and the candidates
failing to respond to requests for interviews, this district will
be updated again soon. Watch for updates and go to the Campaign
Trail for more details.
Augustin Alamo has been a public school teacher in the
Bronx for 18 years. He received his Masters degree from City College.
He has run unsuccessfully for City Council and State Assembly.
Maria Baez serves as chief clerk for the Bronx Board of
Elections. She served as Councilman Jose Rivera's chief-of-staff,
District Leader in the 78th Assembly District and was the executive
director of the Housing Workshop, a housing advocacy group in
the west Bronx.
Israel Ruiz, Jr., has been serving the public interest
for two decades in city and state government, and is a public
servant, attorney, educator, military veteran and community activist.
In 1974, Ruiz was elected to the New York State Senate and from
1991-1997, he served as New York City Councilman, r epresenting
District 14 in Northwest Bronx, after which he ran for Bronx borough
president. Prior to his career in public service, he worked as
a law assistant for the New York State Attorney General's office
and as an educational counselor for a non-profit organization.
Sergio Villaverde is a community lawyer in Kingsbridge
Heights, where he previously served as a police officer and a
volunteer paramedic. At 19, he joined the US Coast Guard Reserve
and was appointed Commissioned Officer Status in 1995 by President
The return to the campaign trail of Israel Ruiz, 58, a politician with one of the most colorful
histories in the Bronx, has been a fascinating chapter in a competitive race in the 14th Council
District, which includes Fordham and Kingsbridge Heights. In his quest to regain his former seat,
Mr. Ruiz is confronting four other candidates. One is Maria Baez, who took a leave of absence as
chief clerk of the Bronx office of the Board of Elections to run for the Council. Ms. Baez, 43, is
backed by the Democratic Party organization in the Bronx. The others are Sergio Villaverde, 34, a
lawyer and former police officer who has been involved in a number of civic and community
organizations; Charles Williams, the five- term president of Community School Board 10, who became
known because of his efforts to prevent the construction of a new school for Marble Hill and
Kingsbridge, arguing that it was racially exclusive; and Agustin Alamo, a public school teacher in
the Bronx who has run unsuccessfully in the past for City Council and for the State Assembly.
Bronx City Council candidate Sergio Villaverde files a complaint
with the Board of Ethics claiming opponent for the 14th District
City Council Maria Baez rigged the race while employed at the
Board of Elections. She denies it. (News
Pedro Espada, Jr. endorsed Charles Williams for City Council in
the 14th district, who is best known for his fight to prevent
the construction of a new school for Marble Hill and Kingsbridge,
based on the argument of race. (The
Israel Ruiz Jr., a former state senator and city councilman, spoke
out this past week on the "Bronx Press Review: On the Air," hosted
by Andrew Wolf, on various topics concerning the state of borough
politics and his upcoming race to replace Councilman Adolfo Carrion
Jr. as the council representative from the 14th district. (Riverdale
Mr. Adolfo Carrion, a city councilman who wants to be the next
Bronx borough president, has spent all but five days since he
entered the race in jail, for protesting near the United States
Navy bombing site on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. (The
New York Times)
Israel Ruiz, who held the 14th District City Council seat until
his failed bid for the borough presidency in 1997, is out to reclaim
his old job. With Councilman Adolfo Carrion (D-Bronx) running
for borough president this year, the Council seat will be up for
grabs in November. In addition to Ruiz, Maria Baez, chief clerk
of the Bronx Board of Elections and former Community School Board
10 President Charles Williams will be vying for the seat. Baez
has the backing of the borough's Democratic Organization. (Daily
Rev. Al Sharpton and three prominent Puerto Rican politicians
from New York, including City Councilmen, Adolofo Carrion Jr.
for District 14, were arrested and sentenced to jail time, for
protesting near the United States Navy bombing site on Vieques
earlier this month. Carrion was sentenced to 40 days in prison.
New York Times)
After months of indecision and uncertainty in the Bronx Democratic
Committee headquarters, this past week a controversial county
leader finally decided that he will back freshman City Councilman
Adolfo Carrion Jr. for the coveted position of Bronx Borough President.
An open seat for the Bronx borough presidency is already creating
a political warfare between the two Bronx political machines,
which each have their own candidates in mind to replace the current
borough president, Fernando Ferrer. Adolofo Carrion Jr. is a likely
candidate that the Bronx Democratic Party will support. (The
New York Times)
At least three current Council members are vying to be the new
Speaker: Bill Perkins, Gifford Miller, and Angel Rodriguez. A
fourth, Adolfo Carrion, says he'll be in the running for Speaker
if he does not run for Bronx Borough President. (NY
The committees meeting to plan the two middle/high schools in
Riverdale and Marble Hill came under sharp attack last Thursday
from school board members Charles Williams and Myrna Calderon.
Criticizing the extensive involvement of School Board Member Cordell
Schachter in the Marble Hill Academy (368) committee, Williams
implied that "Jewish Riverdale" would not dictate to the Marble
Hill community what the structure of the new school there would
be, and Calderon called the two panels "stealth committees." (Riverdale
Councilman Carrion hosts a party to salute Bronx leaders. Among
them, was Maria Baez (Bronx
The battle over two proposed high schools for the northwest Bronx
raged on this week before Community School Board 10. Charles Williams,
former Community School district 10 President, argued that the
high school proposed to be built in Riverdale would exclude minority
children from Marble Hill and Kingsbridge and in addition the
site slated for the new Kingsbridge High School might have toxic
pollution, including lead dust. Riverdale community leaders, including
Community School district 10 President Oliver Koppell, argued
that Riverdale needs a new high school that can compete with the
high schools in the suburbs to stop parents from moving out of
When is a "toxic waste dump" not toxic at all? Apparently when
it suits the purposes of the "Toxic Five" majority of the local
Community School Board, led by Charles Williams. For months these
despicable folks have been scaring parents and community residents,
falsely telling them that the site of the soon-to-be-built M.S.
368 is a "toxic waste dump." This big lie was concocted to try
to derail the construction of that new school, which would facilitate
the needed restructuring of M.S. 141. (Riverdale
Agustin Alamo along with other community members filed a petition
with the Supreme Court alleging that the nomination of a judge
to the Civil Court by the Bronx County Organization violated the
Election Law. (The