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Wednesday, September 5, 2007

It's official, Haile Rivera enters Council race

Ending weeks of speculation, Haile Rivera, a University Heights activist and city Food Bank employee, officially announced his candidacy for Maria Baez's City Council seat (which will be up for grabs in 2009) in an email press release earlier today.

Cosette Morillo, Rivera's campaign manager, sent out the release, which talked about Rivera's credentials as an activist and founder of the non-profit group Hands on New York. It also includes a long quote from Rivera about why he wants to run and what he thinks he can bring to the table. At the end, Rivera recounts the struggles he went through as a youngster in the Bronx. Here's a snippet:

"I come from a a very poor family, raised by a single mother and being the father-figure for three younger brothers. I have had some rough times in my short life. Circumstances led my mother and all for us to live in shelter as we ran away from an abusive partner. I have had times when I found a roof as my bedroom for the night. I know what is like to go to sleep on an empty stomach, sometimes several times during the week. I have lived, and continue to live, the struggles of an average person. I know what it takes to get the job done and make sure our community is well represented in City Hall."

Rivera made news earlier this summer when he had an intimate dinner with presidential candidate Barack Obama in DC.

Much like the presidential race, this Council contest is getting off to an early start. As we report in our newest issue, out on the street tomorrow, Rivera already has a potential opponent in Fernando Cabrera, the pastor of New Life Outreach International Church, which is near the Kingsbridge Armory. Cabrera has formed a fundraising committee and is talking to Bronx Democrats about his potential candidacy.


  1. I've done some reasearch on Haile Rivera and it appears as if he has a very good chance at winning this thing. The only thing he has against him may be his age (he's 30) and this could also work out in his favor. One thing is definitely good: he is not the establishment's candidate or at least not that we know of yet. Any other names out there?

  2. This guy stands a fair chance given that the district is 66% Latino and 25% Black, which is the swing vote there. I think Haile just needs to step up his community involvement efforts, be at the Community Boards, block parties, and everything else that is related to the community he looks to represent. As for Father Cabrera, one good source tells me he lives in area code 914 (Westchester) and when i called to ask, the church number directs me to a voicemail that says, "Thank you for calling 914 ....." Maybe he's moving into the neighborhood although his church is there already. Something to look into.

  3. He is a pastor, not a "father". There is only one father, Christ Jesus. Quite honestly, I don't know how anyone would be victorious over him in a council race in that district- He does a HUUUUUGE amount for the community. Even if there wasn't a term limit, he could have easily won the seat if he went after it- EVERYONE knows him and his efforts in the area.


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