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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Term Limits Extension Doesn't Deter Candidates Running for Baez's Seat

On Nov. 4, America will elect a new president. Also that day: several hugely uncompetitive Assembly and State Senate elections in the Bronx. We'll ignore them for now, and instead look ahead at what is shaping up to be a fascinating City Council race in District 14 (which covers much of the west Bronx).

Yesterday we spoke to Fernando Cabrera, who assumed, like everyone else, that he'd be running for an empty seat. As of last week, that now looks unlikely: the no longer term-limited Maria Baez will probably seek another four years.

Cabrera, a pastor and college professor, said he was "a bit disappointed" about the term limit extension, but having Baez involved hasn't scared him off. "We're moving forward [with the campaign]" he said. "There is a need, a vacuum of leadership in District 14. This is an exiting time for someone to come in and make a difference."

Hector Ramirez, Yudelka Tapia, and (possibly) Haile Rivera are also running. So far only Tapia and Cabrera have campaign Web sites.

Cabrera says the term limits change has probably hurt Tapia the most because she was banking on the support of Jose Rivera, the party chairman, who will now likely back Baez, his former chief of staff. (We haven't heard from Tapia, but Jorge Javier, of "Friends of Yudelka Tapia," insists she hasn't gone away. "Yudelka Tapia's campaign is still going and she still plans on running for City Council in District 14," he wrote in an e-mail on Friday.)

It could be that Rivera's support no longer matters: all but one of the State Senate and Assembly candidates he backed in September's primaries were defeated. Moreover, he's struggling to keep his leadership position. But, with Baez in, Tapia's campaign has probably taken an early hit.

Cabrera says he's staying out of party's leadership fight. "So far, I have taken a neutral stand," he said. "I haven't made any enemies." He said he'd welcome the endorsement of whoever wins, but that the success of his campaign doesn't depend on it, because he has a strong base, with grassroots support from churches and community groups. "I'm the only one who's truly independent," he said.

For the moment, we won't touch too heavily on what the candidates say they'd do in office. But if you're interested, visit Tapia and Cabrera's Web sites. We'll link to the others when they're up. Ramirez's is "under construction" - unless www.hectorramirez.com is for the mixed martial artist of the same name.

One piece of additional gossip: We hear that Ramirez, a district leader who's sided with the Rainbow Rebels against Rivera, once worked for Tapia, but at some stage they had a big falling out.


  1. Fernando Cabrera is definately a worthy contender! I'm just surprised that, without being an elected yet, his team has poured so much into my community. Concerts, park clean ups, addiction recovery programs- youth mentoring programs... Although it seems like it's gonna be one tight race having 4 hispanics running, I think I know who I am supporting. My vote is with a very active, very present, very humble Fernando Cabrera. He has been working the community thus far- why not support him!

  2. We are very enthusiastic about Dr. Cabrera’s campaign. You said it perfectly “a counsel member…who actually engages the public!” As a matter of fact, talk about someone who is willing to get their hands dirty. Dr. Cabrera was at St. James Park this past Sunday participating in cleaning up the park. He arrived with some members of his family members and his congregation who raked leaves and planted bulbs.
    I know I speak on behalf of our whole family when I say that Dr. Cabrera is indeed about the public. His genuine interest is seeing the Bronx residents (specifically District 14-where he has served as a Pastor to the community for many years) succeed and having opportunities for growth, education and prosperity like other communities throughout New York. He recognizes that the people of District 14 have potential.
    He also has passed on his passion to serve the Bronx to his family who is strongly supporting and rallying behind him in this campaign. We are all very excited for change in the Bronx.

  3. I would like to say that Dr. Cabrera has been an inpiration to many. When the need arises to help the people in the community he has been there. Starting from 911, where there we no churches or community leaders reaching out to the people as they were in need of confort. Dr. Cabrera was there with his congregation and other community members. Walking the streets and reaching out as the people in the community wondered puzzled and shocked of what took place at the twin towers. He is a man that will take his coat off to help someone in need. He has a heart of gold. He has integrity and is "loved" by many. And, yes he gets his hands dirty. This past Sunday he was a St. James park, helping in cleaning the park and talking to the people around the park. His heart is to see people advance in education and economically. There needs to be a change.....the Bronx will definetely will have winner by voting and appointing for Dr. Fernando Cabrera.

  4. Ok... To be brutally honest, I have not heard of Maria Baez or of what she has done for the part of the Bronx that was entrusted to her.

    For the last 6 years I have spent a great deal of time in District 14 and I can count on one hand how many times I have seen the name Maria Baez in print. As a matter of fact I had to check the article to make sure I spelled her name right.... Here is what I do know; we had September 11th, AA Flight 587, Hurricane Katrina, The hurricane in Galveston, The march for the Old Fordham Library, the town hall meeting for the Armory, as well as the meetings in the parks where plants and flowers planted and raked leaves. In all those events, Dr. Cabrera found and made time to assist from either far or very very near because he sees the importance in action. From what I have been seeing, there is no event that is too big or too small for Dr. Cabrera. Dr Cabrera, his family, and all the people who have rallied to support him love the community and understand their needs. Dr. Cabrera even went as far as to visit a young man who was shot; not because the cameras were around, or because it is election season, he did it because of his integrity.

    Needless to say, Fernando Cabrera has my support, and my vote.

  5. Dr. Cabrera is passionate for helping anyone in need and is not afraid of rolling up his sleeves to actively participate in a cause that benefits the community. Long before "Friends of Cabrera" came to be, he was out there involved for no other reason but to make a difference. He never falls short of putting his words to action. From leading a march on a Sunday afternoon for the Old Fordham Library to raking up leaves at St. James Park, Dr. Cabrera is committed to keeping his word and making a difference. We don't need empty promises, we need someone who can back up their words based on experience! Dr. Cabrera has that and the compassion to get the job done!

  6. Dr.Cabrera is the only candidate that really care about are needs. He doesn't do it because he a politicians looking for votes, he does it because he cares. Maria didn't come to St. James park to help clean up. Dr. Cabrera did. Maria didn't even care about the old Fordam library. Dr.Cabrera did. You judge a person on their character and I'm telling you his character, we can trust. A humble and loving person, that loves the bronx and our community. I really never focus on these types of election for council member, in till i found out he was running. I'm voting Dr. Cabrera.

  7. One more vote for Fernando Cabrera.. When he says he is going to do something, he does it.

  8. I remember when 9/11 happened and people were devastated looking for family members, answers and hope. The next day, still hundreds of people flocked to the scene in anticipation of finding loved ones. Many found nothing but heartache and pain as they received the worst possible news. I remember Dr. Cabrera going down to Ground Zero and volunteering hours upon hours to helping people deal with this crisis. As a certified Mental Health Counselor, he used his skills freely and willingly to all in need.

    Now this blog entry is not an attempt to embellish his patriotic persona, but it is an example of his selfless dedication to people in need. He was also front and center, providing counseling for the brokenhearted when flight 587 went down in Queens a couple of months later. That's what I call rolling up your sleeves and getting to work for the people. Cabrera's the man! What else can I say?

  9. Dr. Fernando Cabrera is the man for the job! Let's continue to support him. Let's rally up the trops and take action. District 14 needs a change!

  10. Dr. Fernando Cabrera's actions speak louder than his words. www.fernandocabrera.us

  11. I am extremely excited to know that Dr. Fernando Cabrera is running in the City Council race in District 14. Admittedly, I don’t know as much as I would like about the other candidates, however, I do know that Dr. Cabrera has always been committed to helping others, and has always been a man of integrity and action. Dr. Cabrera has my vote!!!

  12. Want to know more about Dr. Fernando Cabrera visit: www.FernandoCabrera.us

  13. I've known Dr. Cabrera for a longtime now. In my years of having the priviledge to know him, one of the things that comes to mind about Dr. Carbrera, is not just his commitment, and undivided attention to listen to the individual, but it his passion for people and community needs.
    Dr. Cabrera would be an exemplary model of leadership, and one who I commend and strongly support, in a time void of direction and genuine respectable qualities of leadership.

  14. Fernando Cabrera, is a great role model of leadership. I've notice how he alway find time for people needs. On 911 he was there. On Hurricane katrine he was there. On cleaning st.james park he was there. The march for the Old Fordham Library he was there. the town hall meeting for the Armory he was there. That the point of a leader, sombody that's there. I'm soooooooo happy he's running because I know he will be there for the bronx. Dr. Fernando Cabrera got my vote.

  15. Hey, Dr Cabrera has a blog page as well... Check it out....


  16. Dividing in Politics

    By Miriam Ventura

    Westchester,NY.-Adriano Espaillat Should not be a judge on dominicans, good or bad. Also who is he to go around "throwing rocks", because for every fat pig at some point their "San Martin" arrives. It is better for him to mind his own business, and business... for example, what is about to happen next to "La Casa Duarte". Where are the $3,700,000? Where are the stars of this (USdl) "reparto"? The saga of investigations that is ruining Miguel Martinez threatens territories controled by Espaillat.
    Yudelka Tapia has won role at the cost blood, sweat and fire. Nobody neglects that a public figure like

    Yudelka cannot make a mistake. But her percentage in the political terrain is very high and is based on arguments whether short or long have been confirmed.
    Yudelka Tapia is also a politician, a candidate, and a woman, here, is exactly where espaillat's car needs to hit the brakes.
    The game of the ethnic unit played by Espaillat, Gillermo Linares, and the ones who have worked for them or in their offices and their umbrella organizations and partially Miguel Martinez who hase played the same game has plenty of data and it is about time to evaluate this game.
    The etnic unit should be marching through two routes inside and outside... The value of a politician is to know how to conjugate it in each circumstance. What is it worth being latina if I cannot assume myself as a Dominican. That is a dangerous game to acuse someone of dividing communities. even in math it is relative to use the word "division".
    Any digit or number can be divided. In fact there is an infinite amount of numbers between any two numbers which can be reached by dividing. In the political terrain because I am not a mathmatician even though I have used the expierience of being a terrible student in math, who said that the Puerto Rican community is totally unified. It is the same being Nuyorican, Jibaro, Puero Rican Diaspora, Puertorriqueño-Independentista, or Boricua "de pura sepa", if the Puertorican Politician make believe in that unity and extract benefits from it, is pure Demagogia... just like Espaillat uses it.
    Does Espaillat as Assembleman "Dominicano" believes that he represents all Dominicans and has right to use "la Dominicanidad" when he pleases, and with it disqualify "Titiri Mundachi".

    In my opinion, the candidate of District 14 Yudelka Tapia does not divide, uses intelligently the political strengths that ethnically measures "campo" in District 14 Everything for a better distribution of power in the communities both Puerto Ricans and Dominicans.


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