Arroyo goes non-profit; 9 vie for seat

Maria del Carmen Arroyo, who served as councilwoman for District 17 up until last month is boosting her former city salary by $100,000.

It was recently revealed that Arroyo has accepted a position at the Acacia Network (formerly Promesa) as vice president of administration, a position that pays a sweet $220,000 annually.

Eventhough she claimed she was vacating her elected seat with one year still remaining due to “pressing family needs”, many believed her real motivation was to accept a high-paying position with a not-for-profit.

Acacia Network is the largest Puerto Rican-founded organization in the country.

The nonprofit provides health care, housing services and economic development assistance.

Arroyo released a statement expressing her excitement at starting a new chapter in her professional career.

“I look forward to working with the team in addressing the profound needs of our population,” she said.

As for who will replace her in the council, voters will have their pick.

The already crowded candidate pool continues to attract more interested individuals including Helen Foreman-Hines, currently a political project director at healthcare union 1199 SEIU, businessman George Alvarez, Carlton A. Curry a former assembly candidate and Marlon Molina, a banker.

Alvarez says he wasn’t planning on running for city council in 2017, but since the opportunity arose he felt he could make an impact in the community he grew up in.

“No one is born a delinquent, it’s a matter of opportunity,” said Alvarez.”

As of January 13, nine candidates have filed a Candidate Certification with the Board of Elections for Council District 17.

They are Alvarez, Curry, Foreman-Hines, Molina, Joann Otero, Julio Pabon, James Russell, Rafael Salamanca, Amanda Septimo.

They have all elected to join the Campaign Finance Program, which matches small personal donations from NYC residents with public funds as a way to level the playing field for candidates.

Anthony Sanchez and Uly Martinez who previously announced their candidacies have since dropped out of the race.

Salamanca has the backing of the Bronx Democratic Party.

The last day to file nominating petitions is coming up on January 19.

The special election will take place Tuesday, February 23. Polls will be open from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.

All candidates live in the district with the exception of Septimo.

Reach Reporter Madeline Anthony at (718) 260-4591. E-mail her at

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