5 Democrats seek nod for 18th Council District

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THE BRONX -

Five candidates are squaring off to represent the City Council's 18th District in a Democratic primary on Sept. 12.

Incumbent Councilwoman Annabel Palma cannot run for re-election due to term limits. The district includes Soundview, Castle Hill, Parkchester, Clason Point and Hardon Park.

One of the candidates is Michael Beltzer, who is campaigning on a platform that includes improved relations between police officers and residents, more lighting and surveillance cameras and modernizing the city's public transportation system. He also says he wants to invest in higher education in the district.

Ruben Diaz Sr., a veteran of Bronx politics, is looking to make the jump from the state Senate to the City Council. He says education is among his priorities and wants to secure more funding for public and charter schools. Other issues Diaz has raised include public safety and preventing budget cuts to programs that help senior citizens and affordable housing.

Amanda Farias began work in politics in 2012 as an activist campaigning against voter suppression. She wants to create a shuttle service to help commuters get to and from the planned ferry stop that will open in Clason Point in 2018. She also wants to improve bus service and expand Citi Bike in the Bronx. She says she is a supporter of small businesses and wants to establish job training programs and to encourage employers to hire local workers. When it comes to education, she says she wants to strengthen public schools by offering free after-school opportunities.

Elvin Garcia also says he supports improved relations between police and the community, and he wants to eliminate gun violence by strengthening that bond. He also supports adding more surveillance cameras to NYCHA complexes and wants to reform the city's public schools.

William Russell Moore, who has made previous bids to represent the 18th District, says he wants to increase funding for senior centers, housing and Meals on Wheels programs for the borough's elderly residents. He says he would set aside $1 million from his participatory budget to give residents a voice on how their tax dollars should be spent in the district, and he supports local laws that would support immigrants.

Primary day is Sept. 12.

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