8th City Council District




Nelson Antonio Denis

Joyce S. Johnson

Felipe Luciano

Edwin Marcial

Melissa Mark-Viverito

John Ruiz

Felipe Luciano


Party enrolled in: Democratic

Occupation: Lecturer and Motivational Speaker

Occupational background: Reporter for Channel 4 News and Fox 5, Co-Founder of the Young Lords Party, Writer, Poet and radio talk show host

Educational background: Queens College, CUNY, NY

Organizational affiliations: Member of 100 Hispanic Men, Co-Founder of the Eagle Academy, Member of Community Board #11, Man., and Member of Fortune Society

Prior public experience: Ran for Council office in 2001



1. What is the most important issue in Council District 08 you would address if elected?

The availability of affordable housing has become critical in District 8. While development has brought new blood, ideas, and jobs into our district, the cost of housing, whether rental or condominium, is beyond the reach of most of our residents and threatens to destroy the character and diversity of our neighborhoods. We need to preserve rent control and stabilization, repeal the Urstadt Law, and bring Home Rule back into local government. We need to demand that real estate developers provide affordable apartments that reflect the median income of the neighborhood, and not the city as a whole. Increasing awareness by forming a tenant consortium between the East and West sides of our district that would facilitate the flow of information, halt land grabbing and bring pressure to bear on those who want to price us out of our community.


2. What other important issues would you address if elected?

Education is the key to success in life and future social mobility. I will fight for more certified teachers to insure that our children are educated adequately. I will demand increased after school programs as well as the construction of new schools with state-of-the-art gymnasiums and laboratories. Our children need nutritional programs and curriculum about healthy life styles that would aid in addressing the child obesity issue instead of having junk food vending machines. The City Council has oversight over the Department of Education and what is desperately needed is a new approach towards education and the value of teaching.


3. What makes you the best candidate for this office?

Born, raised and educated in East Harlem my love for the district has been forged in struggle. In 1969, in response to the urgency of my community I co-founded and chaired the Young Lords Party to address the issues of substandard housing poor public health facilities police brutality and dirty streets. I am not a part of the old political machinery I think independently, out of the box and through my work on NBC and Fox 5 I know how to get issues heard and acted upon. I am intelligent, committed a team player and tenacious. All of the experiences in my life as a revolutionary, poet, activist, father, reporter and lecturer, give me the best qualities to represent a district as diverse and beautiful as District 8.


(Reprinted as supplied by the candidate.)


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