Although the forum itself took place after The Riverdale Press was sent to the printers this week, Councilman Fernando Cabrera was expected to be a no-show at a candidate forum hosted by the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition at Monroe College.
But he did have an excuse: Tuesday was when many police precincts around the city were celebrating National Night Out, a community-police awareness program that typically takes place the first Tuesday in August.
There’s just one problem, however. Many, if not all, of Cabrera’s primary opponents for the 14th District council seat also are planning to attention National Night Out events before heading to the Jerome Avenue campus to speak with the coalition.
Coalition spokeswoman Sandra Lobo said her group already had moved the forum from July 27 when Cabrera said he couldn’t attend because of his travel schedule.
“After checking with the venue and the other candidates, we did change the date to Aug. 1 as our members really wanted to have the councilmember’s participation in this important event before the primary,” Lobo said in an email. Cabrera confirmed his attendance July 14, but then pulled out four days later after being reminded of National Night Out commitments.
“The other candidates are also attending National Night Out and the candidates forum, and we have community members who will reach out to the councilmember (Tuesday) hoping he will change his mind.”
But Cabrera was not just planning to attend one National Night Out even, according to his office — instead, he had four planned.
That included not only the 50th Precinct, but also the 46th Precinct, which was where Officer Miosotis Familia was killed in July. Mayor Bill de Blasio was scheduled to attend National Night Out in that Bronx neighborhood, and as the councilman representing that district, Cabrera also needed to be in attendance, spokeswoman Claire McLeveighn said.
“The councilman has participated in these candidate forums in the past, and he will participate again in the future,” McLeveighn said — just not this one.
The Bronx has a new sister city, but if you want to visit, you’ll have to go halfway around the world.
In July, a delegation led by Shanghai district mayor Long Wanli visited the borough to help officially designate the Chinese city of Songjiang a “sister city” to the Bronx.
The agreement, according to a release, encourages bilateral investment not only on the government level, but also within the private sector.
“This agreement will encourage partnerships in business development, tourism, medical innovation and other areas between the Bronx and the Songjiang district,” Bronx borough president Ruben Diaz Jr., said.
Bernie Sanders may have never had that shot to become president, but a political group formed by many of his backers want a say in the upcoming city council election.
Bronx Progressives endorsed three candidates recently, including Randy Abreu, who is facing incumbent Fernando Cabrera in District 14. The other two are John Doyle in District 13 and Michael Beltzer in District 18.
“There are other progressives running, but we think these three stand above the rest,” said Carlos Suarez, coordinator for the Bronx Progressives, in a release. “Our group is determined to journey with other groups to guarantee the success of these candidates.”