Now that the petitions are in, the funds are raised and the candidates have been announced, elections for the race to City Hall are in full swing. Hundreds of people have gone leaps and bounds to make change in their community by getting on the ballot hoping to be elected to one of the 51 seats to represent their community.

While many people cut their attempts to run short due to the surprise of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s extension of term limits last year, several candidates are going head-to-head against long-time incumbents. Mixed in with a troubled economy, questions about public school control and changing demographics, the 2009 race is sure to be one to watch closely.

The New York Amsterdam News is covering 14 districts in the City Council race in neighborhoods with an over-whelming number of Black residents in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx. Here is a rundown of the candidates and issues.

MANHATTAN

District 7–West Harlem, parts of Washington Heights, Inwood, Central Harlem and Morningside While District 7 is the “hat of the

Harlem districts,” the area is also known for its large Latino population making up nearly half of the district, particularly from the Dominican Republic. Issues for the district include affordable housing, crime, rezoning and education.

INCUMBENT: ROBERT JACKSON (RUNNING)

WHO’S RUNNING?

Victor A.Bernace

Juan A.Erazo

Felix Jerez

Manual Latigua

Fred W.Masson

District 9–Central Harlem, Morningside Heights, Upper West Side and East Harlem

The changing demographic of Harlem has many pondering who will lead. With affordable housing and gentrification as key issues, crime and violence are also on top. Recent violence in the district has people scrambling for ways to get more jobs in the community as well as economic empowerment. Health care is also an issue.

INCUMBENT:INEZ DICKENS (RUNNING)

WHO’S RUNNING?

Carlton Berkley

Landon Dais

Abbi L.Rogers-Haff

THE BRONX

District 12–Edenwald, Co-Op City, Wakefield, Williamsbridge and Baychester Housing the nation’s largest government-subsidized development, Co-Op City, District 12 has kept housing somewhat affordable thanks to the Mitchell-Lama law. But while affordable housing is a key focus for the district, education and unemployment are also on the table.

INCUMBENT:LARRY SEABROOKS (RUNNING)

WHO’S RUNNING?

Martin D.Badonsky

Andrew King

Herbert Moreira-Brown

Algernon J.Quattlebaum

Jerome Rice

Joseph Sauerzopf

Krystal Zamilla Serrano

Sebastian Ulanga

District 16–West Bronx, Morrisania, South Bronx, Highbridge and Melrose

Known citywide as one of the poorest areas, District 16 residents have a median income level of $20,110. Health is also an issue for the district because the area has the city’s highest HIV/AIDS and asthma rates. Along with having the city’s highest number of young people, improvements in education is on the top of many candidates’ lists.

INCUMBENT: HELEN FOSTER (RUNNING)

WHO’S RUNNING?

Tonya Carmichael

Mark Escoffery-Bey

Daryl Johnson

Carlos Sierra

Keesha S.Weiner

BROOKLYN

District 35–Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, Bedford-Stuyvesant, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights

Seeing an influx of gentrification over the past several years, District 35 has its share of ups and downs. The area’s income of its residents is just as diverse as the neighborhoods they live in. With large Caribbean, African and Hasidic Jewish populations, struggles continue to ease racial tensions.

INCUMBENT: LETICIA JAMES (RUNNING)

WHO’S RUNNING?

Madhanie Esphanos

Delia M.Hunley-Adossa

Osaretin Ighile

District 36–Bedford-Stuyvesant and Crown Heights

In one of the city’s most highly contested races, eight people have put their hat into the race in an effort to bring new leadership to District 36. The incumbent Albert Vann has a nearly 30-year history reigning in the Central Brooklyn district on various governmental levels. Key issues for District 36 include affordable housing, police brutality, crime and education.

INCUMBENT:ALBERT VANN (RUNNING)

WHO’S RUNNING?

William Carrington

Robert E.Cornegy

Mark W.Griffith

David Grinage

Robert Hunter

Saquan Jones

Adrian M.Straker

Tremaine Wright

District 37–East New

York, Bushwick, Cypress Hill, City Line and Ocean Hill-Brownsville

Crime is a top issue for District 37, which is something the community wants to change, along with community and police relationships. But it’s economic development that has the candidates who are running looking for ways to get votes.

INCUMBENT:ERIC MARTIN

DILAN (RUNNING)

WHO’S RUNNING?

Melvin Brown

Darma Diaz

Michael E. Freeman-Sauls-berre

Edward Rosado

District 40–Kensington, Prospect-Lefferts, Ditmas Park, Crown Heights, Flatbush and East Flatbush

Another Brooklyn community with a large number of Caribbean-born residents from Barbados to Jamaica, immigration is a key issue in District 40. Education is also a concern for many residents with schools that have limited resources. Candidates are also looking to bring economic development in the trenches of the financial crisis.

INCUMBENT: MATHIEU EUGENE (RUNNING)

WHO’S RUNNING?

Hugh S.Carr

Rock H.Hackshaw

L.Rickie Tulloch

District 41–Bedford-Stuyvesant, Ocean Hill-Brownsville and East Flatbush

The second-largest Black population in the nation, District 41 has a Black population of 80 percent. The Central Brooklyn district also has high rates of infant mortality, HIV/AIDS and asthma, making health care a key issue. Poverty and affordable housing are also a priority for candidates to tackle, as well as improving public schools.

INCUMBENT: DARLENE MEALY (RUNNING)

Tracy L.Boyland

Anthony Herbert

Tulani Kinard

Rose Laney

District 42–East New York, Brownsville, East Flatbush and Canarsie

District 42 has one of the city’s largest collections of public housing, along with a high unemployment rate. Economic development and job creation are key issues for candidates in the district. Crime is another hot-button issue that circles back to an even bigger issue: what to do with youth in the district.

INCUMBENT:CHARLES BARRON (RUNNING)

Carlos Bristol

Donnezzetta Brown

Godfrey Jelks

Winchester Key

Prince L.Lewis

Regina Powell

District 45–Flatbush, East Flatbush and Flatlands

The district is another Brooklyn community with a high number of Caribbean immigrants. But aside from immigration being an issue, residents want police-community relations to improve. District 45 is the site of the infamous 1997 incident between

the NYPD and Abner Louima. Education is also an issue candidates will speak out about along with crime.

INCUMBENT:KENDALL STEWART (RUNNING)

WHO’S RUNNING?

Rodrick Daley

Ernest Emmanuel

Erlene J.King

Dexter A.McKenzie

Samual Taitt

Goodwin B.Williams

Jumaane D.Williams

QUEENS

District 27–St. Albans, Hollis, Cambria Heights, Jamaica, Baisly Park and Springfield Gardens Located in Southeast

Queens, District 27 is home to New York’s Black middle class. The area has a Black population of 78 percent and the median income is close to $60,000. But while the area is celebrated as a home for well-to-do Blacks, the current economic crisis has raised the number of foreclosures on homes.

INCUMBENT: LEROY COMRIE (RUNNING)

WHO’S RUNNING?

Adrienne Hayes

Shaun McLaughlin

Clyde Vanel

District 28–Jamaica Rochdale Village and Richmond Hill

A large number of West Indian immigrants call this South Jamaica district in Queens home. The area serves as a hub for travelers who fly out of JFK Airport and use the Long Island Rail Road. The Van Wyck Expressway serves as a dividing line for the community. Jobs are a key issue in District 28, as well as more opportunities for youth.

INCUMBENT:

THOMAS WHITE, JR. (RUNNING)

WHO’S RUNNING?

Allen W.Jennings,Jr.

Stephen S.Jones

Lynn Nunes

Ruben Wills

District 31–Rosedale, Laurelton, Springfield Gardens and Far Rockaway

Another haven for the Black middle class in Rosedale and Laurelton, District 31 has real issues in Far Rockaway, an area many say the city has forgotten. Home to public housing a great distance from the city, Far Rockaway has become a hotbed for crime, with a lack of youth programs and a need for health care.

INCUMBENT:

JAMES SANDERS,JR.

WHO’S RUNNING?

Marquez Claxton

Michael Duncan

Lou Grays

Jacques M.Leandre

Frederick Lewis II

Scherie S.Murray