A 26-year-old Democrat has entered the race for City Council in an effort to take Councilwoman Debi Rose's seat. NY1's Thabie Sibanda spoke with the candidate as he explained what’s behind his campaign.
Philippe-Edner Apostol-Marius spent much of Monday going door to door in his neighborhood of Stapleton. Working to find out what’s on the minds of people living in the North Shore's 49th Council District. He recently filed papers to run for city council and he has big ideas for what he will do if elected.
"The platform is based on the premise that everyone should have perfect access to food, water, and healthcare regardless of race, sex and party affiliation," said Marius.
Marius, the son of Haitian immigrants, has lived on Staten Island for more than 12 years now. He says working as a legislative assistant to Harlem State Senator Bill Perkins has opened his eyes to what concerns people in New York City.
"Many people expressing their concerns, their outrage and feeling alienated by both the Democratic Party and the Republican Party," said Marius.
Marius says he felt compelled to run and make a difference at a local level during the presidential election. He says he's been criticized for being too young but adds age should not be a factor.
"Your commitment, your goals as a policy maker and your ability to think things through and those are what the electorate; the constituents should take into consideration," said Marius.
And when asked what sets him apart from the incumbent, he said he's not beholden to any of the elite establishments here on Staten Island.
"Honestly the current leadership is the same ole same ole ties to the establishment that has long alienated most people on the ground, the youth on the ground," said Marius.
Councilwoman Rose was unavailable for an interview but said in a statement: "Competition is a great part of the democratic political process, and I am excited to run for re-election to build on my many successes and gains for the North Shore of Staten Island."