What makes a person decide to run for office in one of the biggest cities in the world? It could be any number of things. For one Mexican American and openly gay candidate named Carlos Menchaca running for New York City Council in the 38th District covering Sunset Park, Red Hook, Greenwood Heights, Borough Park, Windsor Terrace and Bay Ridge Towers in Brooklyn come down to the simplest reason “Government Needs to Show Up”
It’s the only reason that makes sense running against an incumbent, who has been in office the past eleven years, and because of an extension of term limits is entitled to run for a third term. The problem is when you are part of government and you don’t show up, a change in the representation and visibly of that person is needed. Carlos is the person who will bring that visibly to his district.
Carlos’ story from the beginning and right up to his decision to run, is one that should inspire us all to the true reason to go into public service. It also makes you realize that using government services is no reason to stop dreaming to help make your borough, city, state and country a better for yourself, your family and all the people you care about.
Carlos Menchaca grew up in El Paso, Texas in a public housing project building with his six brothers and sisters and his single mother. They survived on food stamps; Medicaid and he started his education in the Head Start program.
Carlos was encouraged by his mother to go to school every day. He was able to with the help of mentors he was able to attend the Jesuit University of San Francisco. At the university, he would become the schools first openly LGBT student body president. A big moment for a Jesuit University even in San Francisco at the same time, he was the first in his family to go to college and earn a degree.
Carlos strongly believes that every child should have access too after school programs, youth programs and scholarship opportunities to make their lives all they can be. He will fight to bring better public schools and services to the people of the 38th District and across the city.
Carlos wouldn’t just stay in the sunny California or go back to El Paso after that his journey. He would be chosen among many others to be one of the Coro Fellows in Public Affairs and so his journey to the Big Apple would begin. He would spend five years in the office of Brooklyn Borough Marty Markowitz office doing work on the capital budget and economic development issues and some LGBT work as well.
The last two years he had been working for Speaker Christine Quinn as her LGBT and HIV/AIDS liaison.
The past decade in New York City wouldn’t prepare him for the life changing moment that would be the ultimate life changer and his reason to decision to run for office right now. Hurricane Sandy was one of the biggest natural disasters the City of New York, and opened the eyes of the need for more emergency preparedness. Hurricane Sandy also give light to other issues that have needed to be changed for years, but went unseen until now or only taken seriously now.
The borough of Brooklyn needs the leadership of the Carlos Menchaca to bring the needed services to the district. Keep jobs in the district to people who live in the district.
The City of New York needs a person like Carlos Menchaca who understands the struggle of many groups in the city. Whether you are an immigrant, LGBT, a person of color or just a struggling New Yorker, Carlos will fight for all of us. With Carlos Menchaca in office “Government will Show Up”