AMPHS is pleased to welcome Mr. Carlos Menchaca – the first Mexican American member to be elected to public office in New York – as a Council Member for the 38th district which includes Bay Ridge towers, Sunset Park, Greenwood Heights, Red Hook and Windsor Terrace. Menchaca was officially sworn into office at a symbolic inauguration ceremony at Sunset Park High School on Sunday, January 12, 2014.
AMPHS was delighted to be in attendance to witness the historic ceremony, which was joined by a number of public officials including: Public Advocate Letitia James; U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer; State Senator Velmanette Montgomery; City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito; Councilmembers Vincent Gentile, Brad Lander, David Greenfield, Stephen Levin, Antonio Reynoso and Jumaane Williams; Assemblymember Felix Ortiz; and Former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz. The ceremony, hosted by Linda Sarsour, featured inspirational speeches by community leaders, praising Carlos’ continuing dedication to advancing the public good. It was a time of mixed emotions that emphasized the importance of diversity and community support.
Thirty three year-old Menchaca grew up in El Paso, Texas, after which he came to Brooklyn, New York and started his political career as a community organizer. Carlos has been active in super-storm Sandy recovery efforts as well.
As compared to other ethnic populations, a greater proportion of Mexican Americans are in the US on less than stable legal grounds; hence Carlos’ presence in city council will prove to be extremely beneficial.
Growing up in public housing and attending public schools, Carlos has had first-hand experience in the inequalities of life and promises to work hard to give opportunities to immigrants who may not have the same resources as others. His efforts as Councilmember will include:
- increasing community health and wellness,
- improving the community’s resilience to disasters,
- making affordable housing more accessible,
- improving the quality of public schools and after-school programs, and
- training residents with new skills, and providing them with living wage salary.
We would like to welcome Carlos to the community, and look forward to working with him to increase health care accessibility in Sunset Park and the rest of New York City.