This past weekend local business owner and attorney Delvis Valdes announced his candidacy for the 38th District Council Seat which will put him against incumbent City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook).
The Sunset Park local is running a campaign focused on education, homelessness and immigration.
“I’m excited about the message that I’m putting out there which is more attention to the district. He’s [Menchaca] been absent. He hasn’t done anything for the regulation of business owners. He hasn’t done anything in the three plus years to address the situation of overcrowding in our schools. When it comes to immigration, lately he’s been grandstanding in front of the camera going out and getting arrested. I don’t know what purpose that serves. What are families going to do when law enforcement comes looking for them, say Menchaca’s been arrested and that’s supposed to save them?” said Valdes.
Valdes is hoping to use his roots and experience as a local business man to his campaign in order to start bring a difference back to his district. The Brooklyn native claims that Menchaca has done little to make a positive change for his constituents since defeating incumbent Sara Gonzalez in 2013.
“[He’s] not accomplishing much and not in the district at all. You know he took out the prior Councilwoman [Gonzalez] for not being present in the district and he’s doing the same thing. He should be out there pushing and fighting for our district everyday and it’s just not happening,” said Valdes.
Many critics of Menchaca cite his lack of visibility in the district and his complete absence from local politics until the last couple of months.
But Menchaca countered that he welcomes the challenge and sees it as an opportunity for local residents to get more involved in local politics and policy changes in the community.
“When you’re in the work I’m in, you understand that this about the ultimate goal which is to enfranchise more voices into government. So my whole office mantra is to see more people in government, so I want to see more women, I want to see more immigrants, first and second generation and I want to see more young people bring their voices to the table. So I will never be surprised when more people get involved in politics, we need more of that,” said Menchaca about his challenger.
Valdes’s campaign headquarters are located at 45th street and Fifth avenue in Sunset Park, and from where he will center his operations for the duration of his run. He is running as a democrat.
Another possible challenger for the 38th Council seat could be Assemblymember Felix Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook).
Ortiz has not officially announced whether he will be running or denied his possible intention but has support in the district if he chooses to run.
The primary election is slated for Sept. 12.