Carlos Menchaca’s Uphill March for Progressive Change


Following a year of tumult in which demonstrators turned out in record numbers across the US to protest police violence against African-Americans, New York’s 2021 Democratic mayoral primary is shaping up as a referendum on the progressive demands that have sprung up from activists — many of them young and from communities of color — nationwide.

Among more than a dozen contenders, Brooklyn’s out gay Carlos Menchaca, a two-term councilmember whose district centers on Sunset Park, Red Hook, and Greenwood Heights and who was the city’s first Mexican-American elected official, is emblematic of the major issues animating the striking political energy on the left. Representing a district with a significant concentration of Latinx and Asian-American immigrants, Menchaca has put forward uncompromisingly progressive positions on police reform, affordable housing, income inequality, economic development and empowerment, and transgender rights.

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