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Carlos Menchaca Files to Run for Council

By Alan Neuhauser | January 31, 2013 1:41pm
 Carlos Menchaca, seen here facilitating a Red Hook community meeting Nov. 14, 2012, has filed to run for City Council.
Carlos Menchaca, seen here facilitating a Red Hook community meeting Nov. 14, 2012, has filed to run for City Council.
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DNAinfo/Alan Neuhauser

RED HOOK — Carlos Menchaca, a community organizer who has been heavily involved in Hurricane Sandy relief efforts in Red Hook, has filed to run for City Council representing south Brooklyn.

Menchaca has filed for the 38th District, which includes Red Hook, Sunset Park, Windsor Terrace, Borough Park, Gowanus and parts of Park Slope and Bay Ridge.

He faces the task of unseating fellow Democrat Sara M. Gonzalez, who has held the office since 2002 and, as of the Jan. 15 filing period, remained the only other candidate to file in the 38th District.

Menchaca could not be reached for comment Thursday morning. An adviser, who asked not to be identified, said Menchaca is still assessing a potential campaign and has not yet decided whether he will actually make the run for office.

"Before you can really decide if you're really going to be a quote-unquote official candidate, one has to make certain filings," the adviser told DNAinfo.com New York. "That's what's been done, so you can make a better assessment of your candidacy."

Menchaca's decision will hinge, in part, on the redistricting map that is slated to be released next month, the adviser said. The council's redistricting commission submitted a map of redrawn districts last fall, but abruptly withdrew it in December to make revisions and hold more public hearings.

"It's a little premature for anybody in a way to make a decision before that's done," the adviser said.

Menchaca offered broad outlines of his campaign in statements he posted on the website for the Gay & Lesbian Victory Institute's Onward to Victory Campaign, which aims to increase the number of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender office-holders.

"I always wanted to run for public office. My recent public service experience ignited a greater sense of urgency for me to run," Menchaca writes.

"After a few weeks [in Red Hook], a local leader pointed out that some of the most visible members leading the relief coordination were queer people of color. It felt like I was at home, the place where you can be yourself and not have to worry about defining who you are.

"Identifying as a gay candidate means that you're not only fighting for issues that affect the LGBT community, …it inherently means that your commitment is to lead with the entire community by your side."

The adviser added that Menchaca would also focus on "improving... conditions in the Red Hook Houses," as well as environmental issues in Red Hook and Sunset Park.

Menchaca had not reported any campaign contributions as of the Jan. 15 filing. Gonzalez stated she had raised more than $48,000.

A decision on whether to run will be made before the next filing period in March, , Menchaca's adviser said.