Why vote for Menchaca/Why vote for Gonzalez, by the candidates for DC 38 City Council

Carlos Menchaca asks for your vote

(for Sara Gonzales see below)

Carlos making a campaign speech in Coffey Park.

Carlos making a campaign speech in Coffey Park.

I’m running for City Council in the 38th district which includes our very own Red Hook. As a resident of this neighborhood, it’s time we elect a visible and vocal leader who will fight for every member of our community. I want to be your next Councilman.

Our district is currently facing some of the most pressing issues in Brooklyn.

Schools: According to the 2010 census, 26.6 % of the population in Brooklyn is under the age of 19. Youth in our community need to know that we are invested in their future. Yet, just this year in Mayor Bloomberg’s proposed budget there was a $60 million cut to after school programs and another $77 million to child care services. I come from an immigrant family, and it was in Head Start that I learned to speak English for the first time. Like so many of the families in our community, my family depended on government programs to succeed. As a product of the public education system, I want to ensure that the Pre-K and After School Programs in our district are fully funded ensuring our children’s success. There are special needs students in our community schools that also deserve the mandated funding.

Jobs: I helped support my family from a young age, learning the value of keeping a good paying job. Our city is looking to new hi-tech industries who want to come to Red Hook and Sunset Park. These companies must also invest in our residents, especially our young adults, by training them with new skills, providing good salaries and hiring locally. Our vibrant not-for-profits and small businesses continue to launch new initiatives that bring real world job training experience to young adults in our community. As Council Member, I want to support and enhance these kinds of initiatives.

Housing (NYCHA and other low-income options): Everyday our local rents are going up. I grew up in public housing, and I know that affordable housing is shrinking when our communities need it the most. Our neighbors are currently faced with the dilemma of moving out of Brooklyn because they just can’t afford to live here anymore. They are being pushed out and we can’t let that happen. I will fight to make sure that NYCHA doesn’t allow the next mayor to sell our apartments or our open space to luxury developers. Instead we need to receive the necessary improvements that residents need and require, on a timely basis.

Environment: Our waterfront is so precious, we deserve more access to it. We can do this in a manner that is environmentally sustainable and that helps meet the needs of our residents and our industrial businesses. I oppose any burying of toxic waste in Red Hook which was recently proposed by the EPA Gowanus Super Fund Initiative. Have you noticed the pavement odor during nights and weekends? Or heard the helicopters idling directly above us? These are just some of the issues needing vigilance from the City Council.

Just and Fair Policing: The current NYPD practice of Stop-and-Frisk has created an environment where communities of color are being unfairly targeted. Specifically young African-American and Latino men are being targeted at a higher rate than any other group. That is why I support the Community Safety Act, and I will never waver in advocating against any profiling based on someone’s race, ethnicity, religion, immigration status, sexual orientation and gender identity. I will fight to ensure that the NYPD works with the community to combat crime and keep our community safe.

Ten months after the Storm: I was inspired to run after organizing a community/volunteer led Sandy relief effort in Red Hook. The many miracles and hard work we are still enduring today will carry my commitment to ensure that the city execute a plan for rebuilding Red Hook and prepare us for the next natural disaster. We need to replace housing that we lost and build new affordable units for our community that are disaster resilient. Red Hook will always have a champion during a natural disaster, you can count on that.
It is for this reason that Congress members Nydia Velazquez and Hakeem Jeffries, the Working Families Party, the Central Labor Council and various unions representing health care workers, musicians, doormen, cleaners, staff at our CUNY schools and a variety of other industries, strongly support me and know that I have the ability to fight for you.
I promise to you nothing but the same commitment and energy I promised my mom as I helped her raise my siblings under extreme hardship. I will never stop fighting for you—and I will never let you down. I hope to see you at the polls on Tuesday, September 10th!

Juntos en la lucha!
Carlos Menchaca

Sara Gonzalez asks for your vote

(for Carlos Menchaca  see above)

Sara speaking at a recent Red Hook Lion's Club event

Sara gave out community awards at a recent Red Hook Lion’s Club dinner at the Miccio Center.

I warmly thank the Red Hook Star Revue – the true Journal of Record for Red Hook, for granting me this opportunity to address the residents of Village of Red Hook

As you might know, I have lived in the District since I was a year old. Four generations of my family live here. I began volunteering for my community when I was just 14 years old – and never stopped. I have served on the Boards of twenty local organizations, founding and leading several of them. I was elected the first Latina Chair of Community Board Seven and when a sudden vacancy occurred for the Council seat, the community came to me and asked me to run. At first, I refused but they convinced me that as a Council Member, I could accomplish even more for my community.

And I have achieved tremendous gains for District 38 since taking office. I am greatly encouraged when my colleagues in government approach me and say, “You know Sara, you’ve really put Red Hook and Sunset Park on the map – both politically and in terms of funding.” And indeed, I have delivered more for District 38 than all my predecessors combined!

The endorsements I have received reflect my solid record of achievements – not promises or the word of others.

I have restored parks throughout the District including Coffey Park, the Red Hook Ball Fields, and Valentino Pier. I fought for shore power at the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal. Those efforts and my proven commitment to open spaces and the environment earned me the endorsement of the League of Conservation Voters.

I have been heralded as The Champion of Adult Literacy. I have delivered $500,000,000 in educational resources to our local schools, saved thousands of day care and after-school slots in District 38 and that is why I earned the endorsement of the United Federation of Teachers.

When the Red Hook Food Vendors’ very existence was threatened with extinction, I battled with the Department of Parks, the Department of Health and the Economic Development Corporation so that today, we can still enjoy their unique fare and every one of the Vendors have endorsed me and offered their support.

I have been working to improve the climate for small businesses and entrepreneurs in my District and throughout New York. I have a strong track record of helping small businesses succeed and create jobs Small businesses are the lifeblood of immigrant communities, and the city must do more to help them. Every day, I speak with small business owners in my community who are struggling with tickets and fees from the City. I am readying legislation to reduce these burdens, and give them greater access to grants, tax credits and loans. And that is why I have earned the endorsement of the Small Business Coalition and UFCW Local 1500.

In restoring our parks, I have made accessibility a key determining factor in the plans I have approved. Now people with disabilities can fully enjoy our parks and children with disabilities can get the playtime they deserve. I have been a leader in the fight for accessible taxis and that is why I have earned the endorsement of the 504 Democratic Club – the nation’s first and largest advocating for disability rights.

I have fought to restore the B37, add additional buses to the B61, extend the B57 into Red Hook, bring ferry service to Red Hook and Sunset Park (by the way, I was pleased to announce recently that the weekend ferry service to and from Red Hook will be extended beyond Labor Day!) and generally have focused on improving our transit options and that is why I have earned the endorsement of TWU Local 100.

I could go on about the hundreds of endorsements I’ve received from other organizations, elected officials and community leaders.

But the endorsement I really care about – is yours!
With your support, I will become the most senior member of the New York City Council. This will mean I will accept a greater leadership position in the hierarchy of the Council. And that will mean I will be able to deliver even more resources for affordable housing, our dedicated community organizations, our schools, parks, day care centers, senior centers, libraries, cultural groups and more. Seniority counts. I remember my first year in the Council – my entire discretionary budget was $20,000. This year alone I have delivered over $7 million dollars in funding to our District.

I can relate to being a small child, a young married woman, a mother and a grandmother living in this District. I have been working on behalf of the community since I was a teenager. I hope I have earned your support and I urge you to get out and vote on Tuesday, September 10th. Thank you.

Your friend forever,
Sara Gonzelez

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