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Gotham Gazette

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Carlos Menchaca

Carlos Menchaca

  • Incumbent Brooklyn City Council Rep Attempts to Fend Off Prominent Challengers

    Carlos Menchaca

    City Council Member Menchaca (photo: Samar Khurshid/Gotham Gazette)


    As he runs for reelection this fall, Carlos Menchaca, the City Council member for District 38, which includes Red Hook, Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace, faces several challengers in the Democratic primary. In a rare occurrence, one of his opponents is another sitting elected official from the same party, Assemblymember Felix Ortiz.

    Though he was not an elected official at the time, Menchaca himself challenged and unseated an incumbent from the same party in a contentious 2013 primary that focused on

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  • Mass Mailer Loophole Gives State Legislators Advantage in City Council Races

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    The top of Assemblymember Felix Ortiz's recent constituent mailer


    Members of the New York State Legislature have a key resource at their disposal to communicate with their constituents: mass mailers. Both the Senate and Assembly allow lawmakers to send public communications through different media -- chiefly employed in the form of direct printed newsletters and mailers -- to inform residents of their districts about recent legislation or special events, or to alert them of emergencies, and more. While these mailers are subject to certain restrictions in the run up to an

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  • State Electeds Insult City Criminal Justice While Reform in Albany is Minimal at Best

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    Gov. Cuomo at Dannemora correctional facility (photo: Governor's Office)


    Last week, State Senator Jesse Hamilton mailed a flier to his constituents strongly denouncing broken windows policing. The senator, who represents Crown Heights and surrounding neighborhoods in Brooklyn, called on the city to end arrests for minor quality-of-life offenses that “are often used to police black and brown bodies.”

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  • New York: A Sanctuary City with A Plan

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    The authors: Council Members Menchaca, left, & Ferreras-Copeland, center


    New York’s immigrant families are waking up terrified as President-elect Trump, his supporters and growing administration spew hate. In spite of his new stance to “work something out” for Dreamers, Trump’s words are met with lack of trust. As the children of immigrants, we take attacks from Trump and his supporters personally and are filled with the courage needed to fight harder and smarter than ever to protect the rights and freedoms of

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  • A Closer Look at BQX Funding Plans

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    photo via nyc.gov


    In his State of the City address on February 4, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a major new transportation project: a “state-of-the-art” streetcar that will run the waterfront on a 16-mile route between Sunset Park in Brooklyn and Astoria in Queens. This Brooklyn-Queens Connector, or the BQX, has drawn a somewhat mixed response. The de Blasio administration quickly publicized support from a variety of business and civic leaders, elected officials, and several transportation advocates. Some transportation experts and residents of the

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  • Community Engagement Prized by Participatory Budgeting Proponents

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    Council Member Menchaca with a constituent (photo: William Alatriste)


    For City Council Member Carlos Menchaca and his staff, the Participatory Budgeting Vote Week that just ended was the culmination of a year-long effort to encourage project proposals and votes from communities that are traditionally excluded from politics. Through PB, community members decide how $1-2 million in funding is allocated toward neighborhood improvements. Menchaca’s district, which includes immigrant-rich Brooklyn neighborhoods of Sunset Park and Red Hook, is one

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  • Council to Examine City Support for Ethnic Media

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    Council Member Menchaca (photo: William Alatriste) 


    When City Council member Carlos Menchaca heard the recent news of layoffs at El Diario, the country’s oldest Spanish-language daily newspaper, he was troubled to say the least. Menchaca, who represents Sunset Park and Red Hook, penned an

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  • In New De Blasio Heath Care Plan, Limited Coverage for Undocumented Immigrants

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    Mayor de Blasio holds his IDNYC (photo: William Alatriste)


    According to a recent report from Mayor Bill de Blasio's office, there are 345,507 undocumented immigrants in New York City who do not have health insurance. The Mayor's Task Force on Immigrant Health Care Access seeks to provide coverage next year to 1,000 of those individuals.

    Participatory Budgeting Grows in NYC - Why Isn’t Every Council Member Doing It?

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    PB voting in East Harlem, photo via PB NYC


    In four years participatory budgeting has exploded from four to 27 New York City Council districts. With over 51,000 voters casting ballots last cycle to allocate a total of $32 million dollars to projects across the city, New York‘s experiment in direct democracy has quickly become the largest of its kind in North America.

    "This is the biggest year of participatory budgeting yet, with 27 Council members asking their constituents to

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  • Cautious Optimism Ahead of Hearing on Citywide Ferry Plan

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    (images: NYC DOT/EDC)


    Mayor Bill de Blasio's proposed expansion of the city's ferry system, announced in February, appears to be one of the least politically controversial initiatives of his term. Ahead of a City Council hearing on the topic scheduled for Monday, no Council member has publicly opposed the plan, while some have loudly praised it.

    But this support comes despite concerns from transit advocates that ferries may not be the most cost-effective form of transportation for New Yorkers and that other investments in buses or bike lanes should not be overlooked. Meanwhile,

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  • No Fly Zone: Council Members Push Helicopter, Drone Regulations

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    Council members introduce drone legislation (photo: William Alatriste)


    Pointing to insufficient efforts on the part of the Federal Aviation Administration, New York City Council members are taking regulation of the city’s skies into their own hands.

    In asserting their authority with respect to helicopters and drones on a turf traditionally maintained by the federal government, council members may find themselves in ambiguous legal territory. But they tell Gotham Gazette that they are

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  • The New Yorker's Guide To The New City Government

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    Photo by Bill Alatriste/City Council

    NEW YORK — The historic overhaul of New York City government this year goes well beyond the mayor's office.

    There are 21 new members of the City Council, four new borough presidents, and fresh, yet familiar, faces in the offices of Brooklyn district attorney, comptroller, and public advocate. With the city’s politics taking an increasingly liberal turn, there are few outright conservatives left in city government.

    “Reapportionment and term limits combined to make the City

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