In 2013, Carlos Menchaca was elected New York City Council Member for District 38 in Brooklyn, becoming the first Mexican-American elected to public office in the New York City and Brooklyn’s first openly gay legislator.
Today, Carlos represents a richly diverse area that includes a large Chinese and Latino immigrant population, the second largest public housing development in the City, a waterfront community heavily impacted by Hurricane Sandy and one of the City’s last viable industrial manufacturing zones.
During his time as Council Member, Carlos authored and passed legislation that created New York’s first municipal identification card program. IDNYC now serves nearly a million New Yorkers including many who have been historically excluded from civic life because of language, age, or immigration status.
He has secured funding for the most extensive public defender program in the nation serving undocumented immigrants, and led efforts that secured the largest allocation in recent history for adult literacy services in NYC. Carlos has also been a champion for workers’ rights. He has stood side by side in protest with exploited airport and car wash workers, stood with pedicab operators against great political pressure, and advocated for undocumented day laborers and union workers.
Carlos is Chair of the New York City Council Committee on Immigration, a member of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus, the LGBT Caucus and the Progressive Caucus. He currently serves as board member of The New American Leaders Project.