Carlos Menchaca, who is poised to be the next councilmember of the 38th District, met with business leaders in the Chinese community on Friday, October 18 to learn about what issues matter to them most.
Menchaca, who defeated longtime Councilmember Sara Gonzalez in the primary election and who will face Conservative Party candidate Henry Lallave on November 5, chatted with the movers and shakers of the Chinese community at a luncheon at Pacificana Restaurant on Eighth Avenue.
Wai-Yee Chan, director of the Brooklyn branch of the Chinese-American Planning Council, said that some of the concerns the community include pedestrian and child safety. She said that the busy shopping strips of Eighth and Sixth Avenue need surveillance cameras.
“Patrolling is important, as well,” Chan said. “Around 2:30 to 3 p.m., when the kids get out of school, we need more police patrolling the neighborhood.”
The Asian community was recently beleaguered with scams, preying on the elderly and newer immigrants. Chan said that with the help of some workshops put together by the 72nd Precinct, incidents have decreased.
But all said that they looked forward to working with a new councilmember.
“Hopefully he understands the needs of the community,” Chan said.
Menchaca said that he was thankful for the support of the community throughout his election.
“My connection and welcome by the Chinese community was beautiful. We are coming here today to reunite our message and, moving on, we will continue to reunite with small businesses, non-profits…and press,” he said. “I am excited to work with all of the different sectors to create a sure thing so the community benefits greatly and continues to grow.”
Menchaca said that he would be meeting with all of the different immigrant communities in what is likely to be his district, which encompasses Sunset Park and Red Hook.
“I will make sure that everyone together is at the table making decisions,” he said. “How do we bring more services and opportunity to our youth?”
Menchaca, who is 32, spoke about his experiences growing up as an immigrant with a single mother. He recalled learning English at Head Start programs, which he said “builds bridges to our communities.
“This is a continued conversation,” Menchaca concluded.