He’s throwing his hat in the race.
Attorney Delvis Valdes, who has been involved in several Sunset Park organizations, officially announced that he is challenging current Councilmember Carlos Menchaca for the 38th District Council seat on Saturday, March 4
The announcement took place at his campaign office, 4515 Fifth Avenue, and included family, friends, and supporters.
Valdes told this paper why he wanted to run and what he wants to see changed.
“I’ve been a staple in this neighborhood, myself, for about 30-plus years and my family has been in this neighborhood for 50-plus years,” he said, adding that his family is well known in Sunset Park thanks to his father having owned supermarkets throughout the community starting in the late ’60s. “I’ve been an attorney for over 20 years and I’m also involved in local events that go on in the neighborhood through the Sunset Park Fifth Avenue BID, which I helped create along with the Park Slope Fifth Avenue BID.”
Valdes is also a part of the Sunset Park Landmarks Preservation Committee and the Lion’s Club, and is involved in a number of charitable events in Sunset Park.
Since the end of last year, Valdes said, people had been approaching him to run. “They told me they don’t like the direction things have been going,” he said.
Valdes stated his number one priority is education. “We have overcrowding in the schools,” he said. “Kids are learning in gymnasiums and they’re teaching classes in hallways. It’s criminal. Every kid should have a seat in the classroom where they can learn.”
He also discussed the need for jobs in both Sunset and Red Hook. “I’m seeing what we could to do spruce up our Fifth Avenue corridor,” Valdes said. “We need to cut back a little bit on regulations so these mom-and-pop stores can hire people and get more employment going.”
Valdes has attended many rallies around the neighborhood focused on hotels being used to house the homeless. “We’re not against homelessness, but it’s the policy that is wrong. It’s just warehousing people in a hotel room and there are people with substance abuse and mental problems and they’re not giving them attention,” he said, adding his thoughts on Mayor Bill De Blasio’s recently proposed 90 additional shelters. “Sunset should be off limits with additional shelters. Let’s work with the population you have right now. How dare they come into our neighborhood and say they’re going to burden us with additional shelters! It’s not equal distribution.”
Valdes said that he brings values to the table that Menchaca and his potential opponents may lack. “I bring roots to the table. I’m from the neighborhood. Menchaca’s not from Sunset or Red Hook,” he said. “I’m from the area. I know the people here and I know what it is we need and I bring a common-sense business approach which I don’t think anyone else brings to the table, not the ones in this race or the ones that plan to get in this race. I look at a problem and I see what the issue is. Maybe that’s the legal training in me.”
In addition to Valdes, former Assemblymember Javier Nieves has told this paper that he has also decided to run for the seat and will make an official announcement in the coming weeks.