Carlos Menchaca ’04

Making History in the Big Apple

Courtesy of the Carlos Menchaca for City Council campaign.

Six months ago, Carlos Menchaca ’04 was a political underdog. Today, he is the first Mexican American elected to the New York City Council, and Brooklyn’s first openly gay legislator.

Starting in January, Menchaca will represent the 38th District, an industrial area of Brooklyn that has a large immigrant population. About two-thirds of the residents live in public housing.

Menchaca is perfectly suited to be their voice at City Hall. He and his six siblings were raised in a public housing complex in El Paso, Texas, by their single, immigrant mother. For almost a decade, he worked as an aide to Brooklyn’s borough president and as LGBT and HIV/AIDS liaison to the New York City Council speaker.

Menchaca makes an annual pilgrimage to the city and the university that helped cultivate his commitment to public service.

“San Francisco is my place for rejuvenation. It’s where I developed so many of the skills I use now. It’s important for me to go back to recharge the values in the place that I learned them,” he says. “I’m a public servant, and that’s what I inject into everything I’m doing.”

Menchaca double-majored in politics and performing arts and social justice at USF.

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