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.
Photo courtesy of Chris Robles
Attorney Delvis Valdes has announced that he is running against incumbent Council member Carlos Menchaca for the 38th District Council seat.
Sunset council candidate serves up shuttle service on first day of 53rd Street station closure
By Kelly Mena
Posted on March 7, 2017
the 38th District Council Seat
Valdes said it took him about an hour to find a yellow bus service that would transport weary straphangers – including seniors, families with young kids and students to the next subway stop over during yesterday’s morning rush hour.
Several hundred residents utilized the service and thanked Valdes, promising to vote for him.
“I did not know my subway stop would be closed today, I am senior and it is hard for me to walk, I am very happy that Delvis Valdes set up a shuttle bus to take me to an open station,” said Nilda Rodriguez.
“After riding this Shuttle bus this morning, I am supporting Delvis Valdes for City Council because we need a man of action, not just us a man who gives speeches,” said Cynthia Felix.
“I’m excited about the message that I’m putting out there which is more attention to the district. He’s [Menchaca] been absent. He hasn’t done anything for the regulation of business owners. He hasn’t done anything in the three plus years to address the situation of overcrowding in our schools. When it comes to immigration, lately he’s been grandstanding in front of the camera going out and getting arrested. I don’t know what purpose that serves. What are families going to do when law enforcement comes looking for them, say Menchaca’s been arrested and that’s supposed to save them?” said Valdes.
Valdes is hoping to use his roots and experience as a local business man to his campaign in order to start bring a difference back to his district. The Brooklyn native claims that Menchaca has done little to make a positive change for his constituents since defeating incumbent Sara Gonzalez in 2013.
“[He’s] not accomplishing much and not in the district at all. You know he took out the prior Councilwoman [Gonzalez] for not being present in the district and he’s doing the same thing. He should be out there pushing and fighting for our district everyday and it’s just not happening,” said Valdes.
Many critics of Menchaca cite his lack of visibility in the district and his complete absence from local politics until the last couple of months.
City Councilman Carlos Menchaca
But Menchaca countered that he welcomes the challenge and sees it as an opportunity for local residents to get more involved in local politics and policy changes in the community.
“When you’re in the work I’m in, you understand that this about the ultimate goal which is to enfranchise more voices into government. So my whole office mantra is to see more people in government, so I want to see more women, I want to see more immigrants, first and second generation and I want to see more young people bring their voices to the table. So I will never be surprised when more people get involved in politics, we need more of that,” said Menchaca about his challenger.
Valdes’s campaign headquarters are located at 45th street and Fifth avenue in Sunset Park, and from where he will center his operations for the duration of his run. He is running as a democrat.
Another possible challenger for the 38th Council seat could be Assemblymember Felix Ortiz (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook).
Ortiz has not officially announced whether he will be running or denied his possible intention but has support in the district if he chooses to run.
The primary election is slated for Sept. 12.
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.”
This past weekend local business owner and attorney Delvis Valdes announced his candidacy for the 38th District Council Seat which will put him against incumbent City Councilmember Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook).
The Sunset Park local is running a campaign focused on education, homelessness and immigration.
Delvis Valdes announces run for 38th District Council seat
Get On The Bus With City Council Candidate Delvis Valdes
By Kings County Politics
Posted on March 28, 2017
City Council Member Carlos Menchaca (D-Sunset Park, Red Hook) may hit all the right notes when it comes to progressive politics, but it was his upcoming primary opponent, Delvis Valdes, yesterday that took the progressive slogan, ‘Get on the bus’ literally.
City Council Candidate Delvis Valdes helps a young resident into the shuttle bus.
That after Valdes shelled out a few hundred dollars from his own pocket to rent a yellow school bus to shuttle Sunset Park residents stuck in the rain from the 53rd Street and 4th Avenue R train subway stop to the next nearest subway stops at 45th Street and Fourth Avenue.
The 53rd Street stop is being closed for six months starting yesterday for a major makeover in a move the MTA announced several months ago. Last week, Menchaca in a much publicized press conference complained the MTA failed to notify residents of the closure and didn’t include notices in Spanish and Chinese – the two predominate languages in the neighborhood.
But Valdes says one of the reasons he is Running for City Council is because Menchaca is a day late and a dollar short in helping get the word out to residents, let alone negotiating with the MTA to have a shuttle bus for the riders to take them to an open station.
“In January Bay Ridge Councilman [Vincent] Gentile sent a letter and a petition to the MTA demanding a shuttle bus and more bus service in his district to make up for the Bay Ridge Avenue subway closing. Our Councilman whined on TV a couple of days ago that he did not know about the subway closing,” said Valdes.
The bus drove passengers from the shuttered stop to the 45th Street station during a rainy commute.
“I took it upon myself [and rented] a bus on Friday [March 24],” he said. “We put up a few notices, put it on Facebook and told people we were going to shuttle them to the nearest station. I was able to get the shuttle bus on one hour’s notice. It wasn’t difficult at all and that’s a private citizen doing this. Imagine if I was the elected representative of this area.”
Commuters that were unaware of the shutdown were happy there was an alternative, at least for a day.
“For the 100 people who were able to get a quick shuttle to the 45th Street station on this soggy wet morning, this was a wonderful commute alternative,” said Sunset Park resident Gloria Patricia Novoa.
“I did not know my subway stop would be closed today,” added Nilda Rodriguez. “I’m a senior and it’s hard for me to walk, so I am very happy that Delvis Valdes set up a shuttle bus to take me to an open station.”
“The difference between Delvis and others in Sunset is that Sunset has been part of his family’s fabric for over a generation,” noted Tony Giordano, founder of the Sunset Parker Facebook page. “When ‘we’ hurt, he feels it like a family member. He has been looking at a long-term solution and ways to make sure that the MTA and other government agencies treat Sunset with the respect that we deserve.”
Despite commuters asking if the service would be provided for the six month shutdown, Valdes explained that it would not.
“It’s not something I could pick up the cost for over the next six months obviously, but at least we did it today to show what could be done,” he said. “And secondly, we at least helped those off guard who weren’t ready for it. We were there from 6:30 a.m. and we ran it all the way until 9:30 a.m. and I would say we had a good 15 trips or so and around 10 to 12 people per trip so you’re talking about over 100 people that took advantage of this.”
While current Councilmember Carlos Menchaca held a rally on Thursday, March 23 with local residents in response to the lack of alternative service and proper notice from the MTA, Valdez claims more could have been done in advance.
“There were no solutions coming out of him,” he said. “It was just complaining which we have to do, but at the same time, how about coming up with a solution? The MTA definitely dropped the ball not notifying the community in advance with enough warnings and languages. That’s when you’re supposed to have your elected councilmember stand up and pick up the ball when the MTA drops it.”
Valdes also thinks service could’ve resumed under the right plan. “They could’ve done the east end of Fourth Avenue first and west end of Fourth Avenue without having to shut down the entire station,” he said. “And if they wanted to do both sides of the stations at the same time, they should’ve arranged for alternative bus services and alternative transportation for seniors and parents with children that can’t get to the other station on time, especially in morning when everyone is off to work.”
Hop on board!
Monday, March 27 marked the first day that the 53rd Street station closed in both directions in an effort to renovate and modernize the station. Days after Sunset Park residents complained over the lack of advance notice and signs in multi-languages, attorney and candidate for the 38th Council District seat Delvis Valdes, using his own funds, provided a shuttle bus for the first morning rush hour of the closure.
Photo courtesy of Rob Aguilar
City Council candidate Delvis Valdes provided free shuttle bus service from the now-closed 53rd Street station to 45th Street on its first day of work.
Copyright © Friends of Delvis Valdes. All Rights Reserved.