Vote 2017: 38th District City Council seat

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BROOKLYN -

The race for the Democratic nomination in the 38th City Council seat is shaping up to be one of Brooklyn’s most closely watched primaries.

The primary will pit the incumbent against the woman he took the seat from last primary season, along with a mix of seasoned politicians and newcomers.

District 38 includes the neighborhoods of Red Hook, Sunset Park and Windsor Terrace.

The incumbent is Carlos Menchaca, who says he was the first Mexican-American elected to public office in New York City when he won the seat in 2013.

If re-elected, Menchaca says education is a main focus of his, specifically fighting for smaller class sizes. He says he also wants to continue working to bring safer streets to his area, highlighting pushes for biker and pedestrian protections. And Menchaca says he plans to focus on the reliability to the public transportation system.

His main challenger is Sara M. Gonzalez, who lost to Menchaca in the 2013 primary after holding the seat from 2002 through 2014.

Gonzalez plans to prioritize public school funding and after-school programs if elected. She has spoken out about immigration, and making sure immigrants are given the support they need to succeed.

Her platform also includes examining the long-term effects of climate change, including waterfront communities for possible changes because of it.

Another name in the race is Chris Q. Miao, an attorney who immigrated to the United States from China when he was 5 years old.

Miao also plans to protect immigrants' rights, while focusing on helping small businesses in the community.

Miao has also talked about education, and how he wants to reduce overcrowding, increase after-school programs and keep the current entrance methods for the city's specialized schools.

The fourth Democratic candidate is assistant speaker of the state assembly, Felix W. Ortiz.

Ortiz is pointing to his leadership abilities as to why he should be elected. He says that he has had more than 60 laws passed during his time in the Assembly, and promises to bring that same ambition to the City Council.

Homelessness is an important topic on Ortiz's platform, and he says that he's already shown some action in that department. He say he has dismantled a homeless camp and placed each person in temporary housing.

The final candidate is Delvis Valdes, an attorney who was a founding member of the Sunset Park and Park Slope 5th Avenue business improvement districts.

If elected, Valdes say housing issues like fighting gentrification and keeping neighborhoods affordable is among his concerns.

He also turns to education, saying he will reduce school overcrowding, and homelessness, saying he plans to cut the number of homeless hotels in the district.

Voters will head to the polls in the primary elections on Sept. 12.

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