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April 21st, 2021
Carlos Menchaca – City Council Member, Former Mayoral Candidate, and Cash Relief Advocate – Endorses Andrew Yang for Mayor of New York City
**RELEASE** April 21st, 2021
Today, New York City Council Member Carlos Menchaca endorsed Andrew Yang for Mayor of NYC. Together, the pair also announced a plan for NYC to make remittances more affordable for the hard-working immigrant New Yorkers who send money home to their families across the world.
Brooklyn, NY—Menchaca, first elected to the City Council in 2013, distinguished himself early on as a leading voice for working families and immigrant communities across New York City. As chair of the Council’s Immigration Committee, Carlos has been an unwavering progressive champion not only for the city’s vast immigrant community, but on key issues impacting the lives of New Yorkers from affordable housing to education, and the creation of the nation’s largest municipal ID card, IDNYC. Like Andrew, during his candidacy for mayor, Carlos put the needs and prosperity of working families front and center, making cash relief a core issue of his campaign.
Said Council Member Carlos Menchaca:
“Andrew Yang is exactly the kind of progressive leader we need to move this city forward. Andrew and I met on the campaign trail and from the start, it was clear he and I share the same values that put the needs of New Yorkers front and center, breaking free from the status quo to fight for big ideas. Just two years ago, cash relief was a bold, ‘infeasible’ idea to fight poverty, and today it is widely accepted as a crucial way to help our neighbors who are struggling. I’m fighting for that right now in the City Council.
"I first entered this race because I saw the New York that we all love, the city that gave me – a gay, Mexican-American, from an immigrant family – an opportunity to build a life where I can wake up everyday and fight for our most vulnerable neighbors. I know that the only way to fix our government is to usher in a new generation of young, pragmatic and progressive leaders who can offer a positive, forward-thinking vision that puts people before politics.
"That’s why I believe in Andrew Yang, who has captured the hearts of New Yorkers because he is giving us all something to believe in: ourselves and our city. I see it every time I walk the streets with Andrew -- New Yorkers feel invited by him to join a movement that will bring much needed relief to those communities hit hardest by this pandemic.
"We need a mayor who not only has the vision to see what New Yorkers need, but the heart to hear them out and the courage to accomplish bold plans. We need a mayor who won’t be held back by the ‘no’ machines, or tied down by institutions that too often hold our city back.
"So today I am deeply proud to endorse Andrew Yang for Mayor of New York City, and if there’s one thing I want New Yorkers to hear from me today it’s that hope is on the way.”
Said Andrew Yang, “As we continue to grow our movement, I could not be more excited to be receiving Carlos’ endorsement for Mayor of our great city. Carlos embodies the best of our city in so many ways. He is a young, progressive leader who has been fighting for marginalized communities for years. As we continue to share our positive, hopeful vision for moving New York forward, I’m honored to have Carlos by my side as part of the next generation of New York leadership.”
Making Remittances Affordable for Hard-Working Immigrant Families Each year, immigrant communities in New York City send approximately $10 billion in remittances to relatives overseas. The cost of sending these remittances is high, with average transfer costs running between $10 and $30 per transaction, sometimes even higher depending on how much is being sent, to what country. As a percentage of the money being sent, the fees can go up to 10%.
In total, immigrants in New York City likely spend more than $500 million per year just to send their hard-earned income to family members overseas.
Today, new financial technology companies are entering the market, offering remittance transfers that are anywhere from 50% to 90% cheaper than the high prices charged by incumbent firms like Western Union and Moneygram – who are protected by arcane state licensing laws.
Just across the Hudson in New Jersey, the money service business licensing process typically takes three months. In New York, it takes between one and two years, and the state requires new competitors to put up significant capital as collateral.
To put an end to the monopolization of this industry, Yang and Menchaca are calling on the State Legislature to spark competition in the money services business sector by:
- Providing for money service business license reciprocity with neighboring states; and
- Reducing regulatory burdens new firms and commit to a faster permitting process.
In addition to calling for action by the State Legislature, Yang and Menchaca also released a plan for how the People's Bank and the City of New York will reduce the costs of remittances and help more immigrants enter the financial mainstream by:
- Aggregating demand for international transfer services and negotiating with incumbent providers to offer bulk discounts;
- Helping immigrants open bank accounts to enable cheaper digital overseas transfers and save money; and
- Working with banks to offer low-cost remittance services as part of community reinvestment act activities.
Read more about Yang and Menchaca’s Remittance Reform Policy here.