The candidates competing in next week’s New York City Primary Election will be campaigning non-stop throughout the weekend, in search of last-minute votes. Downtown, City Council member Margaret Chin and challenger Jenifer Rajkumar will face off in the Democratic Primary for the District 1 seat. Yesterday, we published our interview with Chin. Today, it’s Rajkumar’s turn.
Coming up Tuesday, downtown voters will decide who they want to represent them in the City Council during the next four years. As primary day fast approaches, we’re publishing in-depth interviews with District 1 City Council member Margaret Chin and Jenifer Rajkumar, who’s challenging her for the seat. Today we begin with Chin.
One issue in this year’s City Council campaigns, including in Lower Manhattan, has been a well-funded effort by New York City real estate developers to influence the outcome of several races. Yesterday City Council member Brad Lander, along with District 1’s Margaret Chin and other Council representatives called for new legislation to reign in “third party expenditures.”
The candidates running to represent Lower Manhattan, including the Lower East Side, in the City Council clashed last night in their only public debate. In the tense, hour-and-fifteen minute affair, challenger Jenifer Rajkumar sought to portray District 1 Council member Margaret Chin as beholden to real estate interests, while Chin criticized her opponent’s inexperience.
The Democratic Primary is coming up on September 10. In Lower Manhattan, City Council member Margaret Chin faces a challenge from Jenifer Rajkumar, a district leader. You can watch a debate between the candidates here…
City Council member Margaret Chin today announced she’s won the endorsements of several large labor unions, including 1199 SEIU United Healthcare Workers East, the New York Hotel and Motel Trades Council, 32 BJ SEIU (the property service workers) and District Council 37 (the municipal public employees union).
In a prepared statement, Kevin Flanagan of the healthcare workers union said, “he 220,000 nurses and caregivers of 1199 SEIU in New York City strongly endorse Council Member Margaret Chin for re-election because she is a passionate advocate for quality healthcare and working people. We share her progressive vision for the future of our city, which includes immigrant rights and effective policing that respects civil rights.” Flanagan noted that Chin was a co-sponsor of sick-leave legislation in the Council.
We’re starting to see sparks fly in the District 1 City Council campaign. Jenifer Rajkumar, a district leader, is taking on first-term City Council member Margaret Chin in the upcoming Democratic Primary. On Sunday at the Jing Fong restaurant on Elizabeth Street, “Chinese for Rajkumar” which was described as “a committee of labor, small businesses, small property owners, and residents” gathered to speak out against Chin.
A spokesman for the group, Professor Peter Kwong of Hunter College, said Council member Chin had “gone along” with Michael Bloomberg’s development agenda at the expense of middle and low-income residents. “Soon there will be no Chinatown,” Kwong warned. “It will only be for tourists and the rich. We must stop her from tearing out the fabric of Chinatown brick by brick.”
In the past few weeks, Lower Manhattan’s political clubs have been weighing which candidates to support for citywide office. The Democratic Primary takes place September 10. Members of Downtown Independent Democrats (DID) made their choice last night, choosing newcomer Jenifer Rajkumar in the 1st District race over first-term City Council member Margaret Chin.
The vote was 39-16 in favor of Rajkumar. The result was no surprise since members of DID have been vocal for many months about their displeasure with Chin over two main issues – the NYU expansion plan and the Soho BID. The club’s president, Jeanne Wilcke, and Sean Sweeney, who’s treasurer, are among Rajkumar’s most ardent supporters.
The City Council campaign downtown is starting to heat up. With a little more than three months to go before the September 10 Democratic Primary, District 1 Council member Margaret Chin and challenger Jenifer Rajkumar are collecting more endorsements and sharpening their messages to voters. Here’s an update.
Surrounded by fellow elected officials and community activists, City Council member Margaret Chin formally announced her campaign for a second term Sunday at Independence Plaza, an apartment complex in Tribeca that has been a focal point in the fight for affordable housing. She was endorsed by U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez and State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who called her a tireless advocate for the residents of District 1, which includes the Lower East Side and most of Lower Manhattan below East Houston Street.
Acknowledging that it took her three tries before finally prevailing in 2009 to become the first Chinese woman on the City Council, Chin declared, “Now that I’m here I’m not going anywhere!” During brief remarks, she rattled off first-term accomplishments, including winning permanent affordable housing at the Seward Park development site, securing space for two new district schools, keeping firehouses and senior centers open amid budget cuts, saving after school programs and “making our streets safer.”
Jenifer Rajkumar gathered with supporters on the steps of City Hall yesterday, officially announcing her candidacy for the District 1 City Council seat. She’s the only announced challenger against Margaret Chin, the first-term Council member representing the Lower East Side and most of Lower Manhattan below Houston Street.
Rajkumar criticized what she called Chin’s “top down” approach to leadership and promised to give voice to downtown constituents who feel their concerns have been ignored. Recalling a Council hearing on NYU’s expansion plan in which she and other residents were kicked out of City Hall, Rajkumar declared, “we need a strong advocate… who stands up for us.”
This past weekend, two candidates vying to represent the Lower East Side in the City Council made back-to-back appearances before one of the neighborhood’s more influential political clubs. Members of CoDA (Coalition for a District Alternative) heard from first-term Council member Margaret Chin and Jenifer Rajkumar, a downtown district leader.
Rajkumar has not officially announced she’s running, but the young West Side activist has raised nearly $67,000 and is almost certain to compete in the Democratic Primary for the District 1 seat. Lower Manhattan’s political clubs won’t make their endorsement decisions for awhile, but Saturday’s “Q & A” session was a chance for local activists to size up the candidates.
Candidates running for NYC office are required to file finance disclosure statements by midnight tonight. Earlier today, City Council District 1 candidate Jenifer Rajkumar put out a press release touting her fundraising prowess. Rajkumar, a district leader, has not officially announced but is almost certain to challenge Council member Margaret Chin in the Democratic Primary.
According to the Board of Elections’ database, she has raised $66,849 from 198 contributors. More than $38,000 in contributions came from outside New York City. Rajkumar contributed $8,000 to her own campaign late last year. Eight other individuals in locations such as Chevy Chase, MD and Somers, NY donated $2700. In the press release, Rajkumar highlighted financial support from Jeanne Wilcke, Sean Sweeney and Paul Newell of Downtown Independent Democrats; Community Board 2 Chair David Gruber; and PJ Kim who ran against Chin three years ago.
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