Margaret Chin (left), Jenifer Rajkumar (right).
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.
The Seward Park sites south of Delancey Street. Photo by Vivienne Gucwa.
Editor’s note: The following opinion piece was submitted to The Lo-Down by Jenifer Rajkumar, the Democratic District Leader for the 65th Assembly District and a prospective candidate for City Council in District 1.
We have waited 48 years to develop the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area (SPURA). Lower East Siders left their homes so we could develop this public land. The sacrifices have been enormous, and the potential moving forward is great. Our City’s elected officials should not miss this once-in-a-generation opportunity to do it right, just because they lack the political will or courage.
Margaret Chin with other elected officials and community activists at City Hall last week.
The 2012 election season is barely behind us, but next year’s City Council races are already starting to heat up. This week City Council member Margaret Chin kicked off a series of casual fundraising events at neighborhood restaurants. We stopped by a gathering at the Cowgirl Sea-Horse, one of many Seaport District restaurants devastated by Hurricane Sandy. This particular event was populated by mostly young supporters; other fundraisers are planned in Chinatown and in the Financial District. Chin plans a formal announcement that she’s running for a second term shortly after the new year.
In her first term, Chin has faced a variety of difficult issues — from two hurricanes to controversial rezoning fights to battles over two business improvement districts and historic preservation issues. District 1, which Chin represents, covers the Lower East Side, Chinatown, the Financial District, Tribeca, Soho and sections of Greenwich Village.