City Council member Margaret Chin threw a party yesterday at P.S. 130 on Baxter Street to celebrate the beginning of her second term serving District 1 at City Hall. It was a ceremonial inauguration, complete with an oath of office administered by Manhattan Surrogate’s Court Judge Rita Mella. The Council member, who graduated from the Chinatown elementary school in 1965, was joined by most downtown office holders and a wide range of community activists.
The election may have been decided in September, when Chin claimed victory following a contentious Democratic Primary (she faced no Republican opponent in November). But the political gamesmanship playing out following Bill de Blasio’s ascension was very much on display during yesterday’s event.
Among those joining Chin in the auditorium was fellow Council member Melissa Mark-Viverito, who has said she’s confident of victory when her colleagues choose a new speaker this coming Wednesday. Chin highlighted her support of Mark-Viverito and noted the political shift to the left in New York City following the Bloomberg and Giuliani administrations. “I am excited about the historic opportunity to work with a progressive mayor,” Chin declared. The Council member said she hoped to work with the new mayor on issues such as universal Pre-K, new affordable housing, more schools and expanded open space.
Other elected officials echoed similar themes. State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who has signaled his intention to challenge Governor Cuomo on liberal priorities, said he was gratified to see a “new progressive era in city government.” U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer also made note of the political shift in New York, and he vowed that the Senate would finally pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation this year.
Chin’s district includes the Lower east Side, as well as most other neighborhoods below East Houston Street.