Chin’s all in: Silver, Nydia back bid for a second term

Photo by Jefferson Siegel Councilmember Margaret Chin, flanked by Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, left, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, at her May 4 campaign announcement in Tribeca.

Photo by Jefferson Siegel
Councilmember Margaret Chin, flanked by Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, left, and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, at her May 4 campaign announcement in Tribeca.

By JEFFERSON SIEGEL  |  On Sunday morning, Margaret Chin formally announced her campaign for a second term.

Dozens of supporters, including local activists and powerhouse political allies like Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, filled the steps of Independence Plaza North in Tribeca to show their support for the First District’s first Asian-American councilmember.

“Councilmember Chin has been one of our community’s staunchest advocates, making sure that as we continue to rebuild, Lower Manhattan receives its fair share,” said Silver, offering Chin his “strong endorsement.”

Velazquez also praised Chin’s commitment, saying the district needs someone to “stand up for small businesses, working families, affordable housing and access to better education and childcare.”

Chin, who seemed to know every supporter personally, took pride in recounting the accomplishments over her past four years, including gaining protected affordable housing at 505 LaGuardia Place, inclusion of permanent affordable housing at the Seward Park Urban Renewal Area, securing local space for two new schools and keeping firehouses open.

No detail seemed too small, with the crowd ecstatic at the mention of a new traffic light at Duane and Greenwich Sts., a long-fought battle that began before Chin was elected in 2009.

With her husband, Alan Tung, a public school teacher, standing nearby among the supporters, Chin recalled her arrival in the U.S. 50 years ago, and how she took care of her younger brothers while her mother worked in a Chinatown garment factory.

Also in the crowd were the parents of U.S. Army Private Danny Chen, who died in Afghanistan after a hazing incident by fellow soldiers. Chin said the groundswell of Downtowners’ anger over his death resulted in the discharge of four of the eight soldiers charged in connection with his death.

After the speeches, Chin made sure she greeted and thanked everyone in attendance. Ro Sheffe of Community Board 1 said Chin has been “one of the strongest pillars in our community.”

Bob Townley, founder and director of Manhattan Youth, said Chin helped families navigate the Department of Education system.

“Those issues are at the heart of working parents,” Townley said.

“She doesn’t just say the words, she does the work,” said Diane Lapson, president of the I.P.N. Tenants Association. “She’s never failed to support Independence Plaza North’s issues, like preserving affordable housing.”

Chin will face off against Jenifer Rajkumar in the Sept. 10 Democratic primary.

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25 Responses to Chin’s all in: Silver, Nydia back bid for a second term

  1. Chin's gotta go

    I'll be voting for Jenifer Rajkumar, Chin's spirited and impressive challenger, this year.

    I urge everyone to look at things critically. None of Chin's listed achievements is actually an achievement. The 505 LaGuardia affordability was an incredibly small and narrow victory. Anyone from that area knows that Chin handed over the community to NYU. That's why the influential Village Democrats endorsed Chin's challenger, Rajkumar. It is also probably why you don't see Assembly Member Glick, Senator Hoylman, Congressman Jerry Nadler, or Borough President Scott Stringer at the announcement. Everyone knows Chin is a sell out.

    And it's not just NYU. It's Chin siding AGAINST the community and with big, outside, big business over and over and over again. It's the SoHo Bid which Chin supported against the community's wishes. It's the South Street Seaport give away that Chin orchestrated. It's the 135 Bowery historic landmark building that Chin sold to overseas bankers. The list goes on and on…

  2. Other than two political hacks, Shelly Silver and a feckless congresswoman based in Brooklyn, the photo clearly shows that most of Chin's support comes from Chinatown.

    Is there a Great Wall preventing her from traveling beyond her canton, which the rest of us are unaware of?

    • Peggy Friedman

      "Great Wall", "canton"….. will you bring up "The Yellow Peril" next? Margaret Chin represents her whole district, which is proved by her actions. She is smart, fair and hard-working, PLUS she has a sense of humor and fun. I bet she will be re-elected by the majority who support her.

      • Charles Ashtkey

        Chin does not have "a majority" of support. She was elected in 2009 with less than 40% of the vote! Her "actions" prove she represents anything but the community. And if you want "fun," you should be supporting her opponent.

      • Downtown Observer

        Ms. Friedman, you are being disingenuous. Be honest. Explain your unusual – if venal – fondness for Chin.

        Admit that Chin gives thousands and thousands of dollars to your organization, the Washington Square Music Festival.

        And if you look at the photo, the only two other residents supporting her from outside of Chinatown is the director of a youth program downtown and the head of the local CERT, who have received tens of thousands of dollars of public funds from Chin.

        Is the only way that Chin can get support from outside of Chinatown is to buy it?

    • Should be ashamed of your thinly veiled race baiting comments. You don’t do Rajkumar’s campaign any good by making it seem like all her supporters are just bigots. If I was her I would quickly disavow those types of comments.

      I would posit that Rajkumar is basically picking up the votes that were mainly pro-Gerson in the last election. Latinos largely voted for Chin as well, not just Chinatown. The district is bigger than just Soho vs. Chinatown, but from reading these comments you wouldn’t think anything matters outside of these boundaries. Rajkumar is virtually nonexistent and unknown out in the eastern side of the district. And most of them are not reading and commenting on this paper, as opposed to others. Just saying.

      • Reality Check

        People on the East Side of the district are unhappy with Chin as well because they know Chin represents the rich. CODA, a well known Lower East Side club, recently had an endorsement meeting and voted not to endorse Chin this time around. We have been unhappy with Chin's siding with pro-Bloomberg, luxury developers which has been driving the middle class out.

  3. See any of Chin's fellow council members at the rally??? No Rosie Mendez? No Quinn? Very telling. If Chin's only support comes from the corrupt world of Albany, and anti-loft law folks like Nydia, then why would we vote for her?

    She's a nice woman who does her best to help the aging population of Chinatown, but on the important issues, Chin sold-out again and again. I'd love to see her working for a social services not-for-profit, but not city government. She's been the worst representative of this area ever. Please vote for anyone else.

  4. Why would we vote for Chin who has sold us out every time, when Jenifer Rajkumar is running? Jenifer has stood with us in the fights for our neighborhoods. A young, energetic, impressive civil rights attorney and district leader, Jenifer gives me some hope for this district. The choice is a no brainer.

  5. Shelly's Stooges Standing Short

  6. Chin was the designated fall person for the NYU decision. If she loses, I'd expect to see her get some sort of vice presidency or something at NYU a few months after, at something like three times her current salary.

    By the same token, this will be decided in the Democratic primary. If turnout isn't big, and she can mobilize her Chinatown support, plus having the Democratic establishment pushing her, she could still win.

  7. Sean Sweeney endorsed Rajkumar. That's all I need to know.

  8. I am not Chinese nor an elected official but an elected Resident Leader who Chin has won the resident's support and respect for the work she has done serving our families especially during Super Storm Sandy. It is insulting to the people who support Councilwoman Chin to make these comments about who is going to vote for her. I think the people who are going to vote for her hard working taxpayers who she has served well.

    • Chin as done ok with constituent services, but any council person would do what she's done. Seriously, who's going to ingore Sandy victims? However, on the important issues that shape our district, she has been on the opposite side of the voters again and again. What she did to 135 Bowery for one of her money-people was the last straw. Disgusting. I voted for her last time, but will not make that mistake again.

    • Jenny Rodriguez

      Chin blows off her constituents and represents the monied interests.
      Chin = sell out. Vote Rajkumar.

  9. do you vote with or against Sean Sweeney?

  10. do you vote with or against Margaret Chin (aka Sell Out)?

  11. Sylvia Rackow

    I was really surprised to see Mrs. Chin claim so much credit for keeping 505 Laguardia Place,a Mitchell-Lama coop,affordable. Actually the 505 Board worked for over a year negotiating the land lease with NYU (who owns the land under the building).

    If Mrs. Chin really wanted to help she would have insisted that NYU sell the coop the land under the building.. Instead she chose to give NYU our public lands on Mercer Street to create monstrously large buildings that will overshadow our Village community.. She also gave away the public school on the supermarket site. And most recently allowed NYU's further intrusion into NOHO.

    We're not exactly sure who Mrs. Chin represents but it certainly isn't 505 .

    Sylvia Rackow
    The Committee to Preserve Our Neighborhood.

  12. Carl Rosenstein

    Chin is Chinese, can we agree on that. Unfortunately New Yorkers in general are an ignorant lot when it comes to voting, they vote their race and ethnicity before their interests. It happens time after time and again in this Mayoral race you will see blacks stupidly voting for Thompson and gays stupidly voting for Quinn because they choose not to do their homework. Chin received close to 95% of her vote total from Chinese-Americans. She received only 4700 votes in a district of 168,000 people. Her focus upon election has most definitely in support of her Chinatown base. If you look at her discretionary fund in 2011, Chinatown non-profits received over 40% of her funds, and in that year Soho 0%.
    Is this reverse racism or political favoritism of perhaps both? What she has done for Soho is brought a completely unwanted and unneeded Business Improvement District. A private government run by real estate interests. She spent hundreds and hundreds of hours of her precious time working on behalf of the BID. Meanwhile we can't get a cross walk painted on Broome St.

    In the case of the BID is she racist or does this undo attention underlie her true motives and ambitions, to make connections with BIG real estate interests? Chin is not a community activist, as the comment above explains, she is a developer in sheeps clothing. Oh my, she's Chinese, she's a woman, she's petite, then she must be progressive. If you say otherwise , you must be a racist.

    What has been not discussed is Chin's own personal history that includes membership in the violent, Maoist inspired Communist Workers Party in the 1980s. The CWP's was clearly an extremist hate group. In youth we are all prone to mistakes and excesses. But who really changes that much of the course of their lives?

    Chin's relationship with the First American International Bank has never been explored by The Villager. This is perhaps the biggest scandal of her term. Obviously with Vampira Quinn's consent, The City Council overturned the landmark status of 135 Bowery as a favor to Chin. This quid was returned with a rubber stamp quo in the NYU ULURP. Chin has never been forced to explain her relationship with FAIB and who they are. She has received over $6,000.00 in election donations from employees of FAIB-that's a significant amount. First American International Bank is based in China. All big business in China cannot escape the ruthless participation of the Communist Party, a totalitarian gang that run the world's biggest gulag. Doing favor, destroying a landmark building for any bank, but especially this Mainland Chinese owned bank is really chilling.
    This relationship must be explained by Chin in this campaign and The Villager owes it to its readership to demand an answer.
    Margaret Chin will lose this election. The wrath she has inspired in Soho, The Village, The Bowery and Nolita and Noho will result in a record turn out.

  13. The City Council voted to revoke the landmark designation of 135 Bowery on the very same day that they passed the Chinatown BID.
    Political deceit does not get more clear than that.

  14. It always amazes to hear USers fears of communism while basking in the glow of the affects of (vulture) capitalism (while ignoring the horrific regimes of Tsars and Emperors)! Re: the Communist Workers Party being an “extremist hate group” it is best known for its work to fight the KKK and racism in the south and north. One may not have agreed with their tactics or all of their International choices to support but there weren’t many others vying to fight racism at those times and places. People died in those battles trying to get it right.

    These kinds of charges are spurious and meant to cast cold-war doubts on a candidate who is variously being charged with being an uber capitalist or a “commie”.

    Maybe it would be best to figure out a line of attack and stick with it?

  15. Chairman Meow

    "People ( the Communist Workers Party ) died in those battles. "

    That's the point. Chin took her cadre to a North Carolina KKK rally, carrying signs "Death the the Klan." Really dumb idea, unless you are willing to practice what you preach.

    When seeing a gang of strangers arriving in town, threatening their death, the KKK shot first and asked questions later. Several of Chin's followers died.

    What kind of leader would be stupid enough to threaten the KKK and not come armed? Only a half-baked Maoist publicity-seekers like Chin. On the other hand, true revolutionaries like the Black Panther Party armed themselves against racists.

    That is the difference between a revolutionary and a fool.

    Finally, why did Chin lie – one of her many lies – and deny she was ever a member of the CWP? It was only when someone found an old NY Times article on the group with her in the center of the photo were her attempts at lying about involvement with the communists disproven.

    So, not only is she a half-baked revolutionary, IMO she was complicit in the death of her cadre members, and a cynical, cowardly liar to boot.

    And like many extremists, she has turned from being a communist to an uber capitalist. Either way, she is killing our district, just as the KKK killed her followers.

    • So the problem was that they didn't come armed and you think the Klan was provoked by a title of a rally? Yikes.
      As to blaming people who are the targets of racism for the "failure" of actions they take to fight it when the police who are supposed to protect you don't (however "stupid" you deem those actions)…well I doubt most of us are wise enough to judge.
      But please, let's not equate an upset over politics with the death of people trying to end racism?

  16. Deborah Glick must go. Silver must go, Chin must go, Quinn must go. Glick, our Assemblymember, a woman and supposed progressive, has allowed taxpayer money to be used for covering up a sexual harassment lawsuit which has proven to be years old, verifiable, and ongoing. Would she have allowed taxpayer money to be used for a coverup of a homophobic harassment suit or other act of bias violence? Sadly, yes she would have, because she, and all of them, ALLOW themselves to remain powerless before Sheldon Silver. She MUST have a primary challenger, and we must work to sweep the west side and clear it for new leadership. I hope Corey Johnson has the guts to stand independently. Michael P. Kearns, Assemblymember of Buffalo is the only one with any bearing, any legitimate gravitas, the mettle to challenge Silver, and he's new. We clearly need more new.

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