Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver showed his support for Councilmember Margaret Chin at her swearing-in for her second Council term after a competitive primary election. Photo by Sam Spokony
BY SAM SPOKONY | After winning a tough re-election campaign against a much younger opponent with little political experience, Councilmember Margaret Chin showed off her strong political ties as she entered a second term at her inauguration on Jan. 5.
Chin, who defeated Jenifer Rajkumar by 17 points in the Democratic primary and then ran unopposed in the general election, celebrated her second swearing-in alongside key figures in the city’s new administration, as well as local, state and federal officials.
Newly elected Public Advocate Letitia James and Comptroller Scott Stringer — who had worked closely with Chin in their previous roles as councilmember and Manhattan borough president, respectively — led the event off with strong words of support for Chin.
“She’s a powerhouse, and that’s why I love her dearly,” James said of Chin.
They were later joined on stage by Emma Wolfe, the newly appointed director of intergovernmental affairs for Mayor Bill de Blasio, who extended congratulations.
In other remarks at the event, Chin was also praised — always professionally, but sometimes on a deeply personal level — by U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, Congressmembers Jerry Nadler and Carolyn Maloney, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito (who was elected Council speaker on Wednesday — and whom Chin proudly announced she had supported for speaker) and state Senator Daniel Squadron, along with numerous others.
“What we can say about Margaret is this: No one put a silver spoon in her mouth, and no one plucked her up and put her into high office,” said Schumer, who, among other things, would go on to describe Chin as a “tiger” when it came to her persistence in securing disaster recovery aid after Hurricane Sandy.
“Margaret, you have earned all this,” Schumer declared.
In her own remarks after being sworn in, Chin proclaimed her support for de Blasio’s universal pre-K plan — although its accompanying tax hike may now have trouble getting the green light from Governor Cuomo. She further pledged to create more affordable housing, and also to continue pressuring the city to deal with public school overcrowding issues Downtown.
“We have to build more schools so that our children will not have to be on a waiting list for kindergarten,” Chin said.
Since the inauguration took place at P.S. 130, on Baxter St., Chin noted that she had, in many ways, come full circle in her career. A half century ago, she attended the school as a young girl.
“And now here I am, at P.S. 130, where I first learned English and graduated in 1965,” she said. “I truly could not have imagined then that I would someday be lucky enough to represent this district that I love.”