Margaret Chin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
This is a Chinese name; the family name is Chin.
Margaret Chin
陳倩雯 Chén Qiànwén
Margaret Chin 2011.jpg
Chin in 2011
Member of the New York City Council from the 1st District
Assumed office
January 1, 2010
Preceded by Alan Gerson
Personal details
Born (1954-05-26) May 26, 1954 (age 62)
Hong Kong
Political party Democratic
Spouse(s) Alan Tung
Children 1
Alma mater Bronx High School of Science
City College of New York
Website Official website

Margaret Chin (born May 26, 1954) is the Council member for the 1st District of the New York City Council. A Democrat, she and Queens Council member Peter Koo comprise the Asian American delegation of the city council.

The district includes all or parts of Battery Park City, Chinatown, Civic Center, East Village, Ellis Island, Financial District, Governors Island, Greenwich Village, Liberty Island, Little Italy, Lower East Side, NoHo, Nolita, SoHo, Tribeca, and the West Village.

Life and career[edit]

Born on May 26, 1954 in Hong Kong as the third of five children and the only daughter in the family, Chin immigrated to the United States from Hong Kong in 1963. Her father, who arrived to the U.S. before his family did, was an undocumented worker, working as a waiter in the Bronx; his experiences inspired her to advocate for immigration reform during her political tenure.

Chin grew up in Chinatown and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and the City College of New York with a degree in education. She worked for 14 years at LaGuardia Community College's Division of Adult and Continuing Education. She is married to Alan Tung, a public school teacher. Their son, Kevin, also graduated from the Bronx High School of Science. He completed his studies at Syracuse University, and is now studying photography in Santa Barbara, California.

Chin has been a member of several public service groups and organizations. In 1974, she was a founding member of Asian Americans for Equality, a group dedicated to "empowering Asian Americans and others in need",[1] and she served as the board's president from 1982 to 1986. She was the chairperson of the New York Immigration Coalition, a policy and advocacy organization which works on issues concerning immigrants and refugees.[2] She was a board member of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development, an affordable housing non-profit organization.[3] Chin was also a founding member of the Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation, a group that was formed in 2006 to "rebuild Chinatown following 9/11, and to preserve the neighborhood's unique culture while ensuring its vitality in the future."[4]

In local and state politics, Chin was a member of Manhattan Community Board 1 and Manhattan Community Board 3, and was elected to the New York State Democratic Committee for two terms from 1986 to 1990.

Chin speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, and Taishanese,[citation needed] and has stated that her ethnicity helped her win the district that includes Chinatown. In her words, many new immigrants and seniors do not speak English, and appreciated that they could speak to her directly and "talk to a City Council member without having to go through an interpreter."[5] Hunter College professor and sociologist Peter Kwong, who has written books on Chinese Americans, said that Chin's election victory was a "milestone in an increasingly active Asian American community" and a "special moment in Chinatown history". Margaret Fung, head of Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund, a national Asian American civil rights group,[6] described Chin's win as a "significant step forward for Asian American political representation".

New York City Council[edit]

Prior to winning the 2009 city council election, Chin had run and lost in the Democratic Party primary election for the District 1 seat in 1991, 1993, and 2001.

In a primary that had a small turn-out, she won the Democratic nomination with 39% of the vote, ousting two-term incumbent Alan Gerson. Chin earned 4,541 votes to Gerson's 3,520; the other three candidates, PJ Kim, Pete Gleason, and Arthur Gregory won 1,927 votes, 1,293 votes, and 235 votes, respectively.[7] Campaigning on the issues of affordable housing, improving infrastructure, immigration reform, and better services for senior citizens,[5] Chin won the general election held on November 3 against Republican candidate Irene Horvath in a landslide victory, carrying 86% of the vote.[8]

In 2013, Council Member Chin ran for reelection for the New York City Council. She received an endorsement from the Stonewall Democratic Club of New York prior to the September 2013 Democratic Party Primary.[9] She was challenged in the primary by Democrat Jenifer Rajkumar, a Lower Manhattan District Leader, in a widely publicized race. Chin won with 58.5% of the vote.[10] Chin is a member of the Progressive Caucus, and the Women's Caucus. Chin has twice been elected by her colleagues to serve as an executive member of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus

Committee assignments[edit]

  • Aging (Chair)
  • Education
  • Recovery and Resiliency
  • Rules
  • Privileges
  • Elections
  • Transportation
  • Youth Services

Election history[edit]

New York City Council District 1: Results 1991-2013
Year Democratic Votes Pct Republican Votes Pct 3rd Party Party Votes Pct
1991 Kathryn Freed 5,717 51% Fred Teng 2,630 23% Margaret Chin Liberal 2,853 25%
2001 Alan Gerson 12,209 47% Jordan Kaufman 3,349 13% Margaret Chin Liberal 4,178 16%
2009 Margaret Chin 18,750 86% Irene Horvath 3,093 14%
2013 Margaret Chin 16,976 99%


  1. ^ "Who We Are". Asian Americans for Equality. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  2. ^ "About the NYIC". New York Immigration Coalition. Retrieved 2009-11-04.  Template:Date=2010-11-01
  3. ^ "ASSOCIATION FOR NEIGHBORHOOD AND HOUSING DEVELOPMENT". Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development. Archived from the original on May 25, 2009. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  4. ^ "About Us". Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation. Retrieved 2009-11-04. 
  5. ^ a b Suzanne Ma (2009-11-04). "Chinatown's Margaret Chin Makes New York City History". DNAinfo. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  6. ^ "About AALDEF". Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund. Archived from the original on October 12, 2007. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  7. ^ Carl Glassman and April Koral (September 2009). "Chin Wins City Council Primary". The Tribeca Trib. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  8. ^ "2009 Election Results". The New York Times. 2009-11-09. Retrieved 2009-11-15. 
  9. ^
  10. ^

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Alan Gerson
New York City Council District 1