Young City Council Contender Set to Announce Bid for Downtown Seat

By Serena Solomon on April 3, 2013 3:18pm 

LOWER EAST SIDE — Upstart district leader Jenifer Rajkumar will announce her run for City Council this Sunday on the steps of City Hall, pitting herself against incumbent District 1 Councilwoman Margaret Chin. 

Rajkumar, a Democratic district leader for lower Manhattan, will be vying for the seat that covers the Lower East Side, Chinatown, TriBeCa, the Financial District and parts of SoHo.

The 30-year-old Battery Park City resident has already raised $66,849 for her bid for public office, according to campaign finance records. She has also begun courting Downtown's political clubs, including the influential Coalition for a District Alternative, The Lo-Down reported. 

Rajkumar described herself as a "young, strong, progressive advocate" whose campaign will center on bringing "Bottom Up Democracy to City Hall," according to a Facebook invitation for Sunday's 2 p.m. announcement event.

Rajkumar was not immediately available to comment.

The graduate of Stanford Law School was elected district leader for the 64th Assembly District Part C with 70 percent of the vote in September 2011, according to her Facebook page.

The win over 20-year incumbent district leader Linda Belfer helped land Rajkumar on the annual "40 Under 40" list of rising stars by political publication "City & State."

She is also the legal director for the New York State Young Democrats, an organization that represents New York Democrats between the ages of 16 and 36, according to her Facebook page. 

Born and raised in New York, Rajkumar attended the University of Pennsylvania before completing her law degree at Stanford. Her parents emigrated from India with only $300 and a single suitcase, according to her website.

Rajkumar spent two years in Washington advocating for health care reform and also founded a start-up nonprofit, W-Spin Inc., which supports women headed into government leadership positions, according to her website.

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