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Harrison Chain launches City Council campaign

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Heidi Harrison Chain formally kicked off her campaign Sunday for the seat being vacated by Councilwoman Melinda Katz, Sunday, citing her support for public safety, schools and seniors before a crowd of 50 people at her Forest Hills campaign office.

“I’ve lived my entire life in our community and worked to make our streets safer, improve our quality of life, improve our schools and fight for our seniors,” Chain said.

The Forest Hills resident also opened her campaign office at 118−20 Queens Boulevard Sunday.

Chain is a lifelong resident of the 29th Council District, which includes Forest Hills, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and parts of Richmond Hill, Maspeth and Elmhurst. She lives in Forest Hills and is president of the 112th Precinct Community Council, chairs Community Board 6’s Economic Development and Youth committees, and is chief of the Forest Hills⁄Rego Park Community Emergency Response Team.

Chain is serving her 20th year as the director of the Office of Legal Affairs in the city Finance Department.

“I care about the community and the city,” Chain said. “I’ve been doing community service for many, many years and I’m aware of the issues.”

Chain faces a packed race for the 29th District seat, now held by Katz, who is making a bid for city comptroller. Others in the Council race include Director of Queens Community Boards Karen Koslowitz, former state Assemblyman Michael Cohen, Lynn Schulman, Mel Gagarin and Joseph Nocerino.

Chain said her background in community activism and her job at the Finance Department has prepared her well for a possible stint in the Council.

“I have 20 years worth of experience working with every city agency,” she said. “I really thought at this time I could take the skill set I’ve developed over time and make a positive difference for our area.”

Chain said she would like to first address economic issues if elected.

“With the way the economy is going, I think things can be improved,” Chain said. “There’s a lot of outsourcing going on, and the agencies might be able to do that work internally.”

Chain said she would also like to work on mitigating flooding problems in the district and helping seniors who have run into problems with the Meals on Wheels program.

Chain graduated from PS 174, Russell Sage Junior High School and Forest Hills High School. She received a bachelor’s in political science and economics from the University of Rochester, after which she attended law school at the National Law Center at George Washington University and transferred to the Villanova University School of Law, where she graduated with a doctorate of jurisprudence.

Reach reporter Anna Gustafson by e−mail at agustafson@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718−229−0300, Ext. 174.

Posted 6:33 pm, October 10, 2011
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