While Brooklyn council members jockey behind-the-scenes for the coveted chairmanships of their delegation, the smaller Manhattan delegation has already settled on their leadership.
Councilman Corey Johnson and Councilwoman Margaret Chin were quietly elected to chair their borough’s delegation almost two weeks ago. The vote was conducted by e-mail and Ms. Chin and Mr. Johnson defeated Council members Ben Kallos and Inez Dickens, insiders said.
The duo replaces Councilman Dan Garodnick, a former speaker candidate who currently serves on the council’s leadership team, and Gale Brewer, now the Manhattan borough president.
“I was honored to be elected with Margaret Chin to co-chair the delegation together,” Mr. Johnson told Politicker. “I look at our positions not as ultimate decision makers, but as people representing the views of all council members in Manhattan … We are going to be advocates for the entire borough so everyone feels like their entire concerns and requests are brought in a priority way during the budget process and when it comes to issues that face our districts.”
Mr. Johnson and Ms. Chin were both original supporters of Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and are a part of the council’s left-leaning progressive bloc. Mr. Johnson is a freshman and Ms. Chin is beginning her second term. Although Mr. Kallos is also a part of the progressive bloc, Ms. Dickens ran for speaker herself and allied herself with more moderate members.
Though the positions are largely ceremonial, delegation chairs have an expanded role in the budget negotiation process. They identify, for example, the priorities of their borough’s members and typically have more clout.
And the positions can also, in certain instances, be stepping stones to higher office. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Public Advocate Tish James both co-chaired their Brooklyn delegations when they served in the council.
The Manhattan vote totals were not made available to the council members.
Update (4:53 P.M.): Ms. Chin said it was an “honor” as well to serve with Mr. Johnson.
“It’s an honor to serve as co-chair of the Manhattan Delegation alongside Corey Johnson,” Ms. Chin said in a statement. “We have a big job ahead of us in the coming months to make sure that Manhattan’s diverse set of voices are heard in the budgetary process, and to ensure that all of our districts get the resources and support they need and deserve. I look forward to working with all members of the Manhattan Delegation, my colleagues in the City Council, and the Speaker to put forth a budget that reflects the priorities of this great borough.”