Nancy Tong, the new female Democratic district leader and state committee member for the 47th Assembly District, was sworn into office on Sunday, September 21, by Borough President Eric Adams, at the Edith and Carl Marks Jewish Community House in Bensonhurst.
Tong is not only the new district leader, an unpaid party post, she is also the first elected Asian-American official in Brooklyn.
“This is a very historic event,” exclaimed Assemblymember William Colton, “Nancy Tong, one of our own of this community, has achieved a very historic position. She is the first Asian-American elected official in all of Brooklyn.”
Colton was not the only neighborhood official to agree on the importance of the day. Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, Councilmembers Mark Treyger and David Greenfield and Kings County Democratic Chairperson Frank Seddio were all proud to witness the event.
“This is an historic occasion because we’re seeing an immigrant community go the next step,” said Treyger.
“People talk about diversity, we live it,” declared Charles Ragusa, the male district leader with whom Tong will work.
“We are getting closer to a monolithic community and spirit,” said Adams, “We are one Brooklyn.”
Tong replaced Jeanette Givant, who, after serving for 10 years, decided it was time to retire.
Nominated by Colton, Tong ran unopposed and was elected on September 9.
“Everyone agreed unanimously that Nancy Tong was the person to fill that position,” said Seddio.
Like Givant, Tong has helped thousands of people in the past eight years working in Colton’s office. Over the years, Tong has worked on senior citizen rent issues, helped businesses respond to tickets from the Department of Sanitation, assisted homeowners with tree root problems in dealing with city agencies and volunteered for street clean-ups.
“Nancy has a long track record of serving people in our communities,” Colton noted, “She helps thousands of people in my office every year. Her dedication to our community is unwavering.”
“She is someone who cares deeply about more than just herself and her family; she cares about every single one that calls her district home,” agreed Treyger.
“She is a community worker, a committed person to help the ideals of the Democratic Party, and someone who cares about her people,” said Seddio.
Tong immigrated from Hong Kong and was raised in New York City. She has been a resident of Bensonhurst for 12 years and has worked to improve the quality of life of constituents in the area. She now plans to tackle important issues with her new title.
“We don’t have enough Pre-K; I know that. And I know we don’t have much senior housing and we’re going to try to do better,” said Tong in her acceptance speech.
“I truly enjoy helping people,” remarked the new district leader, “It gives me great joy when I am able to help someone and make their life a little better or easier.”