Margaret took office in the New York City Council in 2010, as the representative for District 1, Lower Manhattan, becoming the first Asian-American woman to serve on the Council. Margaret is Chair of the Council's Committee on Aging, and is a member of the Committees on Housing and Buildings, Youth Services, Rules, Consumer Affairs and Standards and Ethics. She proudly co-chairs the Women's Caucus and is a founding member of the Progressive Caucus and a member of the Black, Latino, and Asian Caucus.
Margaret immigrated to the U.S. with her family from Hong Kong in 1963 when she was nine years old. She grew up in NYC Chinatown and attended P.S. 130 and JHS 65. She graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and from the City College of New York (CCNY) with a degree in education.
It was through taking Asian American studies courses that Margaret first got involved in community organizing. For more than 30 years she has dedicated herself to public service to help immigrants, low income and working families.
Margaret worked for 14 years at LaGuardia Community College’s Division of Adult and Continuing Education helping immigrant adults get a college education. Many of her students learned English, got a college degree and built a better life for their families.
For 11 years Margaret worked at Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE), an organization that she helped to form when she was in college. As the Deputy Executive Director, Margaret led the organization’s work in advocacy, community organizing and coalition building. She fought for the preservation and building of affordable housing; better access to government services; equal opportunity and fair treatment, for immigrants, low income and working families.
In her many years of public service, she served on boards of many not-for-profit organizations. Margaret was formerly the Chairperson of the NY Immigration Coalition (NYIC). She was a board member of the Association for Neighborhood and Housing Development (ANHD) and chaired the Advocacy Committee. Margaret was a founding member of Chinatown Partnership Local Development Corporation (CPLDC) and served as the vice-chair of the board. Additionally, Margaret served as chair of the Census Bureau’s Race and Ethnicity Advisory Committee on the Asian and Pacific Islander Population for Census 2000. Margaret was a member of Community Board 3 and Community Board 1. Margaret was also one of the founding members of Asian Americans for Equality, where she served as President of the board from 1982 to 1986. In 2003 Margaret was a Fannie Mae Foundation Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.
As an advocate for civic participation and voter education, Margaret was elected to the Democratic State Committee for two terms from 1986 to 1990. Margaret ran for City Council in 1991, 1993 and 2001. She fought hard to get bilingual ballots for the Asian community.
Margaret is married to Alan Tung, a public school teacher at P.S. 3 in Greenwich Village. Their son, Kevin, attended public schools and graduated from the Bronx High School of Science and Syracuse University. Margaret’s mother is a retired garment worker and still lives in Chinatown.