Watch out Melania! Donna Fagan from Staten Island is coming to the inauguration in a custom-made dress that attests to her adoration of the incoming president.
“I took some plastic signs from the campaign office after the election was over and had my friend from FIT whip up this number,” said Fagan, referring to the Fashion Institute of Technology. Fagan won tickets to Donald Trump’s inauguration in Congressman Dan Donovan’s ticket lottery. She’s not sure how close she’ll be standing to President Trump in her plastic dress, but she doesn’t care.
“As long as I can hear it, and as long as I can feel it — and I already feel it, I’m getting a little bit of the chills thinking about it,” she said. "It's important just to be there."
Congress members are considered hosts of the inauguration and were each allotted a certain number of tickets to the affair. To make distribution fair, Donovan’s office created a ticket lottery on their website.
Donovan is the sole Republican Congressman in New York City. Staten Island, which is included in his district, was the only borough to give Trump a majority of the votes cast.
Donovan’s office had to make special accommodations for his constituents’ overwhelming interest in witnessing Trump sworn into office on Friday.
By Dec. 21, they had more than 2,000 raffle entries for only about 100 tickets. To scrounge up a few more, Donovan’s staff called up Democratic counterparts in less enthusiastic districts. Contributions from Reps. Jerry Nadler and Nydia Velazquez — both of whom are boycotting the inauguration — brought the total to over 200 tickets, Donovan'sPress Secretary Alexia Sikora said.
“Some of my colleagues were generous to add some extra tickets,” Donovan, who came to office 20 months ago, told Metro. “This is history we are going to witness on Friday. So many people wanted to go. In recent memory, there hasn’t been so many people here this excited about a change in administration.”
Staten Island's Trump fandom is“reflective of the feelings that a lot of America had when President Trump made his campaign slogan ‘Make America Great Again,’ that they didn’t think the country was as great as it could be,” he said. “They couldn’t afford their mortgages, couldn’t afford tuition, couldn’t afford health care after the ‘unaffordable healthcare act.’ It hit a nerve with people I represent.”
Donovan said that a lot of his work to be done is to unite interests across political lines. For example, advocating for the police department to be reimbursed for securing Trump Tower.
“It rests on my shoulders," he said. "More than reaching across the aisle it’s actually convincing my side of the aisle, and the Republican appropriation committee, that this is more expensive than securing Obama’s residence in Chicago. President Trump lives on the second busiest intersection in the world.
“Being the sole Republican representing the city at a time with the Republicans are in the majority in Congress and with a Republican president, it’s a powerful and responsible position.”
To the 53 Democratic Congress members who are declining to attend the inauguration, Donovan proposes peace.
"I hope beginning noon on Friday everyone realize the politics are over and the election is over and it's time to govern," he said.
Fagan, a longtime political volunteer — who fed Trump campaign staff with trays of lasagna and baked hams — said Trump is true patriot, cut from her cloth.
“He speaks New York. He speaks my language,” she said. “Local boy does good. He’s right to the point and gives the answer, he says what he has to say and moves on.”
Donovan agreed. “Some of the love is him being a New Yorker. It’s hometown pride,” he said.