Today, Jimmy Van Bramer and Moumita Ahmed co-endorsed each other for Queens Borough President and City Council respectively. Van Bramer and Ahmed teamed up to call for the city and state to expand vaccination hours during Ramadan, which begins tonight and ends May 12th. Last week, local elected officials called for more 24/7 vaccination sites to accommodate those fasting during the daytime. There are currently six 24/7 vaccination sites across the city. Hillcrest High School-the first Queens vaccination site- is only open 4-days a week and closes at 8pm, before breaking fast. All vaccination sites in the nearby area close at 8pm.
Van Bramer also joined Ahmed's Bangladeshi New Year celebrations with Cynthia Nixon, State Senator Julia Salazar, and Kazi Fouzia- Director of Desi Rising Up and Moving.
Both candidates are running people-powered campaigns that uplift Queens' working families. Van Bramer first endorsed Ahmed when she ran in the February 2nd special election. Van Bramer is the only candidate for Queens Borough President to reject real estate money, uplift small businesses, and put communities at the center of the land use process.
"I am thrilled to endorse Moumita Ahmed for City Council District 24 and to have her endorsement as we fight for a Queens that works for all of us! Ahmed is a champion for working-class and immigrant families, and together we will always put people first," said Jimmy Van Bramer.
"I am proud to endorse Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens Borough President. Jimmy has shown through his allyship his dedication to building the next generation of leaders. We need fearless allies like him who will stand with working-class women, renters, immigrants, undocumented folks, especially when billionaire real estate developers like Stephen Ross attack us," said Moumita Ahmed.
Van Bramer is a life-long progressive activist who's been fighting machine politics for over two decades. He is the son of union workers and a lifelong Queens resident. Before being elected to the City Council, he organized for LGBTQ rights, public financing of elections, and for the Queens Public Library.
Moumita Ahmed's family immigrated to Jamaica Queens when she was eight years old. She attended PS 131 and grew up in a working-class family in a rent-controlled apartment. She is the co-founder of Millenials for Bernie and the New Reformers PAC, which helps to elect activists for Democratic party positions. She helped launch the Bangladeshi Americans for Political Progress (BAPP), establishing a 400,000-strong Bangladeshi American voting bloc. In the wake of COVID-19, she helped lead the Queens Mutual Aid Network providing critical aid and funding to over 2,000 families.
Background on Van Bramer
Jimmy Van Bramer, born and raised in Astoria, Queens, is the Deputy Leader of the New York City Council. He was first elected to the New York City Council on November 3, 2009, and re-elected in both 2013 and 2017. Van Bramer is a founding member of the progressive caucus of the New York City Council.
He works tirelessly to fight for working people, equality for all, and the importance of improving quality of life in our community- values instilled by his parents. His father, William Van Bramer, was a lifelong member of Printers' and Pressman's Union Local 2, and his mother Elizabeth Van Bramer helped support the family - even through bouts of homelessness and food insecurity - by working as a meat wrapper and cashier at local supermarkets, and was a member of Local 1893 of the International Brotherhood of Painters.
His first foray into organizing was when he was a St. John's University student in 1993, leading a queer group of students who fought to be officially recognized by the largest catholic university in the country. Later, he organized for Ed Sedarbaum's 1998 State Senate race, gravitating towards the nascent movement to elect queer people in Queens and starting his personal decades long fight with the Queens County Democratic Party machine.
In 1998, he was an organizer with Citizen Action of New York to create what-is-now today's current New York City campaign finance system with matching funds. At the same time, he led civil disobedience actions with Irish LGBTQ folks trying to march in the city's St. Patrick's Day parades, which previously banned openly queer groups from marching.
In 2001, he stepped forward as the insurgent candidate against the Queens machine for City Council, coming in second. In the ensuing years, he worked as an organizer for the Queens Public Library and joined the board of the Queens Council on the Arts. In 2009, Van Bramer won his City Council election against Queens County machine pick Deirdre Feerick. He similarly bucked the machine to back Melissa Mark-Viverito for Speaker.
He was a leader in the opposition to $3 billion of tax subsidies for Amazon HQ2 and was the first Queens elected official to endorse Tiffany Cabán for Queens District Attorney.
He currently lives in Sunnyside Gardens with his husband Dan Hendrick. Jimmy married Dan on July 28, 2012, becoming the first openly-gay elected official to get married in the borough of Queens.