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Jimmy Van Bramer Announces Bid for Queens Borough President

JIMMY VAN BRAMER ANNOUNCES BID FOR QUEENS BOROUGH PRESIDENT. Senator Jessica Ramos, Assembly Member Ron Kim, Cynthia Nixon + Zephyr Teachout Endorse Progressive Vision for Queens

NEW YORK — Today, Jimmy Van Bramer announced his bid for Queens Borough President. The Council Member was immediately endorsed by Senator Jessica Ramos, Assembly Member Ron Kim, Zephyr Teachout, and Christine Marinoni and Cynthia Nixon.

Watch the campaign video here.

“We have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to reimagine a city where working New Yorkers get ahead. Families across Queens are struggling to pay rent and put food on the table, now more than ever, we need leadership willing to challenge the status quo. I’ve spent my life taking on power, and I know we can transform our politics together. It’s time to finally put small businesses ahead of big corporations that put profits before people. Prioritize affordable housing over big real estate. Reimagine public safety and pour our resources into a new economy, rather than bailouts for billionaires. That’s why I’m running for Queens Borough President, and with your help, we can make the world a more just and fair place for us all,” said Van Bramer.

Van Bramer is the only candidate for Queens Borough President to reject real estate donations, oppose the city’s mega-jails plan to replace Rikers and lead the fight against Amazon’s plan for a taxpayer subsidized HQ2. Van Bramer is committed to a reduction of at least $1 billion in the NYPD and reallocating those funds to incarceration alternatives; placing a moratorium on luxury development and creating more affordable housing; building a network of protected bike lanes all across Queens; creating more public hospitals; and building a new, community-driven land use process.

Senator Jessica Ramos said, “After years of disinvestment in our communities, Queens was rocked by this pandemic. Thousands lost their lives, and even more, are grieving their loved ones while struggling to make ends meet. We need a leader who will put Queens first—standing up for small businesses, workers, and tenants, not the status quo. We need a Borough President who will use his power to curb luxury development and prioritize housing for all. Someone willing to fight for the future we deserve, rather than cozying up to power. Jimmy Van Bramer is that leader: He’s spent his career fighting for working families, immigrants, and women. That’s why I’m proud to endorse Jimmy for Queens Borough President.”

Assembly Member Ron Kim said, “Jimmy Van Bramer is the fighter Queens families need now, because he knows first hand what it means to overcome poverty and take on power. We need someone who will seize the moment to truly reimagine a Queens that’s pro-small business, pro-housing, and pro-people. Someone who knows that it’s time to finally make billionaires and millionaires pay their fair share. And someone who won’t sell out our communities to the highest bidder. Jimmy has spent his entire career fighting against special interests and as Queens Borough President I trust him to always put people first”

"Jimmy is a champion for working families -- not political bosses, rich donors or big corporations -- and he isn’t afraid of taking on the status quo.  He's been doing it his whole life, from the time he started his career organizing for ground-breaking campaign finance reform, to taking on the Queens machine to win his seat in the City Council. In office Jimmy works every day to defend immigrant communities, fight for safer streets and functioning public transit, and make sure our neighbors don’t go hungry as the COVID-19 pandemic ravages our city. Now more than ever, Queens needs a progressive fighter willing to stand up for the hard working people of Queens.  That’s why I’m proud to offer my endorsement once again for Jimmy Van Bramer for Borough President,” said Cynthia Nixon.

Van Bramer has been friends with Christine Marinoni — Cynthia Nixon’s wife — for over twenty-five years. They first met in the early 1990's when they were both active in the Irish Lesbian and Gay Organization's fight to march in the St. Patrick's Day Parade. Van Bramer met Nixon later when she started organizing with Alliance for Quality Education and became a leading voice on education equity.

“I’m proud to support Jimmy Van Bramer for Borough President, because Queens needs a real progressive who can’t be bought off by developers, billion dollar corporations, or big money donors. Queens doesn’t need more party politicians beholden to special interests looking to squeeze out working families. Jimmy has proven that he's not afraid to take on power and win. From defeating Amazon, to defying the party bosses, to organizing to get money out of politics, Jimmy is the true progressive choice for Queens Borough President and the leader we need now,” said Zephyr Teachout.

Teachout is a nationally recognized anti-corruption activist, an expert on constitutional and antitrust law, as well as a leading voice to get big money out of politics. Three days after Trump took office, she was part of the team of lawyers that filed Citizens for Responsibility in Ethics in Washington v. Trump accusing the President of violating the Emoluments Clauses of the Constitution.

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.