Today, New York City Council Deputy Leader Jimmy Van Bramer- a candidate for Queens Borough President- endorsed Juan Ardila- a candidate for City Council District 30. Both candidates are running people-powered campaigns that uplift Queens' working families.
"I am thrilled to endorse Juan Ardila for City Council District 30 as we fight for a Queens that works for all of us! Ardila will be a vocal champion in the Council for affordable housing, education equity, small businesses, and working families," said Van Bramer.
"Jimmy has been a fighter for working class New Yorkers in the City Council for over a decade. I'm proud to have his endorsement of our campaign, which only further broadens our strong coalition of Democratic support and reconfirms there is only one Democrat running for Council in District 30," said Ardila.
Last Saturday, Van Bramer and Ardila, along with Jen Gutierrez- candidate in CD 34- took a walking tour of small businesses in Ridgewood. The candidates heard from small business owners about their concerns, and discussed plans for commercial rent control, pandemic relief, and other protections.
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. Van Bramer is a staunch advocate for the fully-affordable Phipps housing in his own Sunnyside neighborhood, and co-sponsors two long-standing small business protection bills- Small Business Jobs Survival Act and Commercial Rent Control in the New York City Council.
Background on Ardila
As a first-generation American and New Yorker, Juan Ardila is running for City Council to improve the quality of life for all residents of District 30 the way his parents and community did for him when he was growing up in Maspeth. Juan's experience includes working for the International Rescue Committee, City Councilman Brad Lander, as a dual-language consultant for the DOE, and currently for a legal service nonprofit to guarantee that all New Yorkers have access to the legal representation they deserve. As the first Latino to run for Council in District 30, Juan wants to bring his district together with inclusive politics that leaves no one behind.
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.