Today, the League of Independent Theater endorsed Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens Borough President and his people-powered campaign to uplift Queens working families.
Van Bramer is the only candidate for Queens Borough President to reject real estate money, uplift small businesses, and put working people first. A leading champion for the arts and the Open Culture program, Van Bramer serves as the New York City Council's chair of the Cultural Affairs, Libraries, and International Intergroup Relations Committee where he's fought for independent artists his whole career.
"Jimmy Van Bramer has always been a great champion for the people of Queens, including the independent artists that call Queens home. We trust Jimmy Van Bramer to continue fighting for equity, justice, and the public good with his trademark positivity and energy. There is no stronger leader for Queen than Jimmy Van Bramer," said Aimee Todoroff, Managing Director- League of Independent Theater.
"Independent artists are the defining light in this city, and I'm proud to fight alongside the League of Independent Theater to make this city the kind of place that supports, values, and uplifts artists," said Jimmy Van Bramer. "We know that New York won't recover without the arts, and I am committed to open culture, pandemic relief, and small business protections for the millions of artists who make New York the cultural envy of the world."
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.
Queens Library Guild Local 1321
National Association of Social Workers- New York City
Senator Jessica Ramos
Assembly Member Ron Kim
Council candidates John Choe, Moumita Ahmed, Aleda Gagarin
Former Sen. Tom Duane
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.