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RWDSU, Make The Road Action, NY Communities for Change, Christian Smalls Endorse Jimmy Van Bramer For Queens BP

Workers Rights Coalition Kicks Off Early Voting

Ahead of the start of early voting, Jimmy Van Bramer, candidate for Queens Borough President, received four major worker rights’ endorsements: Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), Make the Road Action, New York Communities for Change, and Amazon Union leader Christian Smalls.

Van Bramer is the first candidate for Queens Borough President to reject real estate contributions, and lead the fight against Amazon HQ2 in his Long Island City Council District. He opposed Amazon HQ2 because of the company’s horrible track record on workers’ rights, its facial recognition contracts with ICE and DHS, and the impact on Queens’ housing affordability. Pro-Amazon forces are spending thousands of dollars against Van Bramer in digital attack ads, falsely accusing him as “anti-union” and “anti-Queens.” Allies in the fight against Amazon HQ2 and those organizing for a safer, unionized workplace are teaming up to push back against these claims and work towards getting Van Bramer elected.

As Deputy Leader of the City Council, Jimmy Van Bramer has sponsored critical workers’ rights and immigrant rights’ bills including paid sick leave and ending stop-and-frisk. He is also a sponsor of Commercial Rent Control and the Small Business Jobs Survival Act, which would protect Queens’ small businesses and local economy. He has also been a vocal advocate for cultural institutions, libraries, and the environment.

Early voting begins June 12th and the election is on June 22nd.

“Queens thrives when we have a workers’ rights leader in Borough Hall and that’s Jimmy Van Bramer. Jimmy was raised by labor parents, and fought alongside us in the Amazon HQ2 fight to demand that Amazon treat its workers better and for unionized good-paying jobs. The same coalition that fought against Amazon HQ2 and its continuing union busting practices stands behind Jimmy because he knows that a Queens that works for all means an economy that lifts up everyone. The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union proudly endorses Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens Borough President,” said Stuart Appelbaum, President of the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU).

“Jimmy Van Bramer fought against Amazon because he knew it was a bad deal for immigrant workers in Queens, standing up instead for real, good paying jobs. He took on the richest corporation in the world, and as Borough President, we know he’ll fight for the local businesses and good jobs that working families need. We’re proud to endorse our long time friend, Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens Borough President,” said Luis Gil, Make the Road Action.

“Jimmy Van Bramer has not only pledged to stand up against Big Real Estate and mega-corporations that threaten working families in Queens— he’s already done it and won. From the start, we knew that HQ2 was a bad deal for Black and Brown communities, and Jimmy Van Bramer fought alongside us for real, good paying jobs. New York Communities for Change is thrilled to endorse Jimmy Van Bramer for Queens Borough President,” said Jonathan Westin, Executive Director at New York Communities for Change.

“As Amazon warehouse workers, my former colleagues and I didn’t sign up to be the prime targets of a deadly disease. Amazon treats its workers as disposable and then tosses out anyone who tries to organize a union. Jimmy Van Bramer knew that Amazon would not provide the type of jobs that it promised in HQ2, and fought tooth and nail against the largest corporation in the world. I’m proud to endorse his campaign for Queens Borough President because we need a champion who will stand up for frontline workers,” said Christian Smalls, founder of the Amazon Labor Union.

“It’s incredible to have the support of this powerhouse trio of workers rights organizations: Make the Road Action, New York Communities for Change, and the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union. We were on the frontlines fighting back against a multi-billion dollar tax giveaway to the wealthiest, most anti-worker corporation in the world — right here in Queens – and together we won with and for workers. I’ve spent my life defending working families like the one I came from, and I’ll always put them first. People like Christian Smalls, who had the courage to stand up to Amazon and demand dignity in the middle of a global health pandemic. As Queens Borough President I won’t be beholden to big real estate, mega-corporations, or the big money donors who want to keep us down. Together we can build a Queens that works for all,” said Jimmy Van Bramer.

Van Bramer and his people-powered campaign prioritize a just recovery, uplifting small businesses, and putting communities at the center of the land use process. Born and raised in Astoria, Queens, 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.

Van Bramer is a life-long progressive activist who’s been fighting machine politics for over two decades. Van Bramer rose to Deputy Leader of the New York City Council and is a founding member of the progressive caucus of the New York City Council. Before being elected to the City Council, he organized for LGBTQ rights, public financing of elections, and for the Queens Public Library.

Van Bramer is endorsed by Queens Library Guild Local 1321 (part of DC37), National Association of Social Workers— New York City, The League of Independent Theater, Senator Jessica Ramos, Assembly Member Ron Kim, Zephyr Teachout, Cynthia Nixon, Brad Lander, and a slate of progressive City Council candidates. Learn more at www.jimmyvanbramer.nyc.