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Editorial: Van Bramer Needs to Put Pettiness Aside, Act Like a Leader

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (Photo: NYC Council)

July 14, 2020 Editorial

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has gone AWOL.

He has not answered one question put to him this year by the Queens Post publications—after nearly 10 years of quick responses and lengthy statements.

What’s changed?

The Queens Post ran an article Jan. 20 covering the borough president debate that was held in Sunnyside. The article contained some strong accusations leveled against him by Donovan Richards.

Richards challenged Van Bramer’s anti real estate stance–saying that it was prompted by the emergence of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and that he had taken hefty contributions from the real estate industry for years.

He also said that Van Bramer had supported the Queens County Democratic Machine at times, despite saying he staunchly opposed it.

Our reporter naturally researched Richards’ arguments and reported on them.

She found that Van Bramer had taken tens of thousands of dollars from big real estate developers for many years, while noting that the council member stopped accepting them in 2018.

Additionally, our reporter revealed that Van Bramer had contributed large sums in 2017 to support candidates who were part of the Queens County Democratic machine. She also noted that he backed Joseph Crowley, the leader of the so-called machine, in 2018 when he ran against Ocasio-Cortez.

Van Bramer has ignored the publication ever since that article ran. E-mails and texts to his staff have not been acknowledged.

E-mails last week to Van Bramer’s staff asking him about an anti-Semitic incident in Woodside were ignored.

E-mails asking him about his thoughts pertaining to the development plans in Long Island City–ignored.

Constant texts to Van Bramer’s chief of staff Matt Wallace, who the publication has had a good relationship with for many years, have been unanswered.

Last week, a young freelance reporter of ours looking to launch a writing career managed to get through to Van Bramer. The reporter, 18 years of age, asked him for comment concerning a Sunnysider who had established an outdoor library on Skillman Avenue.

Van Bramer’s response to the reporter: “Yeah… it’s not personal to you. I made a decision in January to not respond to anything from the SP [QueensPost].”

The Jan. 20 article that drew Van Bramer’s ire also detailed the campaign contributions Donovan Richards had received from the real estate industry and his associations with the Queens County Democratic machine.

Richards, unlike Van Bramer, has responded to e-mails and provided statements to the publication since.

Van Bramer is a civil servant and has a responsibility in a healthy democracy to answer to the press. He shouldn’t pick and choose who he responds to based on whether a publication puts him in a good light on not.

The publication has been very complimentary to him over the years. There have been many stories about the good work he has done to bring schools to the district, revamp local parks and combat discrimination.

The publication even honored him at our 10 year anniversary party in December, which he attended.

The role of the Queens Post, however, is not to be a cheerleader for Van Bramer. Our role is to report the news good or bad.

Van Bramer might read this and attack the publication. He might look at the comment section (which is no different than what’s on social media) and attack us for it—despite having never done so in the past 10 years.

Maybe he will claim fake news. Who knows.

We hope, however, he takes the high road and addresses these findings– or at the very least responds to the publication in the future.

The publication is owned and operated by two immigrants– one from the Philippines and the other from New Zealand– and our goal is not to create division.

We just want to report the local news and try to let the community know what’s going on like we always have. However, in doing that, we are dependent on our leaders to step up and provide us with the information needed in order to do so.

Czarinna Andres and Christian Murray, co-publishers of the Queens Post.

 

email the author: [email protected]

39 Comments

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Edd

STAND UP FOR YOUR COMMUNITY. History will remember you as the man who ran away. Can’t wait to ever run into you in sunnyside so I can sarcastically tell you what a great job your doing. What will it take for JVB to actually say something the death of an innocent child? Is that what it would have to take Jimmy? Do us all a favor and just resign and head to Sahara Desert to open up some more bike lanes. You are definitely the worst human to come out of Queens and thats saying a lot with 45 in the White House.

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arvin

The little guy has more important things to do. Such as drag queen storytime, self defense classes and concentrating on that special intrest job down the road

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DSA & DM Dromm

We just want to report the local news and try to let the community know what’s going on like we always have. However, in doing that, we are dependent on our leaders to step up and provide us with the information needed in order to do so.

Czarinna Andres and Christian Murray, co-publishers of the Queens Post.

> Can the co-publishers discuss any “information needed” from DSA Queens while reporting on the incident concerning DM Dromm? Did you reach out to that party for their point of view? Were those texts unanswered? Did you send texts emails or DMs to Jonathan Bailey? The JH Post coverage made no mention of such.

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christianmurray

Yes. The Jackson Heights Post did reach out to the DSA– however it was not Mr. Bailey. We were unable to get a response, although in retrospect we should have pushed harder to get one. It was a big hole in the story not having comment from them.

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Anonymous

But its a digital article, surely you can add a correction? So and so could not be reached for comment. Or did the comment come too slow, I don’t understand.

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Old Guard

Please give point-by-point evidence to support your assertion that bike lanes have been a “huge positive” for the neighborhood. I haven’t heard anyone else say that. Thank you.

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New guard

Simple. Just look at the crash statistics. It’s a no brainer.

Please do not give point-by-point opinions on why the facts don’t matter. There is already a Facebook page devoted to that, and we’ve heard enough of her incoherent opinions. Thank you!

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SuperWittySmitty

I heard many people say they love the bike lanes. I’ve read comments here from residents applauding the. Furthermore, I’ve seen many bike riders using them, more than ever. They’re here to say and your noisy, exhaust-spewing, and often dangerous car is being phased out, whether you realize it or not.

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Save the Robots

If we look at the crash statistics for morons going the wrong way in bike lanes hitting pedestrians, that tells a different story.

Bike lanes in NYC make zero sense. All it did was put more idiots on two wheels who can barely manage on two feet.

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Wendy

I seen his interviews throughout the pandemic on Spectrum ny1. Hopefully Jimmy is working on a rent freeze or mandatory rent forgiveness for all tenants that are not able to pay rent. My landlord has been on my case about the rent i owe and i will soon seek the free legal assistance the city is providing for those having trouble. I am not going anywhere.

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Anon

Don’t be a deadbeat. Figure out a way to pay the money that you owe. You have a legal, moral and ethical obligation to do so. Your landlord lived up to his end of your contract and it is time for you to do the same.

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Blah

This is hilarious. You’re the press complaining your cozy relationship with a politician soured. Somehow I don’t think this will do the trick.

Insert green shirt guy laughing meme.

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Al from Sunnyside

Hard to believe that Mr. JVB won’t spend time dealing with a reputable publication like this. I think the tagline should be “fair and balanced” as far as I know, it’s not being used by anyone else.

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Sad

Vanbramer was hardworking, with convictions with a bright future. Now he acts like a czar. He is preoccupied with vindictiveness. He needs anger management.He is getting paid. Maybe he has issues we don’t know about. You people close to him. He needs help or it is on you.

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John O

The real news is that the Queens Post has finally published what has been commonly known for a long time: Jimmy Van Bramer is a world-class hypocrite. The editorial essentially admits that the Queens Post has fostered a mutually beneficial symbiotic relationship with Mr. Van Bramer and now bemoans that he apparently is no longer holding up his end of the Faustian bargain. Perhaps now the Queens Post will start reporting on notable examples of Mr. Van Bramer’s BS, like whatever happened to the $6.5 million in improvements for the Woodside Library Mr. Van Bramer touted two years ago in a photo op with Joe Crowley at the Library two weeks before primary election day in Mr. Crowley’s race against Alexanderia Ocasio-Cortez?

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Save the Robots

Ever since he latched onto All-Out-Communist he’s lost the script. He cares more about drag queen story hours than the monumental problems facing his constituents.

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MY very very far LEFT FOOT

I am a slightly left of center democrat.
I didn’t vote for AOC as she is way to extreme left(Commie/Socialist )for me. I voted for Jimmy thinking he was maybe just a little more left than me but boy was I wrong. I want the city and my country to make progress and move forward but I’m not looking to start a revolution like some folks out there with People like Jimmy as their willing cheerleader adding fuel to the fire. All this anti NYPD stuff from Jimmy. Leaders like him are a good part of the reason Thugs are taking over and the Cops are very shy about putting out the fires especially when vilified by Jimmy types.

Not only is he not doing anything to help the situation, he is making things worse with his anti NYPD rants. Time to Defund Jimmy and his like minded buddies on the council. Time to apologize to the families of all the recent victims, Just Yesterday a 18 month old was murdered. I think his life matters more than some murderer. Yea Jimmy get your water pistol and go round up some murderers.

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Berkeley Towers

He hasn’t gotten back to a group of residents who emailed him and sent a letter regarding the unauthorized use of Windmueller Park on July 4th for fireworks. A number of violent incidents occurred (weapons were used knives and bats etc.) during the event. Neighbors in the area were subjected to many disturbances until 10:00am. Woodside residents want answers from our elected officials that includes the police and community board 2 on whether this event was sanctioned or not. Letters went to all three and as of today (7/14/2020) we have never received a response

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It's my party and I'll cry if I want to...

The democrat party is currently in transition from simply a left-of-center mainstream, patriot ic American political party to a full-blown, in-your-face marxist, America-hating cabal.

Van Bramer is staying off the radar until he knows who will ultimately prevail.

He’s probably not a communist, just an opportunist.

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LIC DIRECT

JVB has smily face errand boy gopher syndrome. I knew he was a phoney the one time I shook his hand it felt like a dead fish. It’s never JVB’s fault. His political career is over he made wrong choices failed to back Amazon, jobs, or stand up to the Mayor WHEN they converted hundreds of hotel rooms in the district into homeless shelters. He failed CB2 and he should not expect to have a school or local park named after him like Walter McCaffrey who properly served and defended his community tooth and nail. JVB failed this community played the wrong cards and is done politically.

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Gardens Watcher

The debate on Jan.20 for QB Pres was pretty lively, with some pretty rough accusations thrown in all directions to all of the candidates SP coverage was fair. Perhaps JVB was caught off-guard in his own backyard, but he shouldn’t have been.

As for coverage over the years, SP has sometimes bordered on cheerleading for JVB. I am glad to see our local publication address this, but I am disturbed to read JVB is non-responsive to your outreach.

As for his political career, he has chosen to buck the party ever since Crowley lost the primary to AOC. He endorsed Nixon over Cuomo, and Caban over Katz, and ran against “the machine” in his run for QB President. It remains to be seen who the winner of that race will be, but he is doing himself no favors by hiding from the press. Facebook posts aren’t a viable substitute.

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Dave

He use to chant “He will not divide us” but alas now it’s Jimmy wants to avoid us.

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Pot meet kettle

What’s changed? Seriously? Putting it lightly, and with all due respect to the publishers, QP has been less than fair to Van Bramer lately. The article “Keehan-Smith Says Her Ousting as CB2 Chair Was ‘A Hit Job By Jimmy Van Bramer'” is a recent salient example of biased reporting.
Only the accuser and sources who agreed with her were quoted. Passages like “Keehan-Smith’s demise—at least on the surface—stems from a complaint” appear to lend credence to the unsubstantiated idea that it was some kind of political conspiracy. There was no attempt to investigate the complaint or get counterpoint to balance the story. The rapid succession of stories about this in that week read more like advocacy for Ms. Keehan-Smith than journalism. [My admittedly scathing comment to that effect was not posted, but I hope you don’t make the same mistake again.]

In a recent article about Van Bramer’s opposition to yet another megadevelopment I asked “Why so much hate?” in the comments section. It is as clear to Mr. Van Bramer’s supporters as it is to the councilman himself, that there has been an orchestrated “confidential” campaign to end his political career after he came out in support of protected bike lanes in Sunnyside that have been a huge positive for the neighborhood.
An alarming byproduct of the sustained political attacks by his “former friends” has been to insidiously embolden ugly and dangerous HATE in a very real way. A few weeks ago I saw Jimmy and Dan at the farmer’s market. After greeting them I walked by a group of his vocal detractors who were saying that the very sight of him ruined their weekend and loudly joking, within earshot of the council member and his family, about visiting physical harm on him. Other passersby were also shocked and disgusted by such openly expressed hatred. Enough is enough, and we really need to “save our neighborhoods” from the people who have been at this for the last 36 months.

Queens Post should take a look in the mirror and recognize why it has been frozen out by the council member. Maybe you should stop giving credence to his detractors in your reporting before calling him out? Jimmy Van Bramer has the high ground here and owes you nothing.

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Me

Here we go with the bike lanes again..remember when someone put thumb tacks in the lane and JVB wanted a major investigation!!! Now two people are slashed on the train,homeless all over the neighborhood,businesses closed and 4th July weekend was like a war zone and not a peep from him!!!

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SunnysideSince'76

Our neighborhood has gone to crap. Bums, trash, assault and violence ohhh and the random “gate maze” cars have to go through. Irresponsible VB is so far up the “left of center” ars that he can get out to answer your emails or text. But his IG is on and happening with all the wonderful things about his mum, all the great places he & his partner visit. He doesn’t need a local paper since he’s not running local again.

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John the Immigrant

Not surprised at this. These are difficult times in NYC with rising crime, unemployment & people going hungry. My district Councillor remains silent on these issues but yet finds time to comment on potential real estate developments. Jimmy has not risen to the current challenges and should step down.

The hard working people of Woodside and Sunnyside deserve real representation.

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Johnny Cakes

I agree, he is plotting his next move and has to be careful who he may upset so mum’s the word

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DEMOCRATSHATEWORKINGCLASS

More proof of how the democrat party has gone off the rails particularly in NYC.

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Peep I can see you.

So jimmy- instead of standing on skillman peeping through the windows of restaurants looking to see if there might be someone in there that will challenge you before you go in because you dont have “you know what” to go in. Perhaps you should be at home replying to emails and defending your name

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#wheresjimmy?

Jimmy will not respond; he is too busy trying to figure out how to become a lobbyist or do whatever politicians do once they can no longer run. Thank goodness for term limits! Cathy Nolan watch your back – Jimmy needs another job. He is another blue-check progressive who goes whichever way the wind is blowing. He cares about his own street and that is it. The rest of us have seen our parks turn into outdoor homeless shelters and we have seen businesses close. Nothing to see, let’s move on. He can count on his security detail to protect him but the rest of us do not have that luxury. Maybe he can appear in Cynthia Nixon’s next film since he endorsed her.

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Cynthia Nixon?

Wait are you another Trump lover that pretends celebrities are too elite, but you voted for a game show host?

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Kramden's Delicious Marshall

He’s not running for re-election, that’s probably why he phones it in these days. That would be my first guess.

SP is correct. They have given JVB fair coverage over the years.

Then again, the democrat party has gone bat guano insane the last few years as they try to turn the country into Venezuela, so who knows what’s exactly what’s going on in JVB’s mind?

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