Aug. 3, 2018 By Christian Murray
Western Queens Civic Leader Brent O’Leary announced today that he will be running for City Council in 2021 to represent the 26th District, which includes Sunnyside, Woodside, LIC and parts of Astoria.
“I see life getting increasingly difficult for this district, due to rising rents, a crumbling MTA, and out of control development–without the infrastructure we need to support it,” O’Leary said in a statement released Friday. “I am ready to fight for more schools and the community resources we need to keep this a great neighborhood to live, work and raise families in.”
O’Leary is best known for his work with the Hunters Point Civic Association, a Long Island City-based group which he founded 10 years ago, and his advocacy work for schools, public safety and quality of life issues. In recent years, he has focused his organization’s resources on combating over-development in Long Island City, which has seen the largest construction boom in the country.
The Civic Association is also known for its annual food drive, which O’Leary launched four years ago. The group now collects, sorts and delivers 6,000 pounds of food and critical items in the three weeks before Thanksgiving. These items are then delivered to the food pantries at St. Teresa’s Church in Woodside, St. Raphael’s in Long Island City, the Center of Hope in Queensbridge and the pantry at Ravenswood Houses.
He also works extensively with Hour Children which helps provide children of formerly incarcerated women with housing, healthcare and education.
O’Leary is a board member at Woodside On the Move, a member of the Sunnyside Kiwanis and the Long Island City Lions Club.
Politically, O’Leary has served as a voting member of the Democratic National Committee and as a superdelegate for Barack Obama.
“My deep roots in this district date back to my grandparents,” O’Leary said, “who immigrated to America and settled in Sunnyside in the 1930’s.”
O’Leary joked that his grandparents chose Sunnyside because “they wanted to live in the countryside.”
O’Leary was born in Jackson Heights, graduated Trinity College in Hartford Connecticut and Boston University Law School. After working as an attorney in Japan for 10 years, he settled in Long Island City 11 years ago. O’Leary was an attorney for White & Case LLP and Bloomberg LP for 20 years. He recently left his career to dedicate himself full time to public service.
Jimmy Van Bramer, the current City Councilmember for the 26th district, is unable to run again due to term limitations, and has already opened an account to run for citywide office.
For additional information, visit www.olearyforcouncil.com or visit his Facebook page.
Alternate title – “Corporate Shill Runs For Seat He Lost in 2009”
Seriously though – how does this article not mention that he ran in 2009 and placed third? Also – why was this comment previously deleted?
Photo with Cortez – not a good start.
Willing to here what he has to say
I’m in Sunnyside 56 frigging years..No Civic Leaders knows US…WHEN THE HELL DID ALL OF YOU DEPEND ON POLITICIANS..I DEPEND ON MYSELF..FORGET THIS CRAP..WE DON’T NEED ANY CIVIC KIDS TELLING US WHAT TO DO
Don’t think this will go anywhere. No candidate that stands with parking advocates at a rally against street safety on the night school cameras expired should be anywhere near the city council.
Your definitions are all screwy. You must be a TA Automaton. You all parrot the same drastically twisted lines that make no sense to anyone but yourselves. He knows this district way, way better than you do. You only know the roads you want to take over.
Would love to hear your definitions of what that rally was about. The group was transparently organized by the Sunnyside Chamber president around saving parking spaces from day one, even if the Chamber’s board members half-heartedly attempted to be disingenuous about that towards the end.
Also very interested to learn after hearing Mr. O’Leary speak at that rally -and recognizing his talking points- exactly which of the twitter troll accounts that popped up on July 12 are indeed his. I defy the TA Automatons, and I’m sure they’re out there, to out Mr. O’Leary as @savesunnyside or @QueensNative or @SunnysideDad or all three? I’m sure his opponents will love to know as well! As for me, I’m just his neighbor and know this neighborhood every bit as well as he does. He is wrong for elected office.
As long as nobody in JVB’s office runs. Sunnyside needs a major change in leadership, not the calculating and insulting actions that are decided alongside the current office staff which favors JVB’s run for Borough President instead of the best interests and respect of Sunnysiders/Woodsiders by making purposeful ‘unclear’ statements which will deceive all sides on an issue for his own political future.
I had hope until I found out O’Leary is standing with Cortez. Haven’t been “socialist” inclined since I was in my “hippie days” during the sixties and early seventies. Was forced to “grow up”, take responsibility for my life! No more “peace and love” for free. Will have to really think about who will get my vote in coming elections. Will not be voting along party lines. Was very impressed with O’Leary until Cortez alliance.
I see Brett standing next to the awful Cathy Nolan and obnoxious gianaris
Another bad beginning
Nolan has done more for this area than can be counted. She alone, among all the pols in this area, asked constituents if they wanted massive development. She got a resounding “no” for her answer, but was obviously overwhelmed by the “yes” men in our midst.
Nolan needs to be voted out at the next election for her position. Nolan comes out a day after the Community Board 2’s vote for their recommendation regarding the bike lanes. Nolan is like JVB, playing all sides with her words. Unfortunately, the State does not have term limits. It is time for new leadership in Sunnyside/LIC/Woodside.
Can you try to write even one single, normal, complete sentence?
Just curious. Thanks:
Fix the subway.
Brent is one of the good guys that one runs across in various local civic activities. While I don’t agree with his position on every issue, I always felt that Brent takes a position and acts with integrity. I have no doubt that the 26th Council District will be well served if Brent is successful in his campaign.
Standing with Ocasio-Cortez is not a good beginning
Standing on the right side of history and being part of the solution and not part of the problem is the best beginning anyone could effect. The Archie Bunker days are over.
There were very few Archie Bunkers in Queens. I see a swarm of self-important bigots moving in now. They despise anyone outside their own clique of kale-eating, bearded, bike-riding ageists who don’t take Sunnyside as they find it, they believe it needs to be remade in their own superior image.
BlisterSister, I love how you say there were very few Archie Bunkers in Queens while writing an Archie Bunker style diatribe about change in the neighborhood. The new people are remaking Sunnyside, just like your group did when they moved here. That’s the way it’s always worked in New York. Why do you think today is any different?
Self righteous much ? You are obsessed with a television character
I advise him to stay far from jimmy van Judas