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PODCAST: We Talk to Brent O’Leary, Candidate for the 26th District Council Seat

July 31, 2020 By Christian Murray

At the end of next year, 11 council members in Queens will be forced to step down due to term limits.

Dozens of candidates have already come forward looking to replace them, and will be competing in next June’s Democratic primaries for those spots.

In Queens, only four council members — Barry Grodenchik, Adrienne Adams, Robert Holden and Francisco Moya — are eligible for another term. They too will be facing challengers.

We plan to speak to as many candidates running for office in Queens as possible from now through to the primaries.

Today, we speak to Long Island City resident Brent O’Leary. He is running for the 26th District Council seat currently held by Jimmy Van Bramer.

The 26th Council district covers Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and a portion of Astoria.

If you are running for office and wish to be interviewed, e-mail us at [email protected]

email the author: [email protected]

9 Comments

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The price is wrong

Interesting interview, but it may be moot either way because Brent O’Leary’s coalition appears to be falling apart at the seams! One inherent problem with the bumbling ad-hoc Queens Streets coalition was that the purported “12K” constituents Brent saw as a political opportunity were always going to be at odds with one another over parking. This is playing out beautifully right now.

Karma has struck doubly: restaurants need to use the mostly metered parking in front of their stores because they cannot serve customers indoors. This has enraged some residents who drive frequently, and the Queens Streets conspiracy troll group appears to be siding with them in going against the open streets and street seating that is vital for business.

It will be interesting to see how Brent treads the line between supporting small businesses, who represent a tiny minority of primary voters, and the self-interested minority of residents that still follow Queens Streets for All as they descend into one of the ugliest NIMBY groups in city history.

Does Brent have the savvy to distance himself from QS4A while pivoting to rebuild a new coalition? There is time. But for most the opportunistic participation with Queens Streets will be a bridge too far. The progressives will likely coalesce around another candidate and leave Brent to do what he does best: selflessly volunteer to raise his political profile.

Keep up the good work, Brent! You will be more needed in the non-profit sector, believe me!

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A race to watch

Good interview and start to what will be a race that will get attention beyond the local, with Western Queens the forefront of politics, coronavirus, development and climate issues. Well worth the 25 minutes. It will be hard to match O’Leary’s level of unpaid interest and participation in the district so far.

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This comment got way better the second time

Anything to say about the 26th council, or just “jimmy bad?”

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Celticparker

Brent O’ Leary is a great civic leader and has been for many years – BUT when he says that taking one Billion dollars from the NYPD is not ” defunding ” he is already speaking like a
politician.

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#wheresjimmy?

Nice guy but another blue check liberal
At this point anyone better than jimmy

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Socialism = feudalism

Wish we had term limits in Congress too. Keep the flow of new people coming every few years. Stagnant water is dirty water.

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