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Van Bramer Announces That He is Running for Queens Borough President

Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (Photo: City Hall)

April 24, 2019 By Christian Murray

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer announced today that he is running for Queens borough president.

The announcement came as little surprise as he formed a campaign committee in February geared for such a run and has made his intentions known for some time that he wants the job.

Van Bramer, who represents the 26th District, made the announcement via social media and said that he will officially launch his campaign on May 5.

“For the past 10 years, I’ve proudly served Western Queens in the City Council. I hope I’ve shown you that I am a tireless advocate, a progressive leader for change who fights for our communities and gets results,” he wrote. “With your help, we can make progressive change on a much larger scale.”

Van Bramer is in his final term as a council member and will be forced to vacate his office at the end of 2021. He has said that he is not interested in pursuing a position in Albany but one where he can focus on Queens.

Melinda Katz, the current borough president, will be term limited in 2021. However, she is currently running to be the next Queens District Attorney and if she wins the race she would vacate her seat in 2020.

A special election for borough president would be held early next year to fill her spot. Both Democrats and Republicans could run in that race–much like the recent public advocate race.

Katz is viewed by many as the favorite to win the District Attorney race.

Van Bramer has been a controversial figure in the past year. He was an outspoken critic of Amazon’s plan to establish its second headquarter in Long Island City. He panned the company over its union policies and questioned why the company needed hefty tax incentives.

He was caught in the middle of a heated debate in Sunnyside and Woodside when he advocated for protected bicycle lanes on Skillman Avenue and 43rd Avenue.

But Van Bramer touts his lifelong ties to Queens and his progressive values.

“I have deep roots in Queens,” Van Bramer said in February at the time he formed his campaign committee. “I was born and raised in Queens. I went to public schools in Astoria and then to St. John’s for college,” he said.

Van Bramer also noted that he worked for the Queens Library for 11 years and was the president of the Queens Council on the Arts from 2004-2006. He was also a member of Community Board 2.

“I am also part of the changing face of Queens and I believe that the borough has become more progressive—particularly the Democrats,” he said.

The borough president does have significant local influence. For instance, the borough president is in charge of appointing the members of each community board. Board members get to weigh in on issues such as the granting of liquor licenses to street redesigns.

Additionally, the borough president gets to play an advisory role when it comes to rezonings. They get to make a non-binding recommendations, which do carry weight. The borough president also has a pool of funds that can be allocated toward parks and other projects.

Van Bramer has been preparing to run for the borough president job for some time and has about $340,000 on hand.

He has a strong history of raising large sums. Van Bramer generated more than $550,000 for his city council race in 2017, one of the highest among council members.

He will be holding a campaign kickoff party at his Sunnyside Gardens home on May 5.

email the author: [email protected]

63 Comments

Sunnysider

Thanks Jimmy for representing our district! I will be donating to your campaign and voting for you.

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Go Already

Just like Janus the two-faced god …… says one things and then does the opposite. Pretends to love/support the neighborhood but then votes for things contrary to the peoples’ voice/will as long as it satisfies his own personal agenda/needs. Goodbye Jimmy! Can’t wait to see you go!!!

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Little Jimmy

I hope JVB and his election team read these comments. Probably 95% negative. Does he understand why? Or is he deluded and thinks he is a good politician? Probably deluded, he did supported Cynthia Nixon for governor after all.

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Anonymous

He honestly doesn’t really care. His ego convinces himself in a second that it is really our problem and not himself and it’s onto the next photo-op and articles that feature so many “I” statements to convince himself. Count the number of “I”s in the recent newsletter.

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anybody but van bramer

He objected to 25 thousand jobs in his own borough and when amazon decided against coming to western queens, him and that fool Cortez had the audacity to gloat about it. Now he wants to be the borough president. Just shows how poorly grounded he is that he believes he can win

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Les Grossman

Judas Van Bramer….I will vote for any candidate who opposes this backstabbing clown

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Mike

What a joke JVB is. Just trying to continue to collect a paycheck for not doing enough to address the major issues with this neighborhood. Crime, Taxes, Homeless Shelters, and Rent have shot up up the past few years. Quality of life has gone down. What is he good for?

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Woodside Warrior

Queens deserves better…Save whats left of your dignity VB. Just hang it up, and go away. Forever.

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LIC RESIDENT AND NEIGHBOR

He’s as corrupt as they come. How much can this community take? Amazing how this politician thinks we are all so stupid. Let’s educate ourselves, does this man stand for families/ jobs, safety? I don’t think so. He aligned himself with Cynthia Nixon, Qns District Attorney candidate Caban who favors releasing criminals, He was instrumental in killing 25,000 Amazon jobs. He jumped on the progessive bandwagon because he saw what happened to Joe Crowley. Crowley had it coming and Ocasio Cortez represents us properly, so far we will see where she stands until the next election cycle, but Jimmy with him its an act, a show, he’s a phony and it’s all about the money with him.

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A minimouse

Yeah but those jobs weren’t for everyday folks. They were meant for Berkley graduates, accountants, administrators ect. Not to mention the spike in rent increases.

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Arvin

I am born and raised in Queens and JVB certainly does not represent my values..in fact it’s quite insulting when he professes to represent Queens Values….I think he’d be of better service to the community if he was waiting tables or working as a barrista at Aubergine Cafe!!!!

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Anonymous

I can’t wait until Sunnyside, Woodside, and Long Island City residents publicly campaign for his democratic opponent. What a message to the rest of Queens voters that will be. Who else is running? Send me their posters for my house window! Sunnysiders should all place the opponent’s posters in their window.

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Sir Walter Raleigh

Oh boy this must be the drunken bunch who hang out at Jack’s Fire Dept making all these negative comments. I occasionally go in there to take in the local color and they really do not disappoint.

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Woodside resident

Hey – I grew in Astoria and went to school too so that qualify me to for boro president !!
GET OUT Jimmy – you destroyed our block with homeless shelter on QB & 53 St. So many calls/complains to office and NOT once did you come by to address us. SHAME ON YOU .

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JVB's phone

He lives near me in Sunnyside Gardens. Doesn’t say hello or even acknowledge you. Always on his phone. The life of a very important person.

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VelvetKnight

Will be interesting to see how much the people raging about the street improvements represent the average Queens resident, as opposed to just being the loudest.

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Gardens Watcher

The only thing that matters is the final vote count, and no one vote is louder than any other. So make sure to vote!

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Anonymous

Let’s be clear. There is NO WAY this man will be elected to this position. He is the prime example of spineless leadership. He is transparently self serving and has burned all his bridges. Not happening.

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Gardens Watcher

Why do we even have Borough Presidents? Seems like a ceremonial job to me. Community Board members could just be nominated by the council person or apply on their own. Any nominee has to submit an application and be subject to a background check and financial scrutiny to make sure there’s no conflict of interest, right?

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No bagels for Sunnyside until it behaves

I’m sure you noticed the citywide referendum on limiting CB terms and power. So, nope.

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Curlicue58

You let them extend the 7 train & spent 2.6 BILLION OF OUR MONEY AND NOW WE SHOULD PAY AN INCREASE IN FARE WITH THE 7 still NOT WORKING, what drugs are u on? Take the money you, the Mayor & Governor got smeared & give it back!

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Princess Vespa

What drugs are YOU on? The 7 has been stellar considering what it used to be.

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Concerned Sunnysider

No, no, no thank you! Focus on cleaning up the local crime in this neighborhood FIRST. Seems like everyday it’s something new!

People in this neighborhood pay way too damn much to have to worry about crime!

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SunnysideUP

How can he ever be trusted after what happened with Amazon?! He played ALL the cards wrong. If he is the voice of his people and his community why didn’t he give them voice?? I hate bringing it up again but when you are in the public eye you should expect that the mistakes you make will follow you though your entire carrier. #VanBramer (well…yeah unless you are Trump. In that case you are invisible!)

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Brian

Borough president is just a made up job to give term limited politicians a few more years of taking bribes.

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Anonymous

HAHAHAHAHA this fool thinks he’s going to win. I hope not only he loses but he gets embarrassed. Nobody likes this fool, he has ruin this once beautiful neighborhood. Especially with these stupid bike lanes. I wish nothing but the worst for this individual.

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No more JVB

The man is a lightweight. Queens needs better. I wonder if Cynthia Nixon will campaign for him. He did support her for governor. She was as qualified to be governor as he is to be borough president.

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Gardens Watcher

LOL. Nixon couldn’t find her way around Queens if she tried!

Doubt he’ll be getting endorsements from the Gov or the Mayor, two people he would need to work well with as QB Pres.

He would really like to have AOC’s endorsement, but my hunch is she will wait to see who else is running (if she even endorses anyone), just in case someone else more progressive with a “changing face of Queens” jumps into the race.

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sick of all the politicians

Amazing how all these politicos jump from one elected job to another.
Why don’t they try and seek employment in the private sector and see what life is really about. No nothings and do nothings except line their pockets.

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Oh, Lily

“Progressive values = we want something for nothing and expect the taxpayers to foot the bill. We hate people who work for a living or are married and have children. Rules for you but not for us. We want your kids to be stuck in rotten public schools and we resent successful people who actually have studied and work. We also think you should be able to kill your babies after they are born. They take up too much space. And we hate cows. ” That’s the translation. I could to on, but I think you understand.

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Arvin

Thank You, Thank You!!! You are not alone!!! There are still people who have REAl VALUES that will vote!!!

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Oh, Lily

Jimmy sold out the neighborhood countless times. He is all about pandering to the identity of the moment. Don’t forget his silly endorsement of Cynthia Nixon and his endorsement of the worst candidate ever for District Attorney because she is gay and wants to release criminals and go after ICE for doing what it is supposed to do: protecting Americans. It’s all about identity politics for Jimmy. And don’t start on the bike lanes: they are a disaster but I’m sure he and the Ocasio-Cortez woman can go biking together. Notice him standing next to Melissa Marx-Viverito, the woman who supported having an FALN terrorist lead the Puerto Rican day parade last year. It was so bad that even that other loser, and worse mayor ever, DeBlasio, stayed blocks away from them. Jimmy is the “radical” du jour. He should go back to shelving books in the library.

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Go away

He’s standing next to Mark-Viverito because they are the same. Minor politicians hanging around on the edge trying to leech off the system in some way. They won’t go away. Addicted to publicity. Couldn’t hold a private sector job. She ran for Public Advocate and lost and still won’t go away. He’ll lose the vote for borough president, but I bet he’ll still be hanging around one way or another. Trying different things to get publicity.

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Roxy

Good luck to him, but who will be running to replace him locally? One shudders at some of the possibilities.

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Anonymous

He has ruined any chance of anyone in his office associated with him getting elected to take over in 2021! Would be more of the same and Sunnyside, Woodside, and LIC want a totally new person without any ties to the leadership we have experienced in his second and third terms. Power can really change a person and their ego. Sadly, he is not the same, humble man he was in his first term. Different party and values but he is so similiar to Trump in his leadership style, ego, self-importance and believes we all work for him instead of the other way around. Unfortunately, he never reflects on anything we have to say or these words are dismissed in his mind, unless it is a chess move for his own glory, publicity and personal next step. The only positive thing about the Amazon and lying to us about the his true beliefs on the bike lanes (once caught had to apologize for deceiving the public and CB2 for a year) is that it has showcased his leadership to a wider audience for whom may have been fooled. Looking at the uniformity of these comments, it is embarrassing that his own neighborhood in Queens is against him even running, besides being possibly elected, for Queens Borough President. The other candidates should have a field day with this fact! But, he will just dismiss it or be insulting as he always does.

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Bernadette Barrett

Stop bringing President Trump into everything…he has accomplished so much and JVB nothing. You obviously have hatred for Our President but to bring him into every dispute is meaningless. Look what the Dems have done to our neighborhood. That says it all.

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MJ Drage

Two years ago I’d have been right behind JVB. After the Queens Blvd, Skillman Ave, 43rd Ave fiascos and that shameful exhibition over Amazon … Good-bye!

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Jimmyvanlamer

I mean he was all in when they closed down the union Foodtown and changed it to a ctown that was paying it’s employees off the books up until they sold it. He was even at the opening shaking hands. He only does stuff for appearance sake.

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joe

he just killed 25-50,000 Amazon jobs. Honestly I cant trust this man even though I once did like what he was doing. The Amazon debacle will follow this man to the grave.

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Crazy Bezos Worshipper

Nope. Amazon saw that Queens was full of nuts like you and Josh B and they got out as soon as they could.

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Gerry

The only nut on here is you with your multiple names and childish statements.Go with him and we’ll be done with two annoying losers!

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VelvetKnight

But you’re trusting Amazon’s claim about 25,000 jobs, despite how many times similar promises have turned up false?

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Come on

If you have any brains you don’t NEED to trust amazon, you can do the math yourself. This is why you shouldn’t put dumb people in decision making positions.

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VelvetKnight

Ok, if it’s that easy, let’s see your math.

Please prove mathematically that Amazon’s promise of how many people they will hire and what their salaries will be is true.

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Crackson Heights

How do you know these were guaranteed jobs for new Yorkers ? Also they left on their own when people started asking these types of questions. Or do you just trust the word of oligarchs like a good obedient peasant should ?

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SunnysideUp

The deal is that they would only get the tax breaks IF they had created the jobs.

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Go Jimmy go!

Jimmy has been a fantastic rep for our neighborhood and for Queens in city council. Fully support his bid!

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