Feb. 12, 2018 By Christian Murray
Council member Jimmy Van Bramer has all but announced that he is running for Queens Borough President.
Van Bramer formed the “Van Bramer 2021” committee last week and said that he is limiting contributions to $3,850. That figure is the maximum allowed for the borough president race and well short of the $4,950 permitted for a citywide office such as mayor or public advocate.
“I’m not declaring for any particular office at this time but I am gearing up and beginning to plan for the future,” Van Bramer said in an interview. “Obviously serving as Queens Borough President would be a great honor.”
Van Bramer is in his final term as a council member for the 26th District and will be forced to vacate his office at the end of 2021. He said he is not interested in pursuing a position in Albany but one where he can focus on Queens.
“I have deep roots in Queens,” Van Bramer said. “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.
“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.
He added that he led the largest anti-Trump march in Queens, when 5,000 residents marched over the Queensboro Bridge to Trump Tower in November 2016, and is at the center of the resistance against Trump in Queens. He has incorporated the hashtag #queensvalues as part of the movement.
He said that as a council member he has embraced the LGBT community, immigrant community and arts, as well as focusing on quality of life issues such as improving parks.
He said the formation of the committee is not too early and pointed to Melinda Katz and how she recently formed Katz 2021. “It’s never too early in politics to start fundraising and to start laying the foundations for a race.”
Van Bramer said that he will be rolling over $200,000 from his council campaign committee shortly into Van Bramer 2021 and will begin fundraising.
Van Bramer raised more than $550,000 for the city council race in 2017, one of the higher amounts among council members. He worked with the high profile consultants of Nashban Mansur and BerlinRosen to raise these funds and map out his run. He anticipates using their services for 2021.