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Van Bramer Releases Plan to Diversify Queens Community Boards

A Community Board 2 monthly meeting in 2018 (Photo: Queens Post)

March 12, 2021 By Christian Murray

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer, a candidate for Queens Borough President, will change the make-up of community boards by appointing younger, more diverse members–if elected.

He said that nearly two-thirds of the members on the 14 community boards in Queens are over the age of 55, and the boards tend to be conservative. As borough president, he would make a point of recruiting younger people who come with a fresh perspective.

Van Bramer said that the existing boards are often comprised of “long time gatekeepers” who dominate discussions about pressing Queens issues such as climate change, Vision Zero, bike lanes, parking requirements, affordable housing, homeless shelters and transportation.

“Community Boards should reflect the diversity of the districts they represent, but the reality is they’re dominated by those who don’t,” Van Bramer said.

“The combination of a lack of term limits for board members and the historic pattern of reappointing members has had a net effect of sidelining younger, BIPOC, immigrant, and queer voices. As Borough President, I’d take aggressive steps to make sure Queens community boards truly represent the people they serve.”

A key role of the borough president is appointing members to community boards. The borough president appoints half the applicants each year, with the local council member the other half. The borough president, however, signs off on all of them.

Board members serve two year terms and are typically reappointed if they have a reasonable attendance record. Van Bramer said that as borough president he would eliminate automatic reappointments.

The city introduced community board term limits in 2019 and members who are appointed or reappointed after April 1, 2020 are limited to five consecutive two-year terms. Time served on the board prior to introduction of term limits does not count.

Van Bramer pledges to introduce term limits based on time served even prior to when term limits were adopted. Therefore, anyone who has already served over 10 years would be encouraged to step aside, he said. Members who have served 15 years or more on a community board would not be reappointed.

New appointments, he said, must reflect the current makeup of any board catchment area. All boards, he said, must have gender equity and be truly representative of BIPOC, immigrant, LGBTQ/Queer, public housing and poor/working class communities.

Each board, if Van Bramer is elected, would be required to have term limits for the Chairperson and executive board positions, he said. Some boards already do, he noted, but many do not and a Chairperson can remain for decades.

All boards, he said, would also be required to have a detailed and professional job description for all employees including the District Manager. Each employee would be subject to an annual review.

All boards would have a diversity, equity and inclusion committee dealing with external and internal matters, he pledges.

The Borough President’s office, he said, would also create an independent screening panel made up of good government groups to review and recommend applicants for the job of board member.

He said he would conduct outreach to recruit new members beyond making the application accessible online.

Van Bramer, who has represented the 26th Council district since 2009, says that he has focused on board diversity since taking office.

He says that he has recommended 23 of the current CB2 members, with his recommendations including 12 women, 14 people of color (7 Latinx, 6 Asian, 1 African American) and 1 LGBTQ member

He said that he has recommended eight members to CB1, six of whom are women

Van Bramer’s proposal is based on a report released by Measure of America and the Queens Eagle, which found that nearly two-thirds of all community board members in Queens are older than 55, and only seven community board members in Queens are younger than 25. Each of the 14 boards has about 50 members.

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards recently announced that a record number of people applied to join a Queens community board this year. He is expected to release the names of those appointed or reappointed around April. 1.

Van Bramer, however, said a record number of applications does not guarantee a more diverse board or that new members will be able to rise to leadership positions.

The primary for borough president takes place on June 22. Van Bramer is running to unseat Richards. Other candidates in the race include Elizabeth Crowley, Stan Morse and Diana Sanchez.

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46 Comments

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Joe

Perhaps because of these “old” folks the neighborhood is still livable, without shelters and affordable housing all over, juts the way Jimmy wants it.
By the way Jimmy, approving the Philip was a betrayal to your supporters.

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LIC DIRECT

There you go again Jimmy. This from the man whose major contribution to this community was Drag Queen Story hour on the taxpayer dime, it’s the only thing that I can recall. You changed sides after Joe Crowley lost, sided with Tiffany Caban, only sided with AOC, once you saw Joe was losing his congressional seat on election night you jumped in an Uber to make it just in time for AOC’s victory speech in the Bronx for that photo op, then you were for Amazon in an open letter in 2017, then against Amazon because you were notinvited to the table and then treated the Amazon executives at the NYC council meeting like dirt. What goes around comes around. You have no chance in hell Ever holding elected office again, so give it up. JVB has been on the wrong side of every thing that matters in our district. Every taxpaying, hardworking,individual, family, no matter your gender, your preference, lifestyle, age, race, color, remeber its all about him, don’t be fooled. In the famous words of boxing great Roberto “Mano de Piedra” Duran. NO MAS!

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Mac

LIC Direct – Please get informed. Jimmy was instrumental in gaining the funding needed to refurbish the Woodside, Sunnyside Libraries and construction of the new Hunters Point Library. Jimmy secured the funding to rehab Doughboy Windmuller, Bush Field and Sabba Parks. We needed lights installed on 43rrd avenue after my neighbors daughter and and a little boy were struck by vehicles at 47th and 46th streets, Jimmy got them installed. There were issues concerning garbage cans on the corners of 49th, 46th and 47th streets , One call to JVB and the problems were resolved. The new benches throughout the neighborhood on Greenpoint Ave, on Queens Blvd and Skillman Aves are directly related to Jimmy’s hard work. Jimmy fought and won the fight to restore after school programs at PS 150. All these stories and many other of Jimmy’s accomplishments can be found simply by searching the Sunnyside Post.

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LIC DIRECT

Hey Mac:
Wow, when was the last time you took a walk through the nabe? Libraries, you mean the $45 million dollar concrete CUBE with the leaky roof and cracked foundation which is not ADA compliant, with the small elevator, the wall of death which is sealed off so little kids won’t climb up? Instrumental for whom? who lined their pockets on that project? A recreation center would have made more sense, like World Ice Arena in Flushing Meadow Park, Ice Skating Rink and a swimming pool in LIC would have been a good use for that space. Wake up already.

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Mac

LIC Direct – I walk the “nabe” everyday and have for 63 years. The job is up for grabs. You sound like you think you could do a better job then go for it. That would be much more respectable then coming across as a wind bag.,

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Celebrate diversity or else!

Identity politics is dehumanizing. It doesn’t see human beings as individuals with their own unique merits or flaws. It reduces them to stereotypes based on group affiliations. It’s downright toxic.

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Why does the Radical Right want everything to be PC

When Trump told 2 American-born black congresswomen to “go back to your own country” did that count as”identity politics?”

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Welcome to Jimmyland

It’s sad that Bramer breaks people down by their race and not their character, track record, experience, reputation. Stop discriminating against older people they should be running thing life experience matter. He says that he has recommended 23 of the current CB2 members, with his recommendations including 12 women, 14 people of color (7 Latinx, 6 Asian, 1 African American) and 1 LGBTQ member. I VOTE FOR PEOPLE I AGREE WITH AND IT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH RACE OR GENDER OR SEXUAL PREFERENCE!

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Had It Up to Here!

He’s such a hypocrite. He is serving a third term as council member because of a wrinkle in term limit laws. What a PHONY! Do not vote for this man, you will be as sorry as I am.

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Why are you judging him by age and skin color?

People making racist comments on an article about diversity 😂

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Gardens Watcher

That’s nice. I would hope that those with fresh perspectives have some knowledge of their neighborhoods and some history of residency, not just transient tenants. Even better if electeds actually pledged to listen to the Community Boards.

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Haha

Are all stories going to be about or by Jimmy Van Bramer? But okay to run his resignation letter.

Has he noticed that at 53, he is only 24 months away from being tossed into his waste bin of decrepit dead wood?

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Hypocrites on fairness and equality

Discriminating against older people and suppressing conservative candidates? This is the progressive equality and fairness they preach about?

This is what we all need, 20 something entitled millennials brain washed by liberal colleges to hate America and are devoid of free logical thought. Free free free everything

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Liberals never want to debate and always assume

Great rebuttal. Why not address that age discrimination or the suppression of conservative views? It’s because you have no answer. You are assuming I watch Fox News, so I can assume you get your agenda from Twitter or Snapchat.

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Why debate it when it’s already stated in the article ?

@Conservative victim- To quote the article “ two-thirds of the members on the 14 community boards in Queens are over the age of 55, Age discrimination addressed and resolved with appeal to young. The young are the obvious victims of age discrimination in this scenario , you have blinders on. What a surprise. Thank you JVB. To quote the article, yet again, “Van Bramer said that the existing boards are often comprised of “long time gatekeepers” who dominate discussions about pressing Queens issues. Sounds like the conservative cry of career politicians.

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Is reading comprehension that hard?

Lol. You basically showcased his plans to weed out conservative representation in order to push his progressive agenda of bike lanes, rainbows and unicorns by purposely not picking people over 55… hence being discriminatory and suppressing a contrasting view point to his. Is liberal thinking really this skewed.

Brought to you by Fox Propaganda

My agenda is exposing idiocy, nothing more nothing less. Not Democrat or Republican, not liberal nor conservative.

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Poor snowflake

Really? So I guess you don’t proofread your own posts because there is a lot idiocy there.

Another Liberal Hypocrite

With your moniker, its pretty obvious where your bias is, so don’t claim being impartial.

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Brought to you by Fox Propaganda

@Hashtagger – What happened, you’re abandoning your original position of false claims of age and conservative discrimination and defaulting to slob Limbaugh’s play book of ad hominem attacks?

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I’m still here kiddo

Nah, slow editing and censorship by the Post. What can I say…

As hominem huh? Says the guy who keeps referring to Fox News and Rush to defer the obvious that you lost the argument. And you got schooled on your university retort, too.

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Mac

Religious institutions and religions do not believe in freedom of speech or free exchange of ideas. Pick up a history book.,You appear to keep losing in this comment stream from what I have read.

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Winning

Then why do you quote from book of proverbs? To prove your self worth? Hypocrite. Don’t type too late. You don’t want to wake Jimmy.

The more education you have the harder it is to lie to you.

Hahaha “ brainwashed by liberal colleges” Just ask Liberty University, Bob Jones University or Brigham Young about brainwashing.

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Next

That’s cute. These universities attract students that are of the similar faith, so your examples are skewed. How’s that art history degree treating you? I bet you can’t wait for Uncle Joe to bail you out of your wasted tuition money.

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I know millionaires who have art and history degrees

Next- So that makes their skewed curriculum and bigotry ok. How far as arrogance gotten you? Bitter commenter?

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Dismantling another liberal snowflake

Its called free speech. What’s next? Are you and your liberal buddies going to boycott Catholic Schools because they are inclusive and teach ideas that are against your beliefs?

Last time I checked, humans are capable of free thought and can willingly think for themselves (for the most part). Just because a college or university offers courses that some people deem “racist,” people can still not follow those teachings and think on their own. Same goes for conservative students who have to deal with classes calling Jefferson, Lincoln, and Columbus racists or offer Transgender studies. They don’t have to buy in to what these classes teach. They can use their own judgment on what or what not to believe. Take the class, write an essay that will appease your liberal professor and get a A, but still uphold your beliefs. If not a core class, don’t take the class. If you don’t like the curriculum of a school, go somewhere else. It’s a free country.

By the way, how many of these “millionaire friends” of yours are willing to be taxed at a greater percentage and have the government place low income and homeless people in his/her/its neighborhood without their opinion/consent?
Let me guess, they all do. LOL!

Bitter Melon

Lol. Lets try this one more time. Hopefully the liberal editors of the Sunnyside Post don’t censor me again.

So what’s the difference between a conservative student going to a university that have courses that portray Lincoln, Jefferson and Columbus as racists, or have courses in transgender studies? If its against their beliefs then wouldn’t they avoid taking these classes. If its core curriculum, they can take these classes but still hold on to their beliefs. If they deem the curriculum “racist” they can choose another university all together. Its a free country and people can think for themselves without jumping on the bandwagon of “popular” thought.

By the way, are your millionaire buddies looking forward to increase taxation and having the government control who their neighbors are?

Conservatives invented cancel culture

Mr. Conservative-Book burnings and record burnings as well as movie boycotts were exclusively Conservative initiatives. Just ask the National Catholic Legion of Decency, The Amazing Grace Baptist Church of Canton North Carolina and Parents Musical Resource Center (PMRC), for starters. You can also ask the Dixie Chicks.

Cancel Culture retort

So that is an excuse for the left to do it? What’s the rationale there? “They started it first.” Come on man, I need a better retort from you. Its the same nonsense from extremists from both sides. They take something out of context and manipulate the narrow minded to believe their nonsense. Thats why you have your Bible burners, and nuts who ban literary classics because they find “systemic racism” in the text. Dr. Seuss is getting banned, too.

But the left suppression is worst. How many conservative entertainers are out there? Tim Allen, Barr, Carano… thats about it. Anyone who speaks against popular thought will commit career suicide. 50 cent, concerned about his wealth as NYer, tweeted he didn’t like the increased tax rate for him if Biden won. The left berated him and he had to tuck his tail between his legs and say he was kidding. Where were Ben Stiller, Deniro, Spike Lee during Cuomo’s downfall after praising him like he was the POTUS? Then you have a former prostitute gyrating in the Grammys like she was back at Gallaghers. The left was praising this as an outstanding provocative performance. Do you have a young daughter, niece, sister? Do you want her exposed to this nonsense. This is the same idiot who was used to campaign for Biden and the truly stupid voted because of her. The worst about left suppression with cancel culture is they go after everyone. Restaurants, politicians, normal everyday people…

Dixie Chicks are great

Retort – So does your response change the fact conservatives crested cancel culture?

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Winning

What does who started it have to do with anything ? Answer what I asked you and I’ll retort. First rule in debate. Don’t answer a question with a question. You lost. Again.

The final countdown

Now that the Trump countdown clock on the East River is finished, can we have a new one for Van Bramer? Can’t wait to stop seeing this narcissist in my news feeds.

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JVD

The Van Bramer clock will be installed. However it will take 4 years longer that expected and be 500% over budget.

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