May 6, 2021 By Allie Griffin
Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s Chief of Staff Matt Wallace has endorsed candidate Amit Bagga to take over his boss’ seat in the City Council.
Wallace told the Queens Post on Wednesday that he officially backs Bagga’s campaign. Van Bramer, however, has remained silent on his choice of replacement in the crowded race to represent the 26th Council District.
Wallace — who had previously considered a run for the same seat in the past — said Bagga stands out from the 14 other Democrats thanks to the combination of his demonstrated experience as a policy maker and his strong progressive agenda.
“I am thrilled to endorse Amit,” he said. “No one else has proposed anything even close in terms of having the legislative prowess that Amit has shown. That really means something.”
Wallace said Bagga’s numerous and far-reaching policy ideas is what drew him to support his campaign.
“The policy platforms that he’s led with, it’s inspirational,” he said. “I hope that voters of the 26th Council District see the legislation ideas that Amit has put forward.”
Wallace specifically praised Bagga’s recently-released proposal to ensure app-based delivery workers are paid fairly and have workplace protections.
The proposal called “Delivery Justice Now” would require companies like UberEats, Doordash/Caviar, Postmates and Grubhub/Seamless to obtain a license from the city’s Department of Consumer & Worker Protection (DCWP). To keep the license, the companies would be required to comply with fair and transparent business practices.
“To propose a licensing system to regulate tech companies who are using apps, profiting off the backs of low-wage workers … is a brilliant idea,” Wallace said.
In response, Bagga said he was honored to have Wallace’s endorsement.
“Naturally, I’m tremendously grateful,” he said. “Matt is among the most thoughtful and sober observers of politics that I have really ever come across in many years in public service.”
He also said Wallace understands the district, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, parts of Astoria and Dutch Kills, like no one else.
“He knows the people of this district in a way that no one does and he knows what it means to work to be the force behind a transformational city council member,” Bagga said.
He added that Van Bramer has transformed both the council’s and district’s history, and “that’s in no small part due to Matt.”
Wallace, in turn, said Bagga would expand upon Van Bramer’s legacy of pushing the district — as well as the whole City Council — to be more progressive.
“I see Amit as a real progressive champion and someone who will not just be a rank-and-file council member, but be able to lead the progressive wing of the City Council and that’s what I want as my representative,” Wallace said.
Bagga is one of 15 Democratic candidates running for District 26. The others are Julia Forman, Jesse Laymon, Ebony Young, Emily Sharpe, Hailie Kim, Badrun Khan, Denise Keehan-Smith, Julie Won, Lorenzo Brea, Glennis Gomez, Brent O’Leary, Jonathan Bailey, Steven Raga and Sultan Maruf.
The Democratic primary for the seat is on June 22.
Amit Baga represents what the majority (of those who choose to vote) in Sunnyside want to hear and need. He will win.
What I want to know is who is JVB’s gardener endorsing?
Amit = JVB 2.0
I was thrilled when Matt was considering a run because no one is more qualified to be our next council person. This endorsement is huge and makes it very clear who the best candidate is.
Amit brings the energy of the progressive base, the immigrant base, and has the knowledge to be a very effective elected official. I have had the pleasure of speaking to almost all of the 15 and with all due respect I would say 12 of the 15 are completely unqualified. Many have no idea how government works. A few of them, they know who they are, are solely in it for revenge or personal gain. People see through that.
Let’s elect someone with a vision who represents the best about our neighborhood!
^^^ written by either Matt or Amit.
What an absurd rationale for an endorsement. What planet are these guys on? Our kids are suffering with remote learning. Crime is up. Small businesses are barely afloat. Matt should know by now that the real council powers are located in the budget, land use, and constituent services. We don’t need more toothless legislation by press release. Never mind that this delivery justice bill is unenforceable – let’s get a cheap headline on the backs of sympathetic delivery workers. We need a quality of life champion, someone like Ebony who understands how the world works, plays well with others, and who can deliver for our community.
Well, if JVB’s chief of staff endorses Amit then I’m sold.
I’m curious what Mike Gianaris’ chief of staff thinks about the mayoral candidates.
How about the 46th street station manager? I’ll be sure to get their insight about the comptroller candidates before making my vote count.
This makes it very easy to know who not to vote for.
Joey the Coffee Cart Guy endorses Amit Bagga!
seriously Sunnyside Post?! how many more no-names endorsing failing politicians will you feature?