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Editorial: Van Bramer Needs to Put Pettiness Aside, Act Like a Leader

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer (Photo: NYC Council)

July 14, 2020 Editorial

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer has gone AWOL.

He has not answered one question put to him this year by the Queens Post publications—after nearly 10 years of quick responses and lengthy statements.

What’s changed?

The Queens Post ran an article Jan. 20 covering the borough president debate that was held in Sunnyside. The article contained some strong accusations leveled against him by Donovan Richards.

Richards challenged Van Bramer’s anti real estate stance–saying that it was prompted by the emergence of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and that he had taken hefty contributions from the real estate industry for years.

He also said that Van Bramer had supported the Queens County Democratic Machine at times, despite saying he staunchly opposed it.

Our reporter naturally researched Richards’ arguments and reported on them.

She found that Van Bramer had taken tens of thousands of dollars from big real estate developers for many years, while noting that the council member stopped accepting them in 2018.

Additionally, our reporter revealed that Van Bramer had contributed large sums in 2017 to support candidates who were part of the Queens County Democratic machine. She also noted that he backed Joseph Crowley, the leader of the so-called machine, in 2018 when he ran against Ocasio-Cortez.

Van Bramer has ignored the publication ever since that article ran. E-mails and texts to his staff have not been acknowledged.

E-mails last week to Van Bramer’s staff asking him about an anti-Semitic incident in Woodside were ignored.

E-mails asking him about his thoughts pertaining to the development plans in Long Island City–ignored.

Constant texts to Van Bramer’s chief of staff Matt Wallace, who the publication has had a good relationship with for many years, have been unanswered.

Last week, a young freelance reporter of ours looking to launch a writing career managed to get through to Van Bramer. The reporter, 18 years of age, asked him for comment concerning a Sunnysider who had established an outdoor library on Skillman Avenue.

Van Bramer’s response to the reporter: “Yeah… it’s not personal to you. I made a decision in January to not respond to anything from the SP [QueensPost].”

The Jan. 20 article that drew Van Bramer’s ire also detailed the campaign contributions Donovan Richards had received from the real estate industry and his associations with the Queens County Democratic machine.

Richards, unlike Van Bramer, has responded to e-mails and provided statements to the publication since.

Van Bramer is a civil servant and has a responsibility in a healthy democracy to answer to the press. He shouldn’t pick and choose who he responds to based on whether a publication puts him in a good light on not.

The publication has been very complimentary to him over the years. There have been many stories about the good work he has done to bring schools to the district, revamp local parks and combat discrimination.

The publication even honored him at our 10 year anniversary party in December, which he attended.

The role of the Queens Post, however, is not to be a cheerleader for Van Bramer. Our role is to report the news good or bad.

Van Bramer might read this and attack the publication. He might look at the comment section (which is no different than what’s on social media) and attack us for it—despite having never done so in the past 10 years.

Maybe he will claim fake news. Who knows.

We hope, however, he takes the high road and addresses these findings– or at the very least responds to the publication in the future.

The publication is owned and operated by two immigrants– one from the Philippines and the other from New Zealand– and our goal is not to create division.

We just want to report the local news and try to let the community know what’s going on like we always have. However, in doing that, we are dependent on our leaders to step up and provide us with the information needed in order to do so.

Czarinna Andres and Christian Murray, co-publishers of the Queens Post.

 

email the author: [email protected]

17 Comments

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Katie

I’m a support of JVB but this behavior sounds very Trump-ian! I hope this is the wakeup call he needs. No one is perfect, but working with the free press is part of the politician’s job. Especially right now, when our community is going through SO much.

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Chucho R. Morales M.

I don’t like JVB professionally because he has worsened my quality of life with the bike lanes and other horrible policies. I don’t like him personally because he is so arrogant. However, this editorial makes me sad. JVB had potential, but his ego and delusions of grandeur ruined him. Let’s hope this editorial will open his eyes and get him to do some self-reflection. Maybe your words will help him mature.

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yagottalovem

LOL @ bike lanes ruining your quality of life. Sounds like you don’t have much of a life to ruin.

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Jimmy's Mom

An elected official who is paid by the people needs to champion the people. His allowing the unchecked overdevelopment in Queens speaks volumes. But being bad at his job is one thing- not answering to the people tells you all you need to know about his lack of character. May he be haunted by the communities he has destroyed as he flops in disgrace towards the end of his term.

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james edstrom

Hey, welcome to our world in Hunters Point South where for years we can not even get a red light out of old Lamer Bramer. Crime is up, the 108th NYPD refuses to enforce any laws, we have graffiti, drugs, guns and we all know about the fireworks, a complete work stoppage and Bramer refuses to address the many residents who ask for help. Welcome to our world where the only time you see Bramer is when there is TV attention involved. He could care less about the people who elected him and I am being told he is up in Westchester at a home he owns somewhere for months, not even here in Queens. Sad, he knows he is a lame duck, most likely he will work for his real estate friends, but these politicians always come back for another bite of the pie and we will remember this time.

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Eileen Bennett

So the pettiness of the Democrat politicians is Trump’s
Fault?? Why not you dem’s blame him for everything else that goes wrong because of the dem politicians.

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Stay Loose

So you have no problem with ad hominem attacks and putting words in his mouth and thoughts in his head. You clearly have shown yourselves to be the petty ones. Van Bramer is a lame duck councilman. He is doing his job and by all accounts may be taking a break from public life in the near future to care for a family member. Leave the guy alone and let him continue to do his good work. He has reversed his position and he has explained it and he prefers not to rake up his past alliances. At least he has been consistent since 2018.

Remember we have a president and entire political party that refuses to talk to the press unless they are complimentary. Level your complaints where they are warranted.

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james edstrom

Oh you must be from Lamer Bramers office. Only will say one thing, he needs to tell the community what is going on and thats through the media and he needs to do his job even if he is going. Last notice I got from Van Bramer was a 16 million bathroom notice that he was proud of. 16 million for a park bathroom and he’s proud of it? This is why NY’s poor have nothing.

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JVB will be gone soon

Van Bramer will be gone next year. And good riddance. He goes which ever way the wind blows and has no real political beliefs. Endorsed Cynthia Nixon for Governor. Why? (Imagine her trying to manage New York during the Covid pandemic.) His big claim to fame was finding thumbtacks in the bike lane in Sunnyside. Funny only he found them. Although he’ll be out of office, he probably won’t go away. He’ll be hanging around at the edges sniffing for opportunities for publicity.

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Henry

This City Council Member has been off the rails for a very long time. I can’t believe it has taken this long for someone to call him to task for lack of consistency and transparency. Luckily for the community he is timed out for sitting on the City Counsil.

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get on line...

unfortunately your publication is just one of many who have been shunned by JVB; thank you for highlighting his pettiness and hypocrisy.

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John the Immigrant

Not surprised at this. These are difficult times in NYC with rising crime, unemployment & people going hungry. My district Councillor remains silent on these issues but yet finds time to comment on potential real estate developments. Jimmy has not risen to the current challenges and should step down.

The hard working people of Woodside and Sunnyside deserve real representation.

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Save the Robots

Ever since JVB latched onto All-Out Communist he completely lost the script. He’s more concerned with drag queen story hours than with the actual monumental problems facing his constituents.

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