Sunnyside Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer has dropped out of the special election for Queens borough president.
In a campaign email to supporters on Monday morning, Van Bramer announced the end to his campaign.
“Family circumstances have been weighing on me for some time, causing me to reconsider the timing and feasibility of this campaign,” he wrote.
“Prioritizing my responsibilities as a son and brother is where my attention needs to be right now, ” he added. “While this is a difficult decision, this is the right one for me and my family at this time.”
Van Bramer’s third and final term in the City Council will end in 2021.
The sudden announcement was shocking because Van Bramer was starting to pick up momentum from a slew of endorsements, most recently from LGBTQ leaders.
He had also raised more than $310,000 in campaign contributions, the second highest behind former Councilwoman Liz Crowley.
While Van Bramer’s next steps are uncertain – he is term-limited – he will have more opportunities to run for Queens borough president after this special election on March 24.
After the special election will be the primary in June, followed by the general election in November.
In 2021, there will be another primary and general election, this time for a full four-year term as Queens BP.
A notorious landlord with a large residential property in Woodside landed yet again on the city’s Worst Landlords List.
Eric Silverstein, who owns the 78-unit building at 37-45 59th Street in Woodside, dropped from first to third on the public advocate’s watchlist.
Public Advocate Jumaane Williams, who visited the site with State Senator Mike Gianaris, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer and Woodside on the Move this week, said his place on the list is not a cause or celebration.
“He didn’t get better, other landlords got worse,” Williams said.
Silverstein owns four buildings on the 2019 list, totaling 315 units. His buildings average 1,144 HPD violations per month over the last year, including unsafe wiring, roach and mice infestations, faulty window guards, leaks and mold.
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer is hosting his 10th annual Holiday Food Drive from now until December 20.
The drive is collecting the following non-perishable food items: canned meats, canned soups, canned veggies, canned/dried fruit, infant formula, peanut butter, dried goods, other pasta, rice and grains.
The collected items will support the women and children who receive services at the Long Island City-based nonprofit Hour Children.
State Senator Mike Gianaris is hosting his annual Thanksgiving-themed creative program once again this year.
Young people from across western Queens are invited to submit a creative depiction showing what they are thankful for this time of year.
Students in kindergarten through sixth grade can submit works of art, poems or short stories. Entries are due by November 25.
“This program provides students an opportunity to reflect on the holiday season and learn to express themselves creatively,” Gianaris says. “I encourage young people to embrace their creative spirit this Thanksgiving season.”
As Police Commissioner James O’Neill steps down from the helm at the NYPD, replacing him will be a native son of Sunnyside.
Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio announced that the next commissioner will be Dermot Shea, the department’s current Chief of Detectives, who will step into his new role on December 1.
Shea, the son of Irish immigrants, grew up in Sunnyside. He graduated from SUNY Oneonta with a Bachelor of Science and currently lives in Manhattan with his wife Serena, three children Jackie, Lauren and Richie, grandson Aidan and dog Miley.
He began his career as a police officer in 1991, and rose up the ranks to serve as a precinct commander of the 44th and 50th precincts in the Bronx.
In 2014, Shea was appointed Chief of Crime Control Strategies and Deputy Commissioner for Operations, where he oversaw the CompStat system. He focused the NYPD’s efforts on intelligence-driven prosecutions in close cooperation with the district attorneys.
In 2018, he was promoted to Chief of Detectives, where he oversaw all of the department’s investigation operations, including all criminal investigations.
In addition to building on the success of neighborhood policing, Shea intends to target gang-related violence and taking guns off our streets.