Wednesday, September 12, 2018
Oh, poor Jimmy!
From the Commercial Observer:
City councilman Jimmy Van Bramer presides over one of New York City’s hottest real estate markets: western Queens. And one of its submarkets, Long Island City, is on track to get 6,200 new residential units by next year and sits at the heart of crucial zoning, infrastructure, transportation and urban planning issues that affect much of the city.
The 49-year-old councilman, who represents LIC, part of Astoria, Sunnyside and Woodside, was raised in his district by a printer father and painter mother, both union members. Since taking office in 2009, he has found himself facing down developers and community activists alike, while trying to stay true to both his core principles and his working-class neighborhood roots.
Over the past few years, he’s netted some victories for his district, like a new modern library for Hunters Point South in LIC and protected bike and bus lanes along Queens Boulevard. He’s also run into controversy over development and transit issues, like when he refused to greenlight a 2016 rezoning for a 200-unit affordable apartment building developed by Phipps Houses in Sunnyside. And last year he clashed with neighbors and businesses along Skillman Avenue in Sunnyside for proposing protected bike lanes there and along 43rd Avenue after two cyclists were killed by motorists. (After getting pushback from local merchants and the community board over bike lanes replacing parking spots, he abandoned the plan. Congressman Joe Crowley—recently unseated in a surprise victory by democratic socialist candidate Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez—even weighed in on Twitter to oppose the bike lanes.)