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Photo courtesy of Facebook/Jimmy Van Bramer
Photo courtesy of Facebook/Jimmy Van Bramer
Hundreds of Queens residents attended a forum hosted by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer in the wake of the 2016 election.

Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer hosted a “Community Speak Out” in Sunnyside on Nov. 16, and hundreds of Queens residents packed the meeting room at Sunnyside Community Services.

The event was held in response to the presidential election, and a spokesperson for Van Bramer said many constituents called his office to ask what they could do to help the most vulnerable people who felt attacked during the election cycle.

“The forces that are against us are mobilizing and things could get worse before they get better,” Van Bramer said during a Facebook live stream of the event. “Donald Trump may have been born and raised here but we have a responsibility to let him know that this borough passed him and his values a long time ago.”

About 20 community groups attended the meeting to collaborate with residents who would like to donate time and resources to each organization.

AIDS Center of Queens County, Arab-American Family Support Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City, Catholic Migration Services, Emerald Isle Immigration Center, Fortune Society, Girl Scouts, Jacob Riis Community Center, Make the Road New York and Planned Parenthood were just some of the organizations in attendance.

Attendees were encouraged to visit each organization’s table and use Post-It notes to write down ideas for a community response to some of the policies President-elect Donald Trump has proposed.

“I believe that many of those hundreds of thousands of people protesting, that is the reason [President-elect Donald Trump’s administration] have been backtracking from some of the things that they have [proposed],” Van Brmaer said.

“[Can] all of us commit today that should they do the worst of what they pledged and should deportation squads come through our neighborhoods, through our borough to knock on doors of people who are neighbors and say, ‘You are coming with me.’ All of us today, do we pledge to protect them and to save them?” he added.

On Nov. 19, Van Bramer will march with Queens residents from Long Island City through Queensboro Bridge to Trump Tower to denounce the rhetoric heard throughout the election and to express “Queens values.”

The march will start at 1 p.m. at  Northern Boulevard and Queens Plaza North. Van Bramer will announce a recap of the ideas discussed at the meeting on Nov. 16 and contact information for each organization after the march.

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