By Bill Parry
Election Day 2021 may be nearly three years away but that did not stop a progressive grassroots organization from endorsing a candidate for City Council.
LIC Coalition voted unanimously on Nov. 25 to support civic leader Brent O’Leary’s candidacy in Council District 26, currently represented by Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who is term-limited.
“Brent has taken the time to get to know us, to know the issues, and to hear our ideas,” LIC Coalition Founding Member Melissa Bieri said. “He shares our concerns about schools, infrastructure, and the need for campaign finance reform. His positions are strong and his politics inclusive. There is no truer advocate, no better friend, no better candidate to represent Long Island City than Brent O’Leary.”
District 26 also covers Sunnyside, Woodside, Blissville and parts of Astoria.
O’Leary, the president of the Hunters Point Civic Association, said he was proud to have the support of the LIC Coalition calling it one of the most progressive advocacy organizations in New York City.
“Since their inception two years ago, the LIC Coalition and I have been on the front lines together, from fighting against reckless development in the district, to fighting for progressive policies that tackle quality of life issues, housing justice, income inequality, and campaigning to elect true blue Democrats to the New York State Senate, effectively ending the IDC,” O’Leary said. “I promise to continue working with them and the community on issues of affordability, resiliency, and improving infrastructure in our neighborhood so that our city can adequately provide more schools, green spaces, and mass transportation that is essential to this community.”
The LIC Coalition formed when Long Island City residents organized to take part in the Women’s March on Washington, D.C., following the election of Donald Trump. The group rose in the public spotlight last March when it organized a protest against the city’s plan to sell two city-owned parcels of land to developer TF Cornerstone.
“Brent has been with us testifying before our community board, speaking out at public hearings, and presenting our case in our meetings with the Mayor’s office,” LIC Coalition’s statement said. “He has stood with us in the cold at rallies opposing the transfer of public land to private developers, and on the steps of City Hall to protest irresponsible development policies. He is in the forefront of our oppositions of the sell out to Amazon.”
Last month, the LIC Coalition and O’Leary condemned the Amazon deal that will put its HQ2 campus on the same land surrounding Anable Basin.
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr