With the race for the next mayor heating up — there’s less than six weeks before the June 22 Democratic primary — candidate Dianne Morales on May 13 received the endorsement from City Councilman and Queens borough president candidate Jimmy Van Bramer.
Standing at Diversity Plaza in Jackson Heights, Van Bramer, a Queens native, pointed out how great it was to be out on the day of Eid Mubarak, noticing Muslim community members dressed in traditional garb and celebrating.
The term-limited Van Bramer recalled his working-class roots, with his father William being a lifelong member of Printing Pressmen’s Union Local and his mother Elizabeth working three jobs while raising eight kids. He described Morales as a real champion for the working class.
“It is exactly families like mine, the one I grew up in, and families like the one Dianne grew up in that we need to fight for. And that’s why I’m so excited to endorse Dianne Morales because I know that she is a fighter,” Van Bramer said, noting that Morales’ parents were also working-class and union members.
“So when we say that we’re for the working class, it’s not just a slogan. We are from the working class. The working-class raised us and drive us to do this work to fight for so many others,” Van Bramer said.
He detailed how the pandemic has widened the gap between rich and poor in New York City, revealing the many levels of injustice and a broken system that leaves many working-class people behind, especially in western Queens, which was especially hard hit during the ongoing pandemic.
“We are standing right here in Jackson Heights, but on the cusp of Elmhurst and Woodside, and of course Corona, neighborhoods that were so devastated by this pandemic because of the multiple threats that threaten communities like ours. The public health crisis that exists in our city, the economic inequality that drives so much of our injustice,” Van Bramer said.
Morales, who, if elected, would become the city’s first female and Afro-Latina mayor, expressed how excited she was to be in Queens and thanked Van Bramer for his endorsement.
Returning the favor, Morales endorsed Van Bramer’s candidacy for Queens borough president.
“Jimmy’s record as both a public servant and a community organizer speaks for itself. He has been a champion for the LGBT community, for immigrant communities, for small business relief, and that’s really just scratching the surface,” said Morales, a Brooklyn native and single mother of two. “Jimmy has the policy wins under his belt that proves that he knows how to govern and deliver results. He has consistently fought to invest in people and our communities. He delivered a billion dollars in funding for our libraries and cultural institutions.”
Morales, a former nonprofit executive whose platform includes cutting the NYPD budget by $3 billion and guaranteed housing for all, promised to hit the ground running with a coalition of progressive leaders who are prepared to bring bold and transformative change to New York City.
“I need allies like Jimmy so that we can build a future that actually works for Queens and for all New Yorkers,” Morales said. “Jimmy, I’m really excited to be in this with you. We need to fight like hell to build the city that we all deserve.”
When asked about her stand on expanding voting rights, Morales said that she’s been clear that undocumented immigrants in Queens and the city as a whole “contribute tremendously” to the economy.
“They are part of the glue of our city, and they should actually have the right to vote in our municipal elections,” Morales said.