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Hunters Point activist announces City Council run

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Civic leader Brent O’Leary announced he will run for office in the seat currently held by City Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), who will be forced to give up his seat by term limits in the 2021 citywide elections.

O’Leary, who is founder and president of the Hunters Point Civic Association, has been a prominent figure in the communities within the district, addressing issues such as over-development and the controversial bike lanes on Skillman and 43rd avenues.

“I see life getting increasingly difficult for this district due to rising rents, a crumbling MTA, and out-of-control overdevelopment – without the infrastructure we need to support it,” O’Leary said. “I am ready to fight for more schools, more green spaces and the community resources we need to keep this a great neighborhood to live, work and raise families in. I will fight so that working families and individuals have livable wages and that our most vulnerable citizens are protected.”

Van Bramer has announced plans to run for Queens borough president in February as he and three quarters of the City Council will also be term limited out along with Melinda Katz, leaving Van Bramer’s current office and the borough president’s office free of incumbents.

O’Leary has spoken out against the city DOT’s proposal to bring bike lanes to Skillman and 43rd avenues between Roosevelt Avenue and 33rd Place, which will eliminate 120 parking spaces and is believed will negatively affect business along the two corridors.

“We know what we need and we have told them with a loud and clear voice that this proposal is wrong,” O’Leary said at a July 25 rally against the bike lanes. “This is not safety because we have offered an alternative proposal on Northern Boulevard, which is the obvious place for this and will keep all the bicyclists safe ... we spoke loud and clear and they ignored everything we said.”

The bike lane proposal went through multiple public hearings where residents rejected the plan, which was revised several times before being struck down at Community Board 2 by a vote of 27-8 in a June 7 meeting that lasted about six hours and ended well after midnight.

In February, O’Leary was a leading voice in the call for a youth recreation center in Hunters Point to accommodate the growing population of Long Island City, where unprecedented growth is continuing with 22,000 residential units either proposed or currently under construction.

Hunters Point Civic has posted an online petition at Change.org directed at developer TF Cornerstone, the city’s Economic Development Corporation, and Plaxall, a family-owned business that has been in Long Island City for seven decades, to include a rec center in a recent project in the works.

Reach reporter Mark Hallum by e-mail at mhallum@cnglocal.com or by phone at (718) 260–4564.

Posted 12:00 am, August 14, 2018
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Reader feedback

Ian C from LIC says:
Interesting. Is there any folks opposing this mouth? It would be good if he isn't taking money from plaxall and better if he could work with City Hall and the new LIC community. Who does he refer to with "vulnerable"? We are a hard working community that isn't scared of development that brings jobs, retail, schools.
Aug. 15, 3:53 pm
Cho says:
Emini S&P Trading Secret is so great they help me a lot in trading and making money, unlike the forex it disappoints me a lot. I will never trade back to forex again!
Aug. 16, 1:15 am
Tyson White from Harlem says:
Why don't we have a community board vote for every street if we should allow car traffic to go through? What if the residents of a street want peace and quiet instead of honking traffic?
Aug. 16, 2:46 pm
D from Crown Heights says:
Huh? An alternative proposal on Northern Boulevard?

Take a look at any map of Queens, and tell me with a straight face that you think people who are biking from Queens Boulevard to the Queensboro Bridge are really going to detour 3/4 of a mile just to use a Northern Boulevard bike lane.

To be fair, a bike lane on Northern Boulevard alongside the rail yards would be a great way to get from the bridge to the bike lane on 34th Avenue. But it isn't a realistic connection to Queens Boulevard.
Aug. 16, 11:38 pm

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