You are reading

Community Group, Dubbed 26 for 26, Forms to Back Bagga for City Council

District 26 City Council Candidate Amit Bagga (Photo: Amit For Council)

June 2, 2021 By Ryan Songalia

A group of western Queens community leaders has come together to help Amit Bagga break away from a crowded field to win the 26th District council seat.

The group, dubbed 26 for 26, is co-chaired by Matthew Wallace, the chief of staff for the term-limited council member Jimmy Van Bramer, and Clara Oza, a public school parent coordinator from Sunnyside.

They hope to get Bagga elected in District 26, which encompasses Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City and parts of Astoria.

“I’ve seen firsthand just how much our kids and families have suffered through the pandemic, and we need a leader who [will] not just fight to bring us back, but deliver real results,” said Oza, a Community Board 2 member. “Amit is the only candidate with a proven track record of having done so.”

Wallace, who endorsed Bagga last month, says Bagga is someone who will not only be a part of the progressive wing of city council, but has the policy chops to lead it.

“No one else has proposed anything even close in terms of having the legislative prowess that Amit has shown. That really means something,” Wallace said.

The group also includes Deborah Tharrington, who is the director of constituent services for Van Bramer, plus Community Board 2 members Osman Chowdhury and Anatole Ashraf.

The other members include Dan Hochman, Laura Dadap, Zach Job, Dominic Stiller, Jean Cawley, Marco Barrios, Joe Oza, Jake Cohen, Judith Sloan, Brian Romero, Louis Wellington, Amanda and Max Lefer, Annie Seifullah, Sam Goldsmith, Hugh Baran, Ayaz Ahmed, Samina Wasti, Neha Gautam, Erin Koster, Rob Bass, Patti Pion, Natalie Fuertes and Adeline Medeiros.

Nick Berkowitz, a spokesperson for the Bagga campaign, says the group comes from a diverse array of occupations, ages and backgrounds, which is representative of the district’s makeup.

“These are just folks who understand what the stakes are of this election and are willing to do what it takes to get him elected,” Berkowitz said.

Chowdhury, a retired NYC taxi operator from Sunnyside, listed Bagga’s promise to cancel the city’s taxi medallion debt as part of the reason for his endorsement.

“ I support Amit not only because he would be the first South Asian New Yorker elected to the City Council, but because he knows the difficulties that all working, immigrant New Yorkers face first hand. He has the experience necessary to fix those difficulties,” said Chowdhury.

The group will be on hand this Saturday for a Working Families Party joint canvassing event this Saturday with the Bagga campaign, along with District 22 candidate Tiffany Caban and City Comptroller candidate Brad Lander. The event kicks off at 1 p.m. at Playground Thirty-Five in Dutch Kills.

Bagga has already racked up a number of endorsements from leading progressives, including State Senators Jessica Ramos and Julia Salazar, former gubernatorial candidates Cynthia Nixon and Zephyr Teachout.

He is one of 15 Democratic candidates running for seat. The others are Julia Forman, Jesse Laymon, Ebony Young, Emily Sharpe, Hailie Kim, Badrun Khan, Denise Keehan-Smith, Julie Won, Lorenzo Brea, Glennis Gomez, Brent O’Leary, Jonathan Bailey, Steven Raga and Sultan Maruf.

email the author: [email protected]


Click for Comments 

ABSOLUTELY NOT! Van Bramer’s Chief of Staff endorses him. Enough said for voters! We have been waiting many years to vote for a change in leadership style which ignores the wishes of residents for personal political gains. Now is the time to not vote for anyone similiar to Van Bramer’s style into this office. Leave Bagga’s bubble completely blank on the form for Councilman, as well as leaving Van Bramer’s bubble completely blank for the position he is seeking as Queens Borough President, so neither one gets any ranking and even a possibility of getting a portion of your vote. You don’t have to rank everyone. So, if there is a candidate you absolutely do not wish to have in office just bubble in two out of three and not put that person down as third choice, so there is no percentages included in the count. We have been waiting for years to vote in this Democratic Primary on Tuesday, June 22nd ! Be sure to get out and vote in the June Primary for the change of leadership style we definitely needs, it is more important than the regular election for this area.

Anyone can find 26 people

It is nice to see that Amit finally found 26 people that would support his extreme positions.


Leave a Comment
Reply to this Comment

All comments are subject to moderation before being posted.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Recent News

LaGuardia Community College receives federal funding to expand vocational training for the unemployed

LaGuardia Community College recently received more than $400,000 in federal funding to enhance and expand vocational training for underemployed New Yorkers in a city that is still working to recover from COVID-19 pandemic-induced job loss. The support was secured by U.S. Senators Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, Congresswoman Nydia Velázquez and former Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney.

LaGuardia Community College President Kenneth Adams explained that the school lost nearly a quarter of its students at the height of the pandemic due to the economic effects of the lockdown on low-income Queens households.

BP launches new advisory panel for youth to become civically engaged in the future of Queens

In an effort to get more young people involved in civics, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards has created a new advisory panel known as the Youth and Young Adult Council to introduce the “youngest and fiercest” community advocates to both community service and organization.

Members of the advisory body will advocate concerns through means of community engagement by participating in one of two cohorts. The first will be made up of high school representatives between the ages of 13 and 17, while the second cohort will be comprised of young adults between the ages of 18 and 25.

These Queens eateries are participating in the upcoming NYC Restaurant Week

NYC Restaurant Week is underway, so nix that skillet and bring family and friends to your favorite neighborhood spot, or get inspired and break bread somewhere new and different. During this special citywide culinary event, food-lovers will enjoy curated menus and prix-fixe prices that are easy on the wallet.

Bookings began on Jan. 17 and are available until Feb. 12, and you can reserve a table at 30 participating Queens restaurants, along with hundreds more across the five boroughs.