Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer, who represents Sunnyside, Woodside and Long Island City, is interested in becoming the next council speaker, taking over the role from the term-limited Christine Quinn.
While many of the 51 council members are vying for the top council job, many political pundits believe that Van Bramer has a shot since he is in the advantageous position of being a member of two powerful voting blocs in the city council: The Queens Democratic delegation and the Progressive Caucus.
Crains NY broke the story yesterday in an article detailing the horse race.
“I think it would be a terrific opportunity to lead the city council and to do tremendous things for the entire city,” Van Bramer told the LICPOST.
He said it would also be good for the Long Island City, Sunnyside and Woodside neighborhoods if he were to nab the speakership position. “It’s the second most important job [in city government] and I would be in a position to get more things done.”
Presently there are five or six names being circulated for the position. According to political pundits it will be clearer who the favorites are after the general election.
To get the speaker role, Van Bramer needs 26 council members to support him. The Queens Democratic delegation is comprised of 14 members (with an additional member who represents part of Queens, namely Ridgewood).
The Queens delegation is viewed as being very influential. “It is powerful delegation since we stick together and vote in a block,” Van Bramer said. “Not all delegations do that.”
Meanwhile, the Progressive Caucus, which was founded just four years and focuses on issues such as affordable housing and funding public schools, is currently comprised of 11 council members (four from Queens). After the election, that number is likely to rise to the high teens.
“I think my chances are as good as any others,” Van Bramer said. “The process is unfolding.”