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Van Bramer’s Chief of Staff Matt Wallace Endorses Amit Bagga for Council

Matt Wallace (left) and Amit Bagga (Courtesy of Amit Bagga)

May 6, 2021 By Allie Griffin

Council Member Jimmy Van Bramer’s Chief of Staff Matt Wallace has endorsed candidate Amit Bagga to take over his boss’ seat in the City Council.

Wallace told the Queens Post on Wednesday that he officially backs Bagga’s campaign. Van Bramer, however, has remained silent on his choice of replacement in the crowded race to represent the 26th Council District.

Wallace — who had previously considered a run for the same seat in the past — said Bagga stands out from the 14 other Democrats thanks to the combination of his demonstrated experience as a policy maker and his strong progressive agenda.

“I am thrilled to endorse Amit,” he said. “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 Bagga’s numerous and far-reaching policy ideas is what drew him to support his campaign.

“The policy platforms that he’s led with, it’s inspirational,” he said. “I hope that voters of the 26th Council District see the legislation ideas that Amit has put forward.”

Wallace specifically praised Bagga’s recently-released proposal to ensure app-based delivery workers are paid fairly and have workplace protections.

The proposal called “Delivery Justice Now” would require companies like UberEats, Doordash/Caviar, Postmates and Grubhub/Seamless to obtain a license from the city’s Department of Consumer & Worker Protection (DCWP). To keep the license, the companies would be required to comply with fair and transparent business practices.

“To propose a licensing system to regulate tech companies who are using apps, profiting off the backs of low-wage workers … is a brilliant idea,” Wallace said.

In response, Bagga said he was honored to have Wallace’s endorsement.

“Naturally, I’m tremendously grateful,” he said. “Matt is among the most thoughtful and sober observers of politics that I have really ever come across in many years in public service.”

He also said Wallace understands the district, which covers Sunnyside, Woodside, Long Island City, parts of Astoria and Dutch Kills, like no one else.

“He knows the people of this district in a way that no one does and he knows what it means to work to be the force behind a transformational city council member,” Bagga said.

He added that Van Bramer has transformed both the council’s and district’s history, and “that’s in no small part due to Matt.”

Wallace, in turn, said Bagga would expand upon Van Bramer’s legacy of pushing the district — as well as the whole City Council — to be more progressive.

“I see Amit as a real progressive champion and someone who will not just be a rank-and-file council member, but be able to lead the progressive wing of the City Council and that’s what I want as my representative,” Wallace said.

Bagga is one of 15 Democratic candidates running for District 26. 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.

The Democratic primary for the seat is on June 22.

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Developers invest time and money in areas they determine to have value or not. If you don’t want your area developing, don’t complain how delopadated your area is and how you don’t have enough. Work buy a house and don’t complain about rent. My mother had nothing working when she got here. 5 dollars and hour bought a house and raised kids. Progressive think govt will fix everything but won’t do anything to change their own lives. Save your money and develop your own neighborhoods.

James Edstrom

Amazing Lamer Bramer does not have the balls to do this himself because he knows he would be double crossing others who have supported him for many years. Anything the Lamer Bramer promotes anywhere, the thousand people on our Hunters Front Waterfront page will vote against any candidate he supports. Matt Wallace? The yes man who along with Lamer Bramer ignored our cries for help with the crime on the waterfront. We had murders, shootings, grifitti, fireworks every night and Lamer Bramer went against this community. Then when Covid hit, Lamer Bramer moved to Westchester for 6 months. Left this community high and dry during a crisis and this Matt Wallace backed up Lamer Bramer on every single move over the years. This Amit Bagga no one around here has ever heard of him, our thousand strong on the waterfront page will steer this election to a real community oriented guy Brent O’Leary who has served this community for many many years, not just for the cameras like Lamer Bramer. A vote for this Amit Bagga is a vote to help Lamer Bramer control everything again. We are not giving Lamer Bramer the Queens President position. He has screwed us too many times. Vote Brent O’Leary so we can have someone honest for a change.


No more Democrats Please especially Progressives. Bad for NYC and BAD for AMERICA.

Gregory Bartlett

Amit Bagga is endorsed by three very pro-development groups: HTC, 32BJ, and NYCLASS. To call him progressive- or, even worse, “a real progressive champion” is disturbing. We are opening ourselves to big real estate developers coming in here and undoing all the work real progressives have been fighting for these last several years. There are several ACTUAL progressives running for this seat who deserve your vote!


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