Bay Ridge

Schumer endorses Brannan for City Council

October 25, 2017 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Justin Brannan has had a busy week. One of the highlights was picking up an endorsement from Sen. Charles Schumer. Eagle file photo by John Alexander
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Calling him a “a real neighborhood go-to guy who gets things done,” U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-New York) endorsed Democrat Justin Brannan for City Council this week, urging residents to vote for him in the election two weeks from now.

Schumer’s nod marks the most high-profile endorsement Brannan has received in the race in the 43rd Council District (Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Bensonhurst). Brannan is running against two opponents; Republican-Conservative John Quaglione and Reform Party candidate Bob Capano in the Nov. 7 contest.

“Here in Brooklyn, we know how to stand up for ourselves and fight for what’s right, and that’s why I’m proud to endorse Justin for City Council. From great schools to safe streets to better subway service, Justin is a real neighborhood go-to guy who gets things done, and we can trust him to fight for us on the City Council,” Schumer said in a statement issued by Brannan’s campaign.

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“I am honored to have Sen. Schumer’s support. I am excited to work with him to protect and defend all New Yorkers while doing everything I can to help our working families,” Brannan stated.

Also this week, Brannan put forth a three-step plan that he said will help the city crack down on illegal home conversions.

“The real criminals here are the greedy and predatory landlords who take advantage of some of our most vulnerable citizens,” Brannan said in a statement. “This is an issue that impacts many other areas of our community, including school overcrowding, garbage maintenance and traffic.”

Brannan is proposing allowing the Department of Buildings (DOB) to use what he called “observable circumstantial evidence” in assessing whether a one or two-family home has been illegally converted into a multi-unit apartment building. The evidence would include multiple entrances, mailboxes, utility meters and air conditioning units.

Brannan’s also called on the city to use its power to go after banks and mortgage lenders that finance illegal home conversions.

His third suggestion is to have the city provide assistance to tenants living in illegally converted buildings so that they can find housing elsewhere. “Often the people living in illegally converted homes are some of our most vulnerable citizens. I will propose a bill that will ensure that the fines levied against the predatory landlords will be used to help the tenants get back on their feet,” he stated.


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