Third candidate fi les to run for Van Bramer’s seat
TIMESLEDGER | QNS.COM | FEB. 7-FEB. 13, 2020 23
BY BILL PARRY
A third candidate has emerged to replace
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer
when he is term-limited in 2021.
Hailie Kim, 27, an adjunct professor
of English at Hunter College, filed her
paperwork with the Board of Election
last Friday, and she hopes to represent
District 26 which includes Sunnyside,
Woodside, Long Island City and parts
“My family moved from Seoul,
South Korea, when I was six and I really
loved growing up in this neighborhood
of Sunnyside Gardens,” Kim said.
“As a student at P.S. 150, I felt I couldn’t
get a better start and I went to high
school in Astoria at the Baccalaureate
School for Global Education. I have a
real passion for education and as soon
as I received my U.S. citizenship I decided
I would run for office to make the
schools in this district even stronger.”
Kim joins civic leader Brent O’Leary
and Giselle Burgess, the co-founder of
the first Girl Scout Troop for homeless
girls when she and her children lived
in a Long Island City shelter.
“I think both are incredibly good
candidates and it would be an honor to
run against them,” Kim said. “Brent
and I share a passion for more funding
for education and doing something
about the escalating rents in Queens
and Giselle Burgess did an amazing
thing and her story is wonderful.”
Kim believes there is a place for her
in the race because of her immigrant
experience. In fact, her name would appear
on the ballot as Heajin Kim, her
“When I was 12, I got fed up with my
teachers at P.S. 150 mispronouncing
my name so I changed it, which a lot
of immigrant students do,” Kim said.
“But when I was filing to become a citizen
I didn’t want to give up my name,
Kim does not own a car and has suffered
with other straphangers over the
years before service on the 7 subway
“There is much that needs to be
fixed at the MTA and in the meantime
I want to stand up for the Triboro rail
line that would connect the Bronx
with Queens and Brooklyn,” Kim said.
“Like Councilman Costa Constantinides
says all the jobs are no longer
just in Manhattan. Public transportation
that connects the outer borough is
more important than ever.”
Kim said she is interested in learning
more about the BQX streetcar line
that would run along the Queens and
Brooklyn waterfront connecting Astoria
and Red Hook, Brooklyn.
“It is crucial that there are connections
to employment centers in Brooklyn
and elsewhere are very important,”
Kim said. “But we must be vigilant
about displacement and gentrification
Also crucial is the lack of affordable
housing in Queens.
“Someone has to go up against the
real estate developers for the lack of
affordable housing,” Kim said. “I look
at rent prices now and they are simply
not accessible. I remember when
Queens was all about the middle class.
That is no longer the case.”
She agreed with Van Bramer’s opposition
to Amazon building an HQ2
campus in Long Island City.
“I understand people who talk
about the 25,000 jobs, but there were
no guarantees that they would go to
local residents and I didn’t agree with
the tax breaks the state and city were
offering,” Kim said. “In general, I
would say Jimmy Van Bramer accomplished
a lot in improving our neighborhoods,
especially the number of
schools that have been built in the
district as well as the extensions to
existing schools. But there are things
we can do better.”
Kim believes it’s great to fund new
school construction but it’s equally important
to properly fund them in the
“When I went to Baccalaureate we
had a great teacher that the school
wanted to layoff. We started a petition
to keep him but in the end the school
couldn’t afford to keep him,” Kim recalled.
“And while we were laying off
a great teacher, the Frank Sinatra
School was getting a huge beautiful
building. It’s nice to build schools but
in the end it’s about two people. The
one being educated and the one doing
the educating. We have to keep that in
mind when we consider educational
Sunnyside’s Hailie Kim filed to run for
Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer’s seat.
Courtesy of Hailie Kim
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