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Jimmy Van Bramer

Updated: City Councilmen Holdup Bill to Save the City’s Artists and Small Businesses

by Paddy Johnson on August 26, 2015
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What is it going to take to get city politicians to start doing the right thing? It costs a small fortune to live in this city and when bills are introduced that would help give a leg up to artists, there isn’t enough support to get them off the ground.

Case and point: The Small Business Jobs Survival Act. This is a bill that will help commercial tenants facing displacement from rising rents—including artists’ studios and small businesses—and it currently has only 23 of the 26 votes it needs to pass.

The bill would require commercial landlords to offer ten-year leases to all existing tenants who’ve paid their rent on time. If the two sides can’t agree on terms, they go to arbitration. Currently a landlord doesn’t have to renew a tenant’s lease, can kick the tenant out whenever it suits them, raise their rent exorbitantly, and the tenant has no means of contesting the decision.

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Why Aren’t There More Flux Factories?

by Paddy Johnson on November 6, 2013
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“How can we get more places like Flux Factory?” City Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer asked Kate D. Levin. Van Bramer is one of the biggest arts advocates in the city, and Levin is the commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs; at that moment, she was also a spokesperson for the bulk of the city’s non-profit arts institutions. His question was central to a recent public hearing about how New York could be made more affordable for artists, and Levin’s reply started with the facts. “It’s a challenge to manage real estate for residents that are somewhere between a stable and transient population,” she said.

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Jimmy Van Bramer on Why You Should Invite City Council to Your Openings

by Whitney Kimball on October 17, 2013
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As the chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee, Councilman Jimmy Van Bramer is basically the City Council’s spokesperson for culture, and has a pretty clear idea of what needs to happen to make New York livable for artists again. Here’s why he thinks the city should have a plan for artists, why artists need to count themselves, and why you should invite him to your openings.

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