Lobbying firm employed by BQX project very prolific in lobbying City Council [CORRECTED]

By LOUIS FLORES

A map showing the proposed route of the BQX light rail service, indicating that the streetcar would run through the Long Island City section of Queens, which represented in the New York City Council by Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. Source : New York City Economic Development Corporation/Fair Use

A map showing the proposed route of the BQX light rail service, indicating that the streetcar would run through the Long Island City section of Queens, which represented in the New York City Council by Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer. Source : New York City Economic Development Corporation/Fair Use

Yoswein New York, Inc., the lobbying firm employed by the Friends of the Brooklyn Queens Connector, Inc., to briefly lobby the New York State Assembly, the New York State Senate, and the New York City Council in 2016 in support of a proposed light, mass transit rail service line referred to as the BQX, has earned millions lobbying, in part, the City Council in years past, according to State lobbying records examined by Progress Queens.

According to a review performed by Progress Queens of State lobbying records, the Yoswein lobbyist Jamie Van Bramer has been designated as the responsible lobbyist on disclosed billings exceeding $16 million during the time period from 2007 through 2016, though not all of those billings were for mandates that targeted for lobbying, at least in part, the New York City Council. When at least some members of the New York City Council were the targets of lobbying for those mandates, the sum of the disclosed billings exceeded $13,5 million during the review period, according to a review of State lobbying records.

CORRECTION : Due to an error, Progress Queens reported in a previous version of this report that the lobbyist Mr. Van Bramer was a relative of Councilmember Jimmy Van Bramer (D-Sunnyside), through whose City Council district the proposed BQX light rail street car service would run. In the time since the first version of this report was published, each of the lobbyist Mr. Van Bramer and Councilmember Van Bramer have denied that they are related. Progress Queens regrets the error.

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