What their bosses think: Gentile on 43rd District candidate Justin Brannan

I’m with Justin because he is always with you

Over the course of those years of service to you, I have had the chance to meet many unwavering civic activists who want to do right by our neighborhood.

I can also say without hesitation that one of the most successful of those that I have met over the years, and one of the most skillful at getting things done for others while possessing the tenacity and determination to cut through bureaucratic red tape, is none other than my former staff member and Bay Ridge’s very own Justin Brannan.

Brooklynites are particular when it comes to who they want to represent them in the City Council, so it makes sense that they want to “kick the tires” and really get to know the candidates running. They want to know who will fight for their community and their future.

Well, they have certainly had their chance over the course of the last decade to test Justin Brannan. As someone born and raised in Bay Ridge, Justin understands the daily lives of his neighbors because he has been there with them.

Justin is a civic-minded individual always trying to make things better for his neighborhood. He and his wife Leigh own the Art Room, a children’s art school on Third Avenue. It only makes sense that his business is located on Third Avenue, since it’s the avenue which hosts the Bay Ridge Summer Strolls every year. Justin sat on the planning committee for the Summer Strolls and worked tirelessly to mold them into the Bay Ridge tradition that they are today.

He knows the struggles that small businesses go through, from the arduous task of applying for a Buildings permit, to sweeping in front of the storefront to avoid a hefty Sanitation fine. At the same time, Justin will also be able to navigate the bureaucracy of government, as he has shown he can do.

While working as the special assistant to Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Justin worked on the Pre-K For All Initiative, which is already giving students a head start for their future while at the same time helping many families save on the high costs of daycare services.

While Justin believes in strong ideals, he is also focused on local issues like garbage pick-up and subway concerns. He fights for our neighborhoods first and foremost, and will stand up to the city when necessary, just like he did when he joined community board members in crafting and supporting the lawsuit against the city filed by residents of private streets when the Department of Sanitation decided to change its collection policy after 80 years, leaving some Bay Ridgeites without necessary government services on their block.

And when I sought Justin’s input on my Aggravated Illegal Conversions Bill, he understood that the situation stemmed from a lack of affordable housing in our city. Justin understood the reasons why the bill needed to be passed, that illegal conversions endanger first responders, put neighbors and tenants at risk, and strain our local infrastructure, and he fought beside me to ensure the bill would address these critical issues in our neighborhoods.

These are just some of the reasons why on November 7, you should elect Justin Brannan to the seat of the 43rd Council District. Justin will be that neighbor that looks out for you, your block, and your entire community both now and in the future, because he has been there fighting for you all along.

Justin Brannan was a long-time staffer for City Councilmember Vincent Gentile.

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