Monday, March 9, 2009

Queens City Council Candidate: Brent O'Leary

Running for: City Council, 26th Council District, Queens

Year Running: September 2009 (Democratic Primary)

Party Affiliation: Democrat


Candidate Bio:

Brent O’Leary is a business attorney and grassroots politician. He believes that government can be responsive to the people and a tool to make their lives better.

Brent became involved at the grassroots level in politics registering people to vote and going door-to door for candidates. In 2002, while Brent was working in Tokyo, Brent was elected Chair of Democrats Abroad Japan which helps Americans overseas to vote and be involved in the political process. Under his Chairmanship membership more than tripled in 2 years.

In 2004, Brent was elected to the Democratic National Committee where he was proud to vote for Howard Dean as Chairman of the Democratic Party and became a strong advocate of the 50 State strategy. As a Superdelegate in 2008, Brent supported Barack Obama for the Democratic Nomination and when Brent’s term on the Democratic National Committee ended in 2008, he was asked by the Obama Campaign to coordinate Irish Americans for Obama in NY, which he did until the election.

Brent is a top business and finance lawyer. As Brent speaks fluent Japanese, he worked for the New York based law firm, White & Case, in their Tokyo Office. Here Brent worked on many complex business deals and helped countless companies form, obtain their licenses, structured their companies, their financing and their business deals. In 2002, he was named one of the top in-house lawyers in Japan by Asia Legal Business for corporate and e-commerce transactions and, in 2006, Brent became Chair of the American Chamber of Commerce Japan Corporate Counsel Committee.

While in Japan, Brent organized charity events for Make-A-Wish and the Christina Noble Foundation which establishes schools for homeless children. Brent also helped with translations for the Civil Liberties Union in Japan in its efforts against human trafficking.

Brent left White & Case for the position of Senior Legal Compliance Counsel for Bloomberg LP and moved back to New York. In New York, Brent finished his DNC term and then assisted with the Obama campaign.

Brent was born in Jackson Heights, Queens, attended St. Mary's Elementary and Roslyn High School in Roslyn, Long Island and graduated from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut. He earned his law degree from Boston University Law School. While studying at Boston University Law School, Brent was chosen as one of 5 students to go to Oxford University in England to study International Law.

Brent’s grandparents immigrated to America from Ireland and Brent understands the sacrifices made so that he would have the opportunity at a better life. Brent wants to make sure that that opportunity is kept open for all and wants to help the hard working people of his district weather this economic tough time.

Candidate’s Statement:

Honest & Effective Government

It is time to make government a real tool to make people’s lives better. The first job will be to get us back on the road to economic recovery and make sure the social safety net protects the vulnerable members of our community. We need to create quality jobs, keep the cost of living low and maintain our social and educational services. It will take innovative thinking to find new sources of revenue and make the government efficient. I will fight to protect small businesses, who are the life blood of our community, and make it easier for them to set up and operate. I will fight to provide quality education so that all our children have the opportunity to have fulfilling lives and achieve their dreams.

I will also make governmental reform a centerpiece of my initiatives so that government is responsive to the needs of the community. I will fight to make government both transparent and accountable. The workings of government should be open for all, both to see and to participate in, from the initial discussion to the decision making and implementation stages.

This will be a community effort and I need your help to make it a reality so please join me to make our neighborhood and our City, the community we always wished for.

Brent O’Leary

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