It would seem that ever since she first took office, Democrat New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has lifted her sights to the national level — far higher than the Bronx district she was elected to represent in 2018.
Indeed, while Ocasio-Cortez likes to play up the narrative that she is just a regular working girl from the Bronx fighting tirelessly for her neighborhood from Washington, at least some of the constituents in her district see things quite differently.
Could she soon be replaced?
The elusive AOC
The New York Post reported that a number of Ocasio-Cortez’s constituents in the Bronx are speaking out about how they feel they have been forgotten or overlooked as their representative spends her time addressing national and international issues that are far removed from those faced on the streets of New York City.
“I thought AOC would be our savior, but that’s not the case,” said a local activist named Roxanne Delgado, who claimed to have been unable to even get in touch with Ocasio-Cortez about local problems that needed attention.
Delgado revealed that she had made countless calls to the congresswoman’s offices in D.C. and Queens, but to no avail. Similarly, efforts to reach out to Ocasio-Cortez on social media — which the congresswoman encouraged her constituents to do — have also failed to garner a response.
The Post confirmed as much with a few calls of its own to Ocasio-Cortez’s offices, which reached a voice recording — no ability to leave a message — that directed callers to the congresswoman’s website, which in turn advised constituents to fill out a “scheduling request” form to arrange for a meeting.
Predecessor hailed as more in tune with locals
Another constituent, a former police officer turned community board member named Anthony Vitaliano, also took issue with the congresswoman for failing to address local concerns about post office problems and the dismal graffiti-covered appearance of an Amtrak station in the district.
“I want AOC or a representative from AOC to be there,” Vitaliano said at a board meeting in February that was attended by other elected officials or their representatives. “You know, I appreciate what she’s doing, but she has to represent us.”
To the Post, Vitaliano said, “She has to address these local issues. Her district is everywhere else in the US. Her heart is not in the Bronx.”
He added that former Rep. Joe Crowley, who was defeated in the 2018 primary by Ocasio-Cortez, was much more in tune with the needs of his constituents — a top aide regularly attended community board meetings — which is a rather ironic revelation given the freshman congresswoman managed to defeat Crowley in part by painting him as out of touch and aloof from those he represented.
Incredibly, it was further revealed that Ocasio-Cortez has yet to even open an office in the Bronx, making it that much harder for her constituents to contact her, though a member of her staff blamed that on difficulties finding office space in the area.
Ocasio-Cortez claimed victory in her primary election by suggesting to her constituents that she would use her position to focus closely on their issues and find solutions to their problems, but she has seemingly forgotten all about them now that she is in Washington.
It will be up to Bronx voters to remind her who is actually “the boss” when it comes time to vote again in 2020.