by WorldTribune Staff, April 1, 2019
While Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has the national spotlight, the New York Democrat’s own constituents say she is ignoring their concerns.
While first pressing, then defending, her Green New Deal, AOC has done little if anything to address issues in the 14th Congressional District, which covers the eastern part of the Bronx and part of north-central Queens, some district residents say.
One of Ocasio-Cortez’s constituents, Anthony Vitaliano, told the New York Post: “She has to address these local issues. Her district is everywhere else in the U.S. Her heart is not in the Bronx.”
Vitaliano said the district’s residents received much more attention under Rep. Joe Crowley, whom Ocasio-Cortez defeated in a primary upset in the 2018 midterms.
Crowley’s Bronx district representative, Thomas Messina, regularly attended community board meetings, Vitaliano told the Post. “Tommy cared about us,” he said.
Roxanne Delgado, a local activist who said she has tried for months to get in touch with Ocasio-Cortez for help in saving an animal shelter and to clean up parks in the district, said “I thought AOC would be our savior, but that’s not the case.”
Delgado told the Post she has made numerous calls to AOC’s offices in Washington and Queens and sent a barrage of tweets after the freshman lawmaker encouraged residents during a recent visit to a Bronx public library to hit her up on social media.
But Delgado said she’s heard nothing back.
“NO email or contact on @AOC’s page except DC number which has full #voicemail and no one picks up,” Delgado tweeted.
The Post reported that it made several calls to both the Washington and Queens offices last month (Ocasio-Cortez does not yet have an office in the Bronx). The same recording at both numbers gives Ocasio-Cortez’s website and doesn’t allow callers to leave a message, the report said.
Vitaliano said he told a community gathering last month that they needed Ocasio-Cortez for a sitdown with post office officials to sort out difficulties he was having with mail delivery.
“I want AOC or a representative from AOC to be there,” Vitaliano, a former cop and Community Board 11 member, said at a Feb. 28 board meeting.
Vitaliano, 78, also wants Ocasio-Cortez to pressure Amtrak to clean up graffiti at property it owns on Tremont Avenue.
“You know, I appreciate what she’s doing, but she has to represent us,” he told the board gathering, where other elected officials – from the city and state but not AOC’s office – sent staffers, the Post reported.
Although Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about improving mail service in the Bronx last month, Vitaliano said he was still experiencing problems and waiting for her office to arrange a meeting with post office management.
And although a Bronx community rep for Ocasio-Cortez visited the graffiti site, nothing else has happened, he said.
Meanwhile, Delgado noted the animal shelter site was spared – thanks to help from the City Council and the mayor’s office, the Post reported.