Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has unleashed the wrath of LGBT activists over a proposal from her office to rename a Queens post office that is named in honor of an LGBT hero.
What are the details?
Ocasio-Cortez's congressional office is soliciting suggestions to rename the Jeanne and Jules Manford Post Office Building in Jackson Heights, the New York Daily News reported.
The building currently honors Jeanne Manford, who is considered to be the first American parent to march with their LGBT child in a gay rights parade. Manford and her husband, Jules, also founded Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, a LGBT advocacy organization.
Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez, said the congresswoman will "consider all community input" and explained Ocasio-Cortez is "very open" to keeping the current building name. Hitt said Ocasio-Cortez began considering renaming the post office building after a community member suggested honoring Lorena Borjas, a prominent LGBT and immigration activist who passed away in 2020.
Ocasio-Cortez is soliciting naming recommendations through an online form.
"Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez is looking to introduce legislation that would rename the Jackson Heights and Corona Post Offices after two individuals who represent the diversity and tenacity of New York's 14th congressional district," the form says. "We'd love to hear from you: who are the community leaders from these neighborhoods that have inspired you?"
What was the reaction?
Daniel Dromm, a former Democratic member of the New York City Council, told the Daily News that changing the name of the building would "erase our history" and condemned Ocasio-Cortez.
"Is it that she doesn’t know our history? Did they not check to see who the post office is named after right now? Does she not know who Jeanne Manford was?" Dromm reacted. "You don’t take one pioneer of the LGBT movement and pit them against another person."
LGBT activist Allen Roskoff agreed.
"How dare she put our community’s heritage up for a popularity contest or a vote," Roskoff told the newspaper. "We are outraged."
Dromm added that Ocasio-Cortez's push to rename a post office building that currently honors an LGBT hero is indicative of disconnect between her and Queens residents.
"I like her policies, but this is typical of her not being connected to the community," Dromm said.