Does Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) live in the Bronx apartment that she claims as her residence? That's a question the New York Post sought to answer recently. And to the news outlet's surprise, Ocasio-Cortez's neighbors made stunning claims about the woman who has purported to be a fellow tenant.
What did the Post discover?
Despite cultivating the appearance of being a lawmaker "of the people," the Post found that Ocasio-Cortez has no district office, no local phone number for constituents to call, and her neighbors at the Bronx apartment where she claims to live say they have never seen her walk into or out of the building.
The Post explained:
Ocasio-Cortez has used her deceased father's Bronx condo on her voter registration since 2012, and even posed in the one-bedroom Bronx flat for celebrity photographer Annie Leibovitz in a Vogue magazine profile after her stunning November election. But The Post could find little indication she continues to live there
Despite claiming to live at the apartment — even her boyfriend, Riley Roberts, has claimed to live there — neighbors told the Post they have never seen either Ocasio-Cortez or Roberts at the building. The Post even surveyed surrounding businesses, who said Ocasio-Cortez has never patronized their businesses, except when news cameras were in tow.
Even the mail carrier who has delivered to the building for a decade said he has rarely seen Ocasio-Cortez in the last 10 years.
"Just because their names are on the box doesn't mean they live there," he told the Post. "Constituents come here and leave notes on the door. But it's a waste of time."
Adding confusion to the question of Ocasio-Cortez's residence is that when she initially filed to run for Congress in 2017 she mistakenly declared to run for New York's 15th Congressional District, according to the Post. Instead, she meant to declare candidacy for New York's 14th Congressional District, where she claims to live and where she currently serves.
A Post reporter attempted to ask Ocasio-Cortez and her staff about her residence over the weekend, but the congresswoman personally dodged the reporter.
What about a district office?
Not only do Ocasio-Cortez's alleged neighbors never see the freshman lawmaker, but if her constituents wanted to make direct contact with her or her staff in the district, they would be unable to do so. That's because Ocasio-Cortez still has not opened a district office or established a local phone line for constituents, according to the Post. Meanwhile, three other freshman New York lawmakers have their local offices up and running.
However, as the Post explained, Ocasio-Cortez's team is working to open a district office. From the Post:
The space slated for Ocasio-Cortez's constituent office is in a new building in Jackson Heights.
Suites in the building at 74-09 37th Avenue rent for about $40 per square foot. Ocasio-Cortez's office, on the third floor, is just under 5,000 square feet, which would bring the annual undiscounted rental price to $200,000 or nearly $17,000 a month.
Ocasio-Cortez blamed the office delay on a greedy landlord. According to the Post, Ocasio-Cortez said she wanted to take control of an office her predecessor, former Rep. Joe Crowley (D), utilized, but she chose a different space after the building landlord allegedly nearly doubled rent for the space.
But, as the Post noted, "Ocasio-Cortez neglected to mention that her rent would end up likely topping the cost of Crowley's former digs." According to Post estimates, Ocasio-Cortez's district office may end up costing as much as $2,000 more per month than Crowley's space would have cost her with the alleged rent increase.
How did Ocasio-Cortez respond to the story?
Corbin Trent, a spokesman for Ocasio-Cortez, told the Post Sunday that his boss and her boyfriend relocated to a different apartment building this month.
"She lives in the same neighborhood she's lived in for years," Trent said. "She is not living in the exact same condo."
However, Trent's statement still does not explain why multiple neighbors at the apartment building where Ocasio-Cortez has claimed to live for years went on the record claiming they have never seen Ocasio-Cortez at the building.
Later on Sunday, Ocasio-Cortez directly responded to the story:
I still live in my hood and literally instagrammed from my apartment tonight. A man was just arrested last week with a stockpile of guns specifically trying to kill me & others, so yeah I'm not gonna disclose my personal address or tell people when I move. Sorry!
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 25, 2019