Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has angered activists for proposing to rename a Queens post office that is currently named in honor of an LGBTQ activist.
The Jeanne and Jules Manford Post Office Building in Jackson Heights honors the late Jeanne Manford, co-founder of PFLAG, the nation’s largest organization for parents and allies of LGBTQ people.
Lauren Hitt, a spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez, told the New York Daily News that she got the idea from members of the community who were interested in honoring a different LGBTQ activist, the late Lorena Borjas.
“It seemed like a small but interesting way to engage our community in the legislative process,” Hitt said, adding that the Congresswoman remains “very open” to keeping the post office’s current name but also wanted to “consider all community input.”
Hitt also said members of Congress often consider renaming post offices and that Ocasio-Cortez is also seeking input about renaming a different building in Corona, Queens.
But many feel the conversation about the Jackson Heights building simply isn’t necessary.
“You don’t take one pioneer of the LGBT movement and pit them against another person,” said Daniel Dromm, a former New York City Councilman who helped name the building after Manford and also worked directly with her to found the Queens chapter of PFLAG.
Dromm added that while he likes Ocasio-Cortez’s policies, he feels “this is typical of her not being connected to the community.”
“How dare she put our community’s heritage up for a popularity contest or a vote,” added activist Allen Roskoff. “We are outraged.”