State Senator Jessica Ramos, who represents the 13th District in Queens, recently took to social media to criticize Bronx/Queens Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez — whose 14th Congressional District overlaps with Ramos’ — for not being adequately present in her district.
It started when a medical student wrote on Twitter about how health policy academics who had set up a meeting to talk about healthcare reform were told by Ocasio-Cortez’s staff, “We are not doing healthcare right now.”
Ocasio-Cortez responded by apologizing for the incident. She then offered to follow up with him to discuss the matter further.
I’m really sorry to hear that this happened. It’s not representative of me nor my values. If you can connect with details I’d appreciate it. I’ll follow so DMs will be open.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 24, 2022
Ramos responded to the original Twitter thread, accusing the congresswoman of not spending enough time in her office, with her own team, or even in her own district.
Maybe if you spent more time in your office and with your team you’d know what goes on. Just saying it would be nice if you breathed our air. So, as an employer, what happens with the staffer who said this?
— Jessica Ramos (@jessicaramos) July 24, 2022
In her replies to Twitter users, Ramos said that she and Ocasio-Cortez have offices “on the same floor in the same building” and that Ocasio-Cortez is “barely ever present in the community.”
The lawmaker added that when she texted the congresswoman saying that she hoped Ocasio-Cortez was OK following the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol, she never received a response.
“She doesn’t meet with elected officials,” Ramos said on Twitter.
Several Queens elected officials came Ocasio-Cortez’s defense and cited positive experiences working with her.
Assemblyman Zohran Mamdani stated that Ocasio-Cortez has been heavily involved in local politics and that he has met with her on several occasions.
As a local elected official in @AOC’s district, this just isn’t true.
I have met with her multiple times, she was a critical part of our @NYTWA victory, and she has been a partner at every level of politics.
Astoria is all the better for having her represent us. pic.twitter.com/xLXAU4APft
— Zohran Kwame Mamdani (@ZohranKMamdani) July 24, 2022
Councilwoman Tiffany Cabán disputed the tweets and stated that her team has worked closely with Ocasio-Cortez’s team on several matters.
I gotta be fair here. Real talk this hasn’t been my experience at all. From being able to communicate & work with my Congressperson directly to our teams working closely on policy, organizing and a lot more, me and my neighbors have benefited a lot from the mutual collaboration.
— Tiffany Cabán (@tiffany_caban) July 24, 2022
Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesperson responded to the critical tweets by stating that the congresswoman held an event in Jackson Heights, which the senator represents, earlier in July. Her office also told QNS that the congresswoman last saw Ramos at a May Day rally and at an Astoria petitioning event a few weeks prior.
“The congresswoman has also held six town halls for constituents so far this year,” Ocasio-Cortez’s spokesperson said.
QNS reached out to Ramos’ office and is awaiting comment.