Feb. 20, 2019, By Meghan Sackman
Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the newly sworn in representative of the 14th District, will be opening a Jackson Heights district office next month.
Ocasio-Cortez’s office will be located in the Bruson Building at 74-09 37th Ave., about eights blocks from where her predecessor Joseph Crowley operated from.
She anticipates opening the office on Monday, March 4, a representative from her office said at the Community Board 1 meeting on Tuesday.
The congressmember has faced some criticism over the length of time it has taken to open her district office. However, she has attributed the delay to landlord issues and the government shutdown.
The delays were caused, in part, by her inability to move into Crowley’s previous location. She took to twitter last month to explain the obstacles preventing her from doing that.
Office update/NYC Rent life: although we attempted to take over our predecessor’s lease, the landlord wanted to almost double rent (from ~$7.8k/mo to $15k/mo).
That spike would have meant less caseworkers for our community. Instead, we’re making a new space w/ a family business! pic.twitter.com/PrM8E1v8wh
— Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@RepAOC) January 22, 2019
“Although we attempted to take over our predecessor’s lease, the landlord wanted to almost double rent (from ~$7.8k/mo to $15k/mo),” she said of former Representative Crowley’s old office spaces.
She consequently had to build out a new space, which she said was slowed down by the 35-day government shut down. The New York Times, in a story about the delay, noted that other freshmen congress members managed to open offices despite the shut down.
Her scheduler Daniel Bonthius, who announced that the office was opening at the Community Board 1 meeting, said that Ocasio-Cortez has big plans for the district office.
He said that the office will feature art work by local artisans, and that there will be a mural contest where the winners will have their work displayed on the walls of her district office.
“We’re looking for murals that celebrate our unique and diverse community,” Bonthius said at a community board meeting.
Artists interested in the competition are advised to submit their sketches to [email protected] before the March 11 deadline.
Bonthius said the congressmember plans to hold a town hall at her office once a month, along with multiple public events.
Ocasio-Cortez, who represents northwest Queens and southern parts of the Bronx, is currently looking for a permanent district office in the Bronx as well. In the Bronx, she is temporarily sharing an office with Senator Alessandra Biaggi of the 34th District, located at 1250 Waters Pl.
The Bronx native and Queens representative, who was officially sworn into office in Washington on Jan 3, 2019 held a swearing in ceremony over the weekend at the Renaissance School for Musical Theater and Technology in the Bronx.
The ceremony included a swearing in by Judge Jenny Rivera, the second Hispanic woman to be appointed to the New York State Court of Appeals, as well as Ocasio-Cortez’s inaugural address.
Until Ocasio-Cortez’s permanent offices are open, her constituents are being advised to reach out her website at ocasio-cortez.house.gov.
Ocasio-Cortez’s Washington D.C. office is also reachable at 202-225-3965.