AOC sparks outrage among LGBTQ leaders for suggesting to rename post office

"Is it that she doesn't know our history?" asked former Democratic city councilman.

Published: February 21, 2022 3:17pm

Updated: February 21, 2022 10:37pm

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) has enraged local activists in New York City for proposing to rename a post office in Queens that honors LGBTQ rights pioneers.

Ocasio-Cortez is soliciting suggestions for renaming the Jeanne and Jules Manford Post Office Building, the New York Daily News reported.

Jeanne Manford is considered to have been the first parent to march with their child in an LGBTQ parade some 50 years ago. She then founded PFLAG, the country's first LGBTQ group designed to build solidarity between parents and LGBTQ children, with help from her husband, Jules.

"Is it that she doesn't know our history?" former City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D) said to the Daily News on Sunday. "Did they not check to see who the post office is named after right now? Does she not know who Jeanne Manford was?"

Dromm, who worked with Ocasio-Cortez's predecessor, Joseph Crowley, to name the post office after the Manfords five years ago, said changing the name would "erase our history."

The Manfords and their son, Morty, are deceased.

A spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez said it's typical for members of Congress to consider new names for local post offices, adding the congresswoman is "very open" to keeping the current name.

"We'll consider all community input," the spokeswoman said. "It seemed like a small but interesting way to engage our community in the legislative process."

She added the idea to rename the post office began with a suggestion from the community to honor the late LGBTQ activist Lorena Borjas.

"You don't take one pioneer of the LGBT movement and pit them against another person," Dromm said.

"How dare she put our community's heritage up for a popularity contest or a vote," added Allen Roskoff, a longtime LGBTQ activist and head of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club.

Both Dromm and Roskoff told the Daily News that, while they generally support Ocasio-Cortez and like her policies, "this is typical of her not being connected to the community."

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