Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a frequent critic of the moderate Democrats in her party, accused the New York City Council speaker of playing “dirty politics” against many progressive Democrats.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has criticized spokeswoman Adrian Adams over the city’s final budget deal that she said included “unreasonable” cuts to education, and accused her of punishing council members – most of whom share Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’s Left Opinions – Who Voted Against.
In an Instagram video Tuesday evening captioned “What dirty politics looks like,” the congresswoman said the speaker had excommunicated community groups that opposition members had been supporting, including an after-school program at the Boys and Girls Club of Queens.
Who stops funding after-school programs for disadvantaged children in public housing to score a political point? She said. “It’s like the kind of decision-making in a bad movie.”
The $101 billion budget deal was approved this week by 44 to 6. Several members who voted against the budget, including Tiffany Cabanne, an ally of Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, Criticize spending cuts on education He called for more funding for affordable housing.
The budget included $41.6 million in discretionary funding that Ms. controlled. Adams, a moderate from Queens and the first black woman to lead a city council.
At first glance, it seemed that Mrs. Caban, along with the five other council members who voted against the budget — Alexa Aviles, Sandy Norris, Chi Osei, Charles Barron, and Kristen Richardson Jordan — were not given any discretionary funds from the speaker’s pool, and that their community groups and programs would suffer.
It’s not entirely the case, said Ms Adams, who declined an interview request. Some programs paid by council members have received money from the city beyond the speaker’s discretion. In other cases, they received discretionary funds, but the council member who requested the money was not listed as a sponsor—essentially denying the legislator public recognition of the funds’ sponsorship of their communities.
“Of course my office will love the same credit our colleagues have been given for defending these vital programs,” said Ms. Kaban, a Queens Councilwoman who has requested funding for Variety Boys and Girls. “But the most important thing is to secure the funds and prevent any reduction in services.”
The Boys and Girls Club had hoped to get $150,000 in city funding, but received only half of that amount. The money came from funding local initiatives in the budget, not from the speaker’s separate account, and was credited to another council member, Shakar Krishnan.
Costa Constantinides, chief executive of Variety Boys & Girls Club in Queens, said he had hoped his foundation would receive $150,000 from the budget and was confident that Ms. Adams will sort out the potential funding issue raised by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.
said mr. Konstantinides, a former member of the Queen’s Council. “I think we’re all working together to come up with a great solution.”
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has taken an increasingly active role in New York politics in support of left-leaning causes. She has been an outspoken critic of moderate Democrats, including Major Eric Adams, a former police officer who ran on a law and order message. Recently, Mrs. Ocasio-Cortez took over as Representative Sean Patrick Maloney, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chair, by endorsing his main rival, state senator Alessandra Biagi.
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez criticized the pioneer in her Instagram video, arguing that Mr. Adams and Mrs. Adams, unrelated to him, lobbied council members to enforce unpopular spending options. She highlighted cuts in the education budget and new spending on “surveillance technology”.
“These cuts are unpopular,” she said. “How do you actually get that? You create a very hostile psychological and political environment for the opposition.”
Ms. Adams was chosen by council members as a centrist candidate for the second most powerful government position in the nation’s largest city. She was not the first choice of Mayor Adams or the progressive wing of the council, and she has remained relatively low profile as she seeks to avoid public skirmishes with the mayor and council members.
But this was not the first time that Mrs. Adams has been accused of political retaliation in recent weeks. Last month, a measure tied to the sweetening of pensions for veteran city police officers failed to get the council’s required two-thirds majority.
The failure was seen as an embarrassment to the lady. Adams because it was the first time in years that a bill had appeared on the floor and had not passed.
More than a dozen council members abstained from voting on the measure, including left-leaning Brooklyn Councilwoman Crystal Hudson. Soon after the vote, she was excluded from the council leadership team, a group of council members who advise Ms. Adams and help carry out her agenda.
Both miss. hudson office and mrs. Adams’ office declined to comment on Ms. Hudson’s dismissal from the leadership team, but many onlookers saw the move as a warning to more left-leaning council members — just as the discretionary cash cut seemed to.
said mr. Barron, a Brooklyn councilman with a history of voting “no” on budgets. “Your community is being punished for voting against the budget.”
The $101 billion budget deal approved this week kept police spending steady and did not include additional funding to hire more corrections officers, which had been a priority for Pioneer. It also called for a $215 million cut in school funding, a move the pioneer said made sense because student enrollment has fallen. He said the schools would have enough money.
Justin Brannan, a Brooklyn councilman who chairs the Finance Committee, dismissed complaints of punitive measures. “The budget is not on demand,” he said, arguing that members cannot accept the parts they agree with while rejecting others..
“We have not reduced the public school budget,” said Mr. “Good Day New York,” Adams said on Fox 5 on Monday. We have reallocated funds based on the number of students. We lost thousands of students.”
Major spokesperson Fabian Levy said in a statement that Mr. Adams will increase school funding if enrollment increases in the fall. “Anyone who says otherwise is being dishonest and simply participating in the political scene trying to get some clicks.”
Ms. Aviles said she was aware there could be more punishment for those who voted against the budget, which could include things like revised commission mandates, but she was willing to accept that possibility in order to oppose education cuts.
“I will not vote against my conscience and my community.” Aviles said. “I got nothing but praise from my community because they know what’s going on.”
Two years ago, Corey Johnson, the council’s last speaker, was accused of punishing members who voted against his budget, after a heated debate over the Stop Police Funding movement.
the master. Barron said the episode explains why the spokeswoman didn’t get $41 million to distribute at her discretion.
“This is not her money. This is the people’s money. She shouldn’t have as much money,” Mr. Barron said. “You have 44 people to vote for your way. What is the problem?”