AOC challenger accuses her of avoiding a debate

Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, who is waiting to debate AOC.
Courtesy of Michelle Caruso-Cabrera

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced a bill to provide burial costs for COVID-19 victims and has pledged to raise $1 million to support COVID-19 relief efforts.

It was also just announced she will co-chair a climate change panel for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Yet, with just over a month until the June 23 primary in New York’s 14th Congressional District against Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, the duo still has not had a debate.

A spokeswoman for Ocasio-Cortez said the debates are coming and Caruso-Cabrera’s campaign has not directly reached out to their campaign. There was originally a debate scheduled for April 7, sponsored by the Parkchester Times, but was axed due to COVID-19.

“We believe debates are very important and we will be debating all three challengers,” said Ivet Contreras, press secretary for AOC. “Our campaign can confirm that discussions are already happening and we respect the sponsor’s process regarding the announcement of the debate.”

However, Caruso-Cabrera doesn’t feel as optimistic. On May 11, they emailed Ocasio-Cortez and her staff asking about a debate, but have not gotten a reply.

Additionally, on May 13, they delivered a letter to the campaign office went to the congressional office and no one was there either.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez who has yet to debate Caruso-Cabrera Photo courtesy of the office of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Caruso-Cabrera understands there is a pandemic and Ocasio-Cortez is helping the community, but just wants one debate. The Caruso-Cabrera campaign has been calling for debates in the Bronx and Queens both in English and Spanish for a week with no commitment from Ocasio-Cortez.

“The voters want a real debate, but AOC doesn’t have the guts to face me one-on-one,” Caruso-Cabrera said. “We have been working with BronxNet to set up a debate that has already been rescheduled two times. Next AOC will cancel the debate because she is hanging out in her luxury DC apartment while people are home in the epicenter of this crisis. The voters deserve a one-on-one debate today.”

The candidate has been out helping the community during the crisis as well. She has been delivering meals, hand sanitizers and masks at numerous places, including Fort Schuyler Senior Residence, Monsignor Florentine Senior Residence, St. Theresa’s Parish, St. Benedict’s, Bronx Jewish Community Council, Pelham Parkway Jewish Council, City Island for City Island Strong initiative, Jacobi Hospital, RAIN Total Care, Iglesia Casa de Salvacion, Crystals Family Residence, Vishnu Mandir Hindu Temple and Mujumder Foundation in Parkchester.

Caruso-Cabrera feels constituents deserve to hear why Ocasio-Cortez voted “No” to the stimulus legislation, which all of the fellow Democratic Congressional Delegation supported. Also she questioned why the congresswoman frequently traveled across America for Bernie Sanders, instead of helping the community.

“I want the voters to clearly see the difference between AOC and me,” Caruso-Cabrera said. “I want to serve the people. She is using her office for personal political gain. I will not disappoint our community. She is wrong for our neighborhoods and it is time to unite and bring results to our community.”

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