‘Woke’ Democrats want to remove ex-mayor Ed Koch’s name from Bridge

A slew of prominent “woke” Democratic politicians, including Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, want to remove the name of the late ex-mayor Ed Koch from the 59th Street Bridge – but haters are blasting that move, saying that ‘it cancels out-of-control culture’. ‘

The push for the name change is propelled by the Jim Owles LGBT Democratic Club, whose leader, Allen Roskoff, despised Koch for his late response to the AIDS crisis.

The club sent out a questionnaire to politicians asking for their approval – and one of their questions asks: ‘Given that Ed Koch has been documented to have caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people with AIDS and was blatantly racist, would you support a city bill to rename the old Queensboro Bridge? »

“Do you authorize the use of your name for such a purpose?” adds the questionnaire, indicating whether the pol would agree to its support being made public.

Those signing Koch’s cause of dismissal with AOC include state comptroller Tom DiNapoli; city ​​public attorney and gubernatorial candidate Jumaane Williams; congressional representatives Carolyn Maloney, Grace Meng and Hakeem Jeffries; Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine; and Bronx Borough President Vanessa Gibson.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg named the bridge after former Mayor Ed Koch in 2011.
Doug Meszler / WENN

Then-mayor Michael Bloomberg and the city council renamed the span connecting Manhattan and Queens the “Ed Koch-Queensboro” bridge in 2011, about two years before the irreverent ex-mayor – who hailed the New -Yorkers with “How am I?” and called himself a “sane liberal” – died.

But Roskoff says Koch was a covert gay man who didn’t do enough to advance gay civil rights, including during the AIDS crisis, and therefore doesn’t deserve the honor.

Roskoff acknowledged to the Post on Friday that his case against Koch was personal.

Rep.  Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez initially did not answer the bridge’s question in the questionnaire, but an aide later clarified that she supported the bridge’s renaming.
Getty Images

“Two of my lovers died in my arms of AIDS. I hold Koch partially responsible,” he said. “Ed Koch refused to acknowledge the AIDS crisis early on.”

One of her deceased lovers was Jim Owles, after whom the political club is named.

But a former senior Koch official blasted the attack on his ex-boss – and said any politicians who endorsed the claim were guilty of shameful complacency.

Robert Holden Consultants
Councilmen Robert Holden praised former mayor Ed Koch and said ‘the cancel culture is out of control’.

“What would Ed Koch say to that? He would call them a bunch of lunatics,” Koch’s former press secretary George Arzt said, repeating a trademark zinger often uttered by the former mayor.

“Boy, some people will do anything for an endorsement.”

Ocasio-Cortez was among those who did not answer the lengthy questionnaire question, but a rep said Friday it was an oversight.

MP Grace Meng
Congresswoman Grace Meng wrote that she would “happily consider” renaming the bridge in the questionnaire.
Stephane Yang

“We support the renaming of the bridge,” an AOC representative told the Post.

Some other prominent politicians, including Governor Kathy Hochul, dodged and elaborated or didn’t answer the questionnaire question either.

“Governor. Hochul is not looking for opportunities to rename bridges like some of her predecessors, although she would support the city’s efforts if a bill were introduced with community support,” her office said in the statement. quiz.

New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli
New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli also responded to the questionnaire saying he would support renaming the bridge.

Hochul was referring to his predecessor, the disgraced ex-governor. Andrew Cuomo, who renamed the new Tappan Zee Bridge after his father, former three-term Governor Mario Cuomo.

Senator Chuck Schumer skipped the question from the questionnaire. He could not be reached by The Post on Friday.

williams bragged on the quiz that he voted against renaming the Koch Bridge when he was a Brooklyn councilman. The resolution passed 38-12 at the time.

House Democratic Caucus Chairman Hakeem Jeffries
Representative Hakeem Jeffries said he was “open” to renaming the bridge.

Some haters of the decision have expressed surprise that elected officials who represent areas where Koch was popular — Manhattan’s East Side and Queens — want to reverse it.

Queens Councilman Robert Holden, whose district overlaps with Meng’s, slammed the congresswoman for disrespecting Koch and expressed dismay that DiNapoli turned on him.

“It’s outrageous. The cancel culture is out of control. If Meng joins the cancel culture, maybe voters should cancel her,” Holden said.

He said it’s easy to “pick the cherry” among Koch’s 12 years of experience as mayor, adding: “Nobody back then cared more about the city than Ed Koch.

“He worked very hard to help the city.”

Meng answered in the questionnaire, “I would gladly consider supporting the city’s efforts to rename the bridge.

“I welcome any outreach to my office with the details and names offered for this purpose.”

Maloney added: “As a federal representative, I have no jurisdiction over this, but I would be in favor of renaming the old bridge Queensboro.

“Yes, I authorize the use of my name for this purpose,” said Maloney, whose district includes the span.

Jeffries also said he was “open” to the name change.

But former Brooklyn Councilman Diana Reyna, a Democratic candidate for lieutenant governor, voted to rename the Koch Bridge at the time – and said she is keeping it now.

“The name change was made after a long public process and debate. I would oppose efforts to repeal this legislation,” she said in her response to the Political Club.

Still, Brooklyn Councilman Chi Osse said he was involved in talks about introducing a resolution to strike Koch’s name from the bridge.

New York Governor Kathy Hochul
New York Governor Kathy Hochul said she was not looking to rename the bridges, but would “support the city’s efforts.”
Office of Governor Kathy Hochul

“I support Allen in his efforts to achieve this,” Osse told The Post on Friday.

Roskoff said Manhattan City Councilman Erik Bottcher agreed to co-introduce the resolution.

Bottcher declined a request for comment from The Post.

The naming of the Koch Bridge caused a slight stir when it was instituted.

A year later, former Queens Councilman Peter Vallone Jr. proposed legislation to remove Koch’s name from the 59th Street Bridge, but only because he didn’t think the Queensboro Bridge should bear the name. anyone, just like the bridges in Manhattan or Brooklyn. Vallone said another structure should have been named in honor of Koch.

The push to replace Koch’s name on the bridge was also raised during a recent meeting LGBT activists and council officials had with Mayor Eric Adams.

City Hall had no immediate comment to the Post on the matter.

Koch’s quash motion comes amid a campaign to remove the statue of Christopher Columbus from Columbus Circle following complaints that the famous explorer massacred Indigenous residents of the Americas.

New York Post

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