Congress

‘You took off our Post-its?’ Capitol Hill officials tell Ocasio-Cortez to move her sticky notes

Capitol Hill officials complained they blocked a name plaque by the door, according to N.Y. Democrat’s office

Claudia Pagon Marchena, a staff assistant for New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, helps place sticky notes on a wall inside the office Tuesday after they had to be removed from the hallway. (Stephanie Akin/CQ Roll Call)

The brightly colored sticky notes that for weeks have marked the entrance to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ Cannon Building office have been removed after Capitol Hill officials complained they blocked a name plaque by the door, according to the New York Democrat’s staff.

The move apparently came as a surprise to Ocasio-Cortez, who returned to her office as an aide was busily moving the notes to a wall inside. “You took off our Post-its?” she exclaimed.

Admirers had been leaving scrawled messages on the orange, pink, yellow and blue bits of paper for weeks. The blaze of color against the stark white marble hallway had become a visible symbol of the new brand of activism the freshman lawmaker had promised to bring here.

The “ritual” started after “two mothers” left a few notes next to her nameplate, Ocasio-Cortez said in a tweet. The staff enjoyed seeing the words of encouragement every day, she wrote, so they left them there, and new notes appeared.

Ocasio-Cortez tweeted in January that she would keep the notes up “as long as they stick.” But apparently, Capitol Hill regulations are stronger than Post-it glue.

The Superintendent of House Office Buildings said the notes obscured the braille on the Ocasio-Cortez’s nameplate, staff assistant Claudia Pagon Marchena said. 

A spokeswoman from the Architect of the Capitol, which oversees the superintendent’s office, referred a reporter to a 2008 House Office Building “hallway policy,” which, she said, “addresses items permitted in or restricted from the hallways of the House Office Buildings.” 

Also watch: Ocasio-Cortez, Pressley join protest for immigrants in limbo

Fans were not deterred, though. Within minutes, lobbyists Maya Colorado and Mayra Portillo, who described themselves as young Latina admirers of the 29-year-old congresswoman from the Bronx, were knocking at the office door.

They had already seen pictures on Instagram of the newly clean wall outside Ocasio-Cortez’s office, but wanted to leave notes anyway. So they scrawled out new messages, thanking Ocasio-Cortez and saying she had inspired them. They handed the bits of paper to Pagon Marchena, who, standing on a chair, added them to the new display.

Sticky notes attached to the name plaque of another freshman, Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar, remained outside her office door in the Longworth Building as of Tuesday afternoon.

Sticky notes with words of support are posted on the nameplate for Rep. Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., outside her office in the Longworth House Office Building on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)
Sticky notes with words of support are seen on the nameplate for Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar outside her office in the Longworth Building on Monday. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)  

An aide from Omar’s office said they have not yet received requests to take them down.

Katherine Tully-McManus and Bridget Bowman contributed to this story.Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call on your iPhone or your Android.