Carmen Quiñones, a leader at the Douglass Houses on the Upper West Side, told the New York Times that she appeared in a video without knowing it would be featured at the Republican National Convention on Thursday. The video represents another example of a Trump official mixing political work with government duties, the Times reported.
She was one of four tenants shown on the video, which promoted President Trump and criticized Mayor de Blasio. Three told the Times they didn’t know the context of the video.
Quiñones met with Trump about NYCHA in 2019, and she’s been critical of de Blasio’s oversight of NYCHA, given repair backlogs and other problems in public housing. She’s also helped deliver thousands of meals to NYCHA residents during the Covid crisis. Quiñones is listed on Wikipedia as a potential City Council candidate next year as a Democrat.
WOW. New York City Council District 7 candidate Carmen Quiñones is in a RNC video for Donald Trump.
— Pablo Zevallos (@PabloZevallos) August 28, 2020
The Times said Quiñones had gathered other NYCHA leaders for the video at the request of Lynne Patton, who oversees federal housing in New York for the Trump administration. But she didn’t know what the video would be used for, the Times said.
Ms. Quiñones said she wished that she had been told in advance that the clip would be shown at the convention. She said she was a lifelong Democrat who plans to vote for Joseph R. Biden Jr. in November. She was interviewed on Friday as she marched in Washington at the Get Your Knee Off Our Necks rally, sponsored by another Trump target, the Rev. Al Sharpton.
When asked whether she was concerned about being misled, Ms. Quiñones said, “It is what it is.”
Patton, however, says the tenants knew what they were getting into, and that the video was completely proper.
Ms. Patton declined to be interviewed, saying that she was traveling. But she issued a statement denying that she misled the four tenants, saying that they knew that their interviews would be shown at the convention “to increase awareness of the inhumane conditions that Mayor de Blasio has allowed for far too long.”
“Each participated regardless of political party because they recognized the importance of having a voice on the national stage and the undeniable improvements that have transpired under this administration,” Ms. Patton said.