Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez took to Instagram late Tuesday to denounce what she called \u0022dirty politics\u0022 exemplified by New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, accusing the local leader of locking several progressive councilors out of funding that would have benefited their constituents.\r\n\r\nThe New York Democrat explained how six progressive city councilmembers—Tiffany Cabán, Kristin Richardson Jordan, Alexa Avilés, Sandy Nurse, Chi Ossé, and Charles Barron—were the only dissenters on Monday as the council passed a city budget which had \u0022absolutely unconscionable cuts to education [and] housing services\u0022 while boosting funding for \u0022really severe expansions in surveillance technology\u0022 and keeping the New York City Police Department\u0026#039;s $11 billion budget in place.\r\n\r\n\u0022I\u0026#039;m gonna say, as the congresswoman for Astoria, do not mess with our kids, period.\u0022\r\n\r\nJust before the 44-6 vote passing the $101 billion budget weeks ahead of the city\u0026#039;s deadline and as disagreements over funding were still ongoing, budget documents showed that seven councilmembers—including the six who objected to the spending plan—were being locked out of the Speaker\u0026#039;s Initiative to Address Citywide Needs.\r\n\r\nThe $41.6 million program contains discretionary funds which Adams can give out to members to spend on projects in their neighborhoods.\r\n\r\nAll members will still receive $400,000 in discretionary funds from the newly-passed city budget.\r\n\r\nBut in Cabán\u0026#039;s case, the exclusion from the speaker\u0026#039;s initiative means a vital children\u0026#039;s center in Astoria, the Variety Boys \u0026amp; Girls Club, will lose $150,000 it needs to continue serving thousands of children in the neighborhood.\r\n\r\n\u0022This is just a very harsh cut,\u0022 CEO Costa Constantinides told Patch. \u0022This definitely is a setback for us to carry out our mission.\u0022\r\n\r\nOcasio-Cortez called the lockout and funding cut \u0022an incredibly inappropriate line to get crossed,\u0022 considering children will be impacted by Adams\u0026#039; decision.\r\n\r\n\u0022There are some things in politics that are fair game,\u0022 said the congresswoman on Instagram. \u0022You may really want to be named to a committee, you may really want a certain one of your bills to come to the floor, and if you really make leadership angry, they will say no. And that\u0026#039;s a personal cost.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022But who defunds after-school programming for underprivileged kids in public housing to score a political point?\u0022 she continued.\r\n\r\nAdams denied to City \u0026amp; State that the decision to allocate funds from the speaker\u0026#039;s initiative was \u0022about any single council member,\u0022 but Barron, who represents parts of Brooklyn including East New York, called the speaker an \u0022insecure\u0022 leader who is \u0022working against the people.\u0022\r\n\r\n\u0022Alexa, Kristin, all of us, we represent hundreds of thousands of people,\u0022 Barron told City \u0026amp; State. \u0022She\u0026#039;s not punishing us, she\u0026#039;s punishing the people.\u0022\r\n\r\nBarron, Cabán, and the other dissenters objected to $215 million in cuts to public schools and the budget\u0026#039;s failure to devote 1% of city spending to parks, rent relief, and affordable housing.\r\n\r\n\u0022Yesterday, I had principals calling me telling me that they had teachers crying because of a $1 million dollar cut their school was getting,\u0022 said Ossé. \u0022I can\u0026#039;t live with that.\u0022\r\n\r\nAvilés noted that the city brought in high tax revenue this year and still has unspent federal stimulus funds.\r\n\r\n\u0022It is unconscionable to cut school budgets right now while we sit on unspent federal funds,\u0022 Avilés told the Brooklyn Paper. \u0022How we spend money matters.\u0022\r\n\r\nOcasio-Cortez expressed solidarity with the members who voted against the budget.\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\u0022Here\u0026#039;s where the hope lies,\u0022 she said in her Instagram video. \u0022At the end of the day there were several extremely courageous councilmembers, almost all of whom we supported for election. I want to thank them because that kind of environment, having been in it myself, is not easy.\u0022\r\n\r\nPunitive actions like the one Ocasio-Cortez and others accused Adams of happen \u0022everywhere,\u0022 said the congresswoman. \u0022It happens on your city council whether you\u0026#039;re a Democrat or a Republican.\u0022\r\n\r\nWhile it can be difficult for councilmembers to fight against hostility from leadership without attracting more negative attention, added Ocasio-Cortez, \u0022I\u0026#039;m gonna say, as the congresswoman for Astoria, do not mess with our kids, period.\u0022\r\n\r\nShe also called on her supporters to help raise funds for Variety Boys \u0026amp; Girls Club to help bridge the center\u0026#039;s funding gap.