New York Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made headlines in 2019 when she defiantly wore an evening gown at the exclusive and trendy “Met Gala” bash with the words “Tax the Rich” emblazoned across it.
Her message was seen as pointed and, to some, a rude display at the annual gathering of the wealthiest supporters of the Metropolitan Museum of Art where tickets go for $50,000 each.
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Now another New York City elected official has worn a glamorous evening gown… with a message of her own.
New York Republican City Council Member Inna Vernikov wore a striking blue and white evening dress emblazoned with the Jewish star…the Israeli flag…at the annual Manhattan Republican Club gala last night.
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“So many Jewish New Yorkers & Jewish college students all over the country are afraid to display their Jewish identity, war a Kipa, a Star of David, or express support for the great state of Israel,” Vernikov wrote on “X”
“We cannot be afraid! We cannot remain silent! Be Jewish. Be Loud. Be Proud. This is where we live and we will not be intimidated!”
Vernikov, who is Jewish and born in Ukraine, has been an outspoken advocate for democracy and human rights, especially against Vladimir Putin’s illegal invasion of her homeland and the continuing attacks, both verbal and physical, against American Jews.
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She says the dress was quickly put together in 24 hours by celebrity designer Irina Shabayeva.
Shabayeva studied at the Parsons School of Design and is a Project Runway television show winner. Her creations have been worn by Selena Gomez and Carrie Underwood, among other celebrities.
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She thanked Vernikov for her “bravery and leadership” in wearing the dress as a statement supporting the Jewish state.
Vernikov has been outspoken in her support of Israel, calling it “our only true ally in the Middle East”