Asked whether she planned to endorse in the mayoral race and how she intended to use her influence, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said that she did not have “any concrete answers” at the moment, but emphasized her broader priorities around making the city more equitable.
“Addressing inequality — and not just economic inequality — health inequality, criminal justice inequality, and so, you know, these are issues that are a major priority for me and for our community,” she said.
Mr. Stringer, for his part, has pulled in endorsements from a number of prominent progressive lawmakers, several of whom are seen as aligned closely with Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. But he is also a white man who has worked in politics for decades, at a moment when some left-leaning voters would prefer to elevate a person of color.
Maya Wiley, a former top counsel to Mayor Bill de Blasio, and Dianne Morales, a former nonprofit executive, are both progressive women of color who are active on the virtual campaign trail. But whether they can demonstrate real traction in the race remains unknown. Ms. Wiley, who in a recent poll came in at 8 percent, has qualified for matching funds from the city; Ms. Morales, who in that poll was at 2 percent, has said that she expects to hit the key fund-raising threshold for the next filing period.
Carlos Menchaca, a Brooklyn city councilman, is deeply progressive, but has struggled to get off the ground.
Then there is Mr. Yang, who has fashioned himself as the anti-poverty candidate. That message could appeal to progressives, but he also faces skepticism from the left over issues including policing and education. Ms. Wiley has sharply questioned Mr. Yang around reporting concerning a challenging culture for women working on his presidential campaign, and Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has been a vocal critic of sexism in the workplace.
Assemblyman Ron T. Kim, who was endorsed by Ms. Ocasio-Cortez last year and is now a prominent supporter of Mr. Yang’s mayoral bid, said that he was encouraged when he heard that Mr. Yang had engaged directly with Ms. Ocasio-Cortez. He said he was hopeful that the congresswoman and Mr. Yang could connect on policy matters including the environment and housing and other anti-poverty measures.