By: Chamar Logan
The 29-year old has become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. In June of this year, Ocasio-Cortez beat out Rep. Joe Crowley of New York in the primary elections. This victory, considered an upset and stunner, moved Ocasio-Cortez into the forefront as a national political figure.
Crowley was previously number four in the Democratic Party and was eyed as a potential speaker. That seat now belongs to Ocasio-Cortez, who is known for having a key left-wing voice in politics.
Before running for Congress, Ocasio-Cortez was an organizer on Vermont Independent Senator Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. In her victory speech Tuesday night, Ocasio-Cortez said “This is what is possible when everyday people come together in the collective realization that all our actions … are powerful, worthwhile and capable of lasting change. Words cannot express my gratitude to every organizer, every small-dollar donor, every working parent and Dreamer who helped make this movement happen and that’s exactly what this is, not a campaign or an Election Day but a movement … for social, economic and racial justice”.
Ocasio-Cortez, born to Puerto Rican Parents, gained the endorsement of former U.S. President Barack Obama. She will represent the New York 14th District which is inclusive of part of the Bronx, Queens and is one of the most diverse districts in the country.
Ocasio-Cortez was bold in her race on a progressive platform and refused to take any PAC money for her campaign. Her platform includes federal jobs guarantee, Medicare for all and abolishing immigration and customs enforcement.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez joins the ranks of a historic number of women who have made history these midterms. She joins Ayanna Pressley, the first black woman elected to congress in Massachusetts, Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and IIhan Omar in Minnesota, the first Muslim women elected to Congress.
At a summit in September, celebrating women of color in politics Rashida Tlaib said “Alexandria, Ilhan, Ayanna. I love these names, yes, you’re going to have to learn how to say our names.”