Global Citizen is a community of people like you

People who want to learn about and take action on the world’s biggest challenges. Extreme poverty ends with you.

This 2018 photo provided by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Campaign shows candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in New York.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Campaign/AP
Girls & Women

A 28-Year-Old Latina Activist Just Beat New York's Most Powerful Congressional Rep

Community organizer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez trounced Joseph Crowley, the fourth-ranking congressional Democrat in the House of Representatives, in New York’s Democratic primary Tuesday, according to Vox.

Ocasio-Cortez won the primary contest for New York’s 14th district, which covers parts of Queens and the Bronx. Since the district skews heavily Democrat, she is almost certain to win the seat in the general election in November, Vox reports.

Embed from Getty Images

The victory is being described as the most significant congressional upset since Virginia’s 2014 Republican primary, when the insurgent candidate David Bratt unseated Eric Cantor, the second-ranking Republican in the House, according to The New York Times.

Take Action: Ask Governments and Corporations to Support Girls' Education

And it’s groundbreaking for several other reasons.

If she makes it to Congress, Ocasio-Cortez will be the youngest woman ever elected to the body at 28 years old. And as a Latina, she will be the first woman of color to represent the 14th district, which has long been a majority-minority area.

Further, Ocasio-Cortez overcame a 5-to-1 fundraising deficit, with Crowley raising more than $3 million, and Ocasio-Cortez bringing in $600,000 from small donors. She managed this through a strong grassroots campaign, and savvy digital efforts that earned her national celebrity among leftist groups and voters, according to Vox.

The video announcing her campaign drew hundreds of thousands of views and helped garner the endorsements of groups like Move On, the Working Families Party, and the People for Bernie Sanders.

Read More: What It’s Like to Be a Queer Woman Running for Office

As a Democratic Socialist, Ocasio-Cortez campaigned on an ambitious platform that called for medicare for all, universal housing, a jobs guarantee, higher education for all, 100% renewable energy infrastructure, criminal justice reform, and more.

She said that if she makes it to Congress, she will introduce a bill to abolish Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) on day one.

During the campaign, she branded Crowley as someone too removed from voters by emphasizing his connections to Wall Street and the fact that he lives outside of the district and sends his kids to school in Virginia, according to the Times.

She also derided Crowley as a member of the Democratic establishment, a message that appears to have resonated with voters, and signals that the party’s hierarchy and priorities could be shaken up in the months ahead, the Times notes.

Read More: Women Just Had One of Their Best Election Years Ever

“What I see is that the Democratic Party takes working class communities for granted, they take people of color for granted and they just assume that we’re going to turn out no matter how bland or half-stepping these proposals are,” Ocasio-Cortez said in a recent interview, according to the Times.

Her victory is being celebrated by activists and noted as momentous by journalists and citizens across social media.

Even President Donald Trump weighed in on the primary race, but only to jeer at Crowley for losing.

Read More: This Inspiring Teen is Running For City Council

As for Ocasio-Cortez, she’s already focused on helping other progressive newcomers get elected.

Global Citizen campaigns to promote gender equality in all spheres of society and you can take action on this issue here.