A 28-Year-Old Latina Activist Just Beat New York's Most Powerful Congressional Rep
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez could become the youngest US Congresswoman ever.
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.
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.
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.
I have spent today criss-crossing the district my family has called home for generations. I have met strangers who knew my dad, and knew stories about my loved ones.— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) June 27, 2018
I have touched the hands of people who have felt ignored and invisible for a long, long time. And they felt seen.
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.
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.
“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.
This photo is from Nov. 14, 2017. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, was then working as a bartender.— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) June 27, 2018
Less than a year later, she defeated the likely next Speaker of the House, and will almost certainly be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress pic.twitter.com/JgHjdQWAF6
She went Boston Univ., & got degrees in Economics & Intl Relations. She worked for the late Sen. Kennedy handling foreign affairs & immigration casework. After her father died of cancer & as she became an educator w/ @nhi_news, she waited tables & bartended to help her family.— Sarah (@Serendiptee) June 27, 2018
Even President Donald Trump weighed in on the primary race, but only to jeer at Crowley for losing.
Wow! Big Trump Hater Congressman Joe Crowley, who many expected was going to take Nancy Pelosi’s place, just LOST his primary election. In other words, he’s out! That is a big one that nobody saw happening. Perhaps he should have been nicer, and more respectful, to his President!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 27, 2018
As for Ocasio-Cortez, she’s already focused on helping other progressive newcomers get elected.
“The people closest to the pain should be closest to the power.”— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) June 27, 2018
Vote her in next, Massachusetts.
There are more of us, too: @CoriBush, @Chardo2018, @AyannaPressley & more.
We need to elect a corporate PAC-free caucus if we’re going to get things done. https://t.co/M2tF5cedTs
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