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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (/ˌˌkɑːsi kɔːrˈtɛz/; Spanish: [oˈkasjo koɾˈtes];[1] born October 13, 1989), often referred to by her initials, AOC, is an American politician and activist who serves as the U.S. Representative for New York's 14th congressional district. The district includes the eastern part of the Bronx and portions of north-central Queens in New York City. She is a member of the Democratic Party.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, official portrait, 116th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from New York's 14th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2019
Preceded byJoe Crowley
Personal details
Born (1989-10-13) October 13, 1989 (age 29)
New York City, New York, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
EducationBoston University (BA)
WebsiteHouse website

Ocasio-Cortez drew national recognition when she won the Democratic Party's primary election for New York's 14th congressional district on June 26, 2018, defeating the ten-term incumbent Congressman, Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley, in what was widely seen as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm election primaries.[7] She beat Republican opponent Anthony Pappas in the November 6, 2018 general election, and at age 29, became the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress.[8] Ocasio-Cortez has been noted for her substantial social media presence relative to her fellow members of Congress.[9]

Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.[10] Ocasio-Cortez and Rashida Tlaib are the two first members of the group in Congress.[11] She advocates for a progressive platform that includes Medicare for all, a federal jobs guarantee, a proposed Green New Deal, abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, free public college and trade school, and a 70% marginal tax rate for incomes above $10 million. Ocasio-Cortez majored in international relations and economics at Boston University, graduating cum laude in 2011. She then worked as a waitress and bartender before running for Congress in 2018; she also served as an educational director for the five-day-long 2017 Northeast Collegiate World Series for the National Hispanic Institute.[12][13]

Contents

Early life

Ocasio-Cortez was born in The Bronx, New York City on October 13, 1989 to Blanca Ocasio-Cortez (née Cortez) and Sergio Ocasio in a Catholic family.[14] She has a younger brother, Gabriel Ocasio-Cortez.[15] Her father was born in the Bronx to a Puerto Rican family and became an architect; her mother was born in Puerto Rico.[16][17] She has described her Puerto Rican community as an amalgamation: "We are black; we are indigenous; we are Spanish; we are European."[18] Ocasio-Cortez lived with her family in an apartment in the Bronx neighborhood of Parkchester[17] until age five, when the family moved to a house in suburban Yorktown Heights, New York.[17][19]

Ocasio-Cortez attended Yorktown High School, graduating in 2007.[20] She came in second in the Microbiology category of the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with a microbiology research project on the effect of antioxidants on the lifespan of the nematode C. elegans.[21] In a show of appreciation for her efforts, the MIT Lincoln Laboratory named a small asteroid after her: 23238 Ocasio-Cortez.[22][23] In high school, she took part in the National Hispanic Institute's Lorenzo de Zavala (LDZ) Youth Legislative Session. She later became the LDZ Secretary of State while she attended Boston University. Ocasio-Cortez had a John F. Lopez Fellowship.[12] In 2008, while Ocasio-Cortez was a sophomore at Boston University, her father died of lung cancer.[24][25] During college, she served as an intern in the office of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, in his section on foreign affairs and immigration issues.[26] "I was the only Spanish speaker, and as a result, as basically a kid—a 19-, 20-year-old kid—whenever a frantic call would come into the office because someone is looking for their husband because they have been snatched off the street by ICE, I was the one that had to pick up that phone," Ocasio-Cortez said. "I was the one that had to help that person navigate that system."[26]

She graduated cum laude from Boston University's College of Arts and Sciences in 2011, majoring in international relations and economics.[12][27][28]

When her father died intestate in 2008,[29] she became involved in a long probate battle to settle his estate. She has said that the experience helped her learn "firsthand how attorneys appointed by the court to administer an estate can enrich themselves at the expense of the families struggling to make sense of the bureaucracy".[30]

Early career

After college, Ocasio-Cortez moved back to the Bronx and took a job working 18-hour shifts as a bartender and waitress to help her mother—a house cleaner and school-bus driver—fight foreclosure of their home.[31][13] She later launched Brook Avenue Press, a publishing firm for books that portray the Bronx in a positive light,[32] and worked as lead educational strategist at GAGEis, Inc.[33] Ocasio-Cortez also worked for the nonprofit National Hispanic Institute, serving as the Educational Director of the 2017 Northeast Collegiate World Series, a five-day-long program targeted at college-bound high school students from across the United States and other countries, where she also participated in the panel on the future of Latino leadership.[12][34][35]

In the 2016 primary, Ocasio-Cortez worked as an organizer for Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign.[36] After the general election, she traveled across America by car, visiting places such as Flint, Michigan, and Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, and speaking to people affected by the Flint water crisis and the Dakota Access Pipeline.[37] In an interview she recalled her December 2016 visit to Standing Rock as a tipping point, saying that before that, she had believed that the only way to run for office effectively was to have access to wealth, social influence, and power. But her visit to North Dakota, where she saw others "putting their whole lives and everything that they had on the line for the protection of their community", inspired her to begin to work for her own community.[38] One day after she visited North Dakota, she got a phone call from Brand New Congress, which was recruiting progressive candidates (her brother had nominated her soon after Election Day 2016).[39]

2018 campaign

 
Ocasio-Cortez's congressional campaign logo was inspired by "revolutionary posters and visuals from the past."

Ocasio-Cortez began her campaign while waiting tables and tending bar at Flats Fix, a taqueria in New York City's Union Square.[40] "For 80 percent of this campaign, I operated out of a paper grocery bag hidden behind that bar," she told Bon Appétit.[41] She was the first person since 2004 to challenge Joe Crowley, the Democratic Caucus Chair, in the primary. She faced a financial disadvantage, saying, "You can't really beat big money with more money. You have to beat them with a totally different game." Her campaign posters' design were said to have taken inspiration from "revolutionary posters and visuals from the past".[42]

On June 15, the candidates' only face-to-face encounter during the campaign occurred on a local political talk show, Inside City Hall. The format was a joint interview conducted by Errol Louis, which NY1 characterized as a debate.[43] On June 18, a debate in the Bronx was scheduled, but Crowley did not participate. He sent former New York City Council member Annabel Palma in his place.[44][45][46]

Endorsements

Ocasio-Cortez was endorsed by progressive and civil rights organizations such as MoveOn,[47] Justice Democrats,[48] Brand New Congress,[49] Black Lives Matter,[50] and Democracy for America,[36] and by gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon, who, like Ocasio-Cortez, also challenged a longtime incumbent. Nixon challenged incumbent Andrew Cuomo in the 2018 New York gubernatorial election[51] but lost.

Governor Cuomo endorsed Crowley, as did both of New York's U.S. Senators, Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand, as well as New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, 11 U.S. Representatives, 31 local elected officials, 31 trade unions, and progressive groups such as the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, the Working Families Party, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, among others.[52][better source needed] California representative Ro Khanna, a Justice Democrat like Ocasio-Cortez,[53] initially endorsed Crowley but later endorsed Ocasio-Cortez in an unusual dual endorsement.[54]

Primary election

 
Ocasio-Cortez was recognized for running an effective grassroots campaign.

On June 26, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez received 57.13% of the vote (15,897) to Joe Crowley's 42.5% (11,761), defeating the 10-term incumbent by almost 15 percentage points.[55] Her win, and Crowley's defeat, came as a shock to many political commentators and analysts and immediately garnered nationwide attention. Time called her victory "the biggest upset of the 2018 elections so far";[56] CNN made a similar statement.[3] The New York Times described Crowley's loss as "a shocking primary defeat on Tuesday, the most significant loss for a Democratic incumbent in more than a decade, and one that will reverberate across the party and the country".[36] The Guardian called it "one of the biggest upsets in recent American political history".[57] Her victory was especially surprising as she was outspent by a margin of 18 to 1.[58] Merriam-Webster reported that searches for the word "socialism" spiked 1,500% after her victory.[59] Crowley conceded defeat on election night,[60] but did not telephone Ocasio-Cortez that night to congratulate her, fueling short-lived speculation that he intended to run against her in the general election.[61]

Bernie Sanders and Noam Chomsky congratulated her.[6][62] Several commentators noted the similarities between Ocasio-Cortez's victory over Crowley and Dave Brat's Tea Party movement-supported 2014 victory over Eric Cantor in the Republican primary for Virginia's 7th congressional district.[63][64] Like Crowley, Cantor was a high-ranking member in his party's caucus.[65] After her primary win, Ocasio-Cortez endorsed several progressive primary challengers to Democratic incumbents nationwide,[66] capitalizing on her fame and spending her political capital in a manner unusual even for unexpected primary winners.[67]

Without campaigning for it, Ocasio-Cortez won the Reform Party primary as a write-in candidate in a neighboring congressional district, New York's 15th, with a total vote count of nine, highest among all 22 write-in candidates. She declined the nomination.[68][69]

General election

Ocasio-Cortez faced Republican nominee Anthony Pappas in the November 6 general election.[70] Pappas, who lives in Astoria, is an economics professor at St. John's University. According to the New York Post, Pappas did not actively campaign. The Post wrote that "Pappas' bid was a long shot," since the 14th has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+29, making it the sixth most Democratic district in New York City. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by almost six to one.[71][72][73] The district and its predecessors have been in Democratic hands for all but two years since 1923 and without interruption since 1949.

Ocasio-Cortez was endorsed by various politically progressive organizations and figures, including former President Barack Obama and U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders.[74][75] She spoke at the Netroots Nation conference in August 2018, and was called "the undisputed star of the convention".[76]

Crowley also remained on the ballot, as the nominee of the Working Families Party (WFP). Neither Crowley nor the party actively campaigned, with both having endorsed Ocasio-Cortez after her Democratic primary victory.[77] Former Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman, who won reelection in 2006 on a third-party line after losing the Democratic Primary in 2006, penned a July 17 column in the Wall Street Journal expressing his hope that Crowley would actively campaign on the WFP ballot line.[78] Dan Cantor, Executive Director of the WFP, wrote an endorsement of, and apology to, Ocasio-Cortez for the New York Daily News; he asked voters not to vote for Crowley if his name remained on the general election ballot.[79]

Ocasio-Cortez won the election with 78% of the vote (110,318) to Pappas's 14% (17,762). Her election was part of a broader Democratic victory in the 2018 midterm elections, as the party gained control of the House by picking up at least 40 seats.[80] Saikat Chakrabarti, who had been her campaign co-chair, became chief of staff for her congressional office.[81] Co-creator of two progressive political action committees, he has been called a significant political presence.[82]

Media coverage

 
Ocasio-Cortez during an interview with Julia Cumming in December 2017

After her primary win, Ocasio-Cortez quickly garnered nationwide media attention, including numerous articles and TV talk-show appearances. She also drew a great deal of media attention when she and Sanders campaigned for James Thompson in Kansas in July 2018. A rally in Wichita had to be moved from a theater with a capacity of 1,500 when far more people said they would attend. The event drew 4,000 people, with some seated on the floor. In The New Yorker, Benjamin Wallace-Wells wrote that while Sanders remained "the de-facto leader of an increasingly popular left, [he is unable to] do things that do not come naturally to him, like supply hope". Wallace-Wells suggested that Ocasio-Cortez had made Sanders's task easier, as he could point to her success to show that ideas "once considered to be radical are now part of the mainstream".[83]

Until she defeated incumbent Joe Crowley in the 2018 Democratic primary, Ocasio-Cortez received little coverage on most traditional news media outlets.[84][85] Jimmy Dore interviewed her when she first announced her candidacy in June 2017.[86] After her primary win, Brian Stelter wrote that progressive-media outlets, such as The Young Turks and The Intercept, "saw the Ocasio-Cortez upset coming" in advance.[64] Margaret Sullivan said that traditional metrics of measuring a campaign's viability, like total fundraising, were contributing to a "media failure".[85] Ocasio-Cortez was barely mentioned in print media until her primary election win.[87] She was one of the subjects of the 2018 Michael Moore documentary Fahrenheit 11/9; it chronicled her primary campaign.[88][89]

Just before Ocasio-Cortez took office, Twitter user "AnonymousQ" shared a Boston University student-produced dance video in which she briefly appeared, in an attempt to embarrass her.[90] Many social media users came to her defense, inspiring memes and a Twitter account syncing the footage to songs like "Mambo No. 5" and "Gangnam Style".[91] Ocasio-Cortez responded by posting a "lighthearted" video of herself dancing to Edwin Starr's "War".[90]

In 2019, Elizabeth Warren wrote the entry on Ocasio-Cortez for that year’s Time 100.[92] In January 2019 the documentary Knock Down the House, which focuses on four female democrats in the 2018 United States elections who were not career politicians, including Ocasio-Cortez, Amy Vilela, Cori Bush, and Paula Jean Swearengin, premiered at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.[93][94] It was released by Netflix on May 1, 2019.[95]

116th Congress

Ocasio-Cortez's first speech as a Representative, addressing the 2018–19 United States federal government shutdown

When the 116th Congress convened on January 3, 2019, Ocasio-Cortez entered with no seniority but with a large social media presence. Axios has credited her with "as much social media clout as her fellow freshman Democrats combined".[9] As of April 2019, she had 3.8 million Twitter followers,[96] up from 1.38 million in November 2018 [9] and surpassing Nancy Pelosi.[97] She had 2.2 million Instagram followers as of January 2019[98] and 500,000 followers on Facebook as of February 2019.[99] Her colleagues appointed her to teach them social media lessons upon her arrival in Congress.[99]

In an interview with the Yahoo News podcast Skullduggery, Ocasio-Cortez said she had stopped using her private Facebook account and was minimizing her usage of all social media accounts and platforms, calling them a “public health risk”.[100][101]

In November 2018, on the first day of congressional orientation, Ocasio-Cortez participated in a climate change protest outside the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.[102] Also that month, she backed Pelosi's bid to be Speaker of the House once the Democratic Party reclaimed the majority on the condition that Pelosi "remains the most progressive candidate for speaker".[103]

During the orientation for new members hosted by the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter in December 2018 about the influence of corporate interests by sponsors such as the American Enterprise Institute and the Center for Strategic and International Studies: "Lobbyists are here. Goldman Sachs is here. Where's labor? Activists? Frontline community leaders?"[104][105][106]

In January 2019, when Ocasio-Cortez made her first speech on the floor of Congress, C-SPAN tweeted the video. Within 12 hours, the video of her four-minute speech set the record as C-SPAN's most-watched Twitter video by a member of the House of Representatives.[107]

In February 2019, speaking at a Congressional hearing with a panel of representatives from campaign finance watchdog groups, Ocasio-Cortez questioned the panel about ethics regulations as they apply to both the president and members of Congress. She asserted that no regulations prevent lawmakers "from being bought off by wealthy corporations".[108] With more than 37.5 million views, the clip became the most-watched political video ever posted on Twitter.[109]

When President Donald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen appeared before the Oversight Committee in February 2019, Ocasio-Cortez asked him whether Trump had ever inflated property values for bank or insurance purposes and inquired where to get more information on the subject.[110] Cohen's reply implied that Trump may have committed potential tax and bank fraud in his personal and business tax returns, financial statements and real-estate filings.[111][112] New York Times columnist David Brooks praised her for "laying down specific questions for specific predicates".[113]

According to reports in March 2019, Ocasio-Cortez continued to receive media coverage early in her congressional tenure on a par with that of 2020 presidential candidates[114] and was considered "one of the faces of the Democratic party"[115] and one of the most talked-about politicians in the United States.[116] According to a study by Media Matters for America, she has been intensely discussed on sister television channels Fox News and Fox Business, being mentioned every day from February 25 to April 7, 2019, for a total of 3,181 mentions in 42 days (an average of around 75 per day). The Guardian's David Smith wrote that this points to Fox being "obsessed by Ocasio-Cortez, portraying her as a radical socialist who threatens the American way of life."[117]

Tenure

Green New Deal

 
H. Res. 109: "Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal"; the first piece of legislation authored by Ocasio-Cortez.

On February 7, 2019, Ocasio-Cortez submitted her first piece of legislation, the Green New Deal, to the Senate. She and Senator Ed Markey released a joint non-binding resolution laying out the main elements of a 10-year "economic mobilization" that would phase out fossil fuel use and overhaul the nation's infrastructure. Their plan called for implementing the "social cost of carbon" that was part of the Obama administration's plans to address climate change. In the process it aimed to create jobs and boost the economy.[118] According to CNBC, an initial outline the Green New Deal called for "completely ditching fossil fuels, upgrading or replacing 'every building' in the country and 'totally overhaul[ing] transportation' to the point where 'air travel stops becoming necessary'". The outline set a goal of having the U.S. "creating 'net-zero' greenhouse gases in 10 years. Why 'net zero'? The lawmakers explained: 'We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.'"[119] Activist groups such as Greenpeace and the Sunrise Movement came out in favor of the plan. No Republican lawmakers voiced support.[120][121] The plan gained support from some Democratic senators, including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker;[122] other Democrats, such as Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, dismissed the proposal (Pelosi has referred to it as "the green dream, or whatever they call it").[123]

On March 26, in what Democrats called a "stunt", Senate Republicans called for an early vote on the Green New Deal without allowing discussion or expert testimony. Markey said Republicans were trying to "make a mockery" of the Green New Deal debate and called the vote a "sham". In protest, Senate Democrats voted "present" or against the bill, resulting in a 57–0 defeat on the Senate floor.[124][125] In March 2019, a group of UK activists proposed that the Labour Party adopt a similar plan, "Labour for a Green New Deal." The group said it was inspired by the Sunrise Movement and the work Ocasio-Cortez has done in the US.[126]

Committee assignments

Political positions

Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America[10] and embraces the democratic socialist label as part of her political identity. In an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, she described democratic socialism as "... part of what I am. It's not all of what I am. And I think that that's a very important distinction."[129] She believes capitalism will gradually be replaced.[citation needed] In response to a question about democratic socialism ultimately calling for an end to capitalism during a Firing Line interview on PBS, she answered: "Ultimately, we are marching towards progress on this issue. I do think that we are going to see an evolution in our economic system of an unprecedented degree, and it's hard to say what direction that that takes."[130]

Domestic policy

Ocasio-Cortez supports progressive policies such as single-payer Medicare for All, tuition-free public college and trade school,[131] a federal job guarantee,[132] guaranteed family leave,[133] abolishing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement,[134] ending the privatization of prisons, enacting gun-control policies,[135] and energy policy relying on 100% renewables.[136] She is open to using Modern Monetary Theory (MMT) as an economic pathway that could provide funding and enable implementation of these goals.[137] Ocasio-Cortez rejects the state socialist politics and economics of Cuba, the USSR and Venezuela, and favors policies that "most closely resemble what we see in the U.K., in Norway, in Finland, in Sweden".[138][139]

Capitalism

In March 2019, Ocasio-Cortez said that in a capitalist system, "the most important thing is the concentration of capital and to seek and maximize profit", adding, "And that comes at any cost to people and to the environment, so to me capitalism is irredeemable." She said she did not think all parts of capitalism should be abandoned, but that "we're reckoning with the consequences of putting profit above everything else in society. And what that means is people can't afford to live. For me, it's a question of priorities and right now I don't think our model is sustainable."[140] "It's just as much a transformation about bringing democracy to the workplace so that we have a say and that we don't check all of our rights at the door every time we cross the threshold into our workplace," she said. "Because at the end of the day, as workers and as people in society, we're the ones creating wealth."[141]

Environment

 
Ocasio-Cortez speaks on a Green New Deal in front of the Capitol Building in February 2019.

Ocasio-Cortez has called for "more environmental hardliners in Congress",[142] describing climate change as "the single biggest national security threat for the United States and the single biggest threat to worldwide industrialized civilization" and stating that the world will end in 12 years unless the problem is addressed.[143][144][145] Her comments referred to the recent United Nations report that established that unless carbon emissions are reined in over the next 12 years, the effects of climate change will be irreversible.[146]

Ocasio-Cortez's environmental plan, termed the Green New Deal, advocates for the United States to transition to an electrical grid running on 100% renewable energy[122] and to end the use of fossil fuels within 10 years. The changes, estimated to cost roughly $2.5 trillion per year, would be financed in part by higher taxes on the wealthy.[147][148][149]

Tax policy

Ocasio-Cortez proposed introducing a marginal tax as high as 70% on income above $10 million to pay for the Green New Deal. According to tax experts contacted by The Washington Post, this tax would bring in extra revenue of $720 billion per decade.[150][151] Ocasio-Cortez has opposed and voted against the pay-as-you-go rule supported by Democratic leaders, which requires deficit-neutral fiscal policy, with all new expenditures balanced by tax increases or spending cuts. She and Representative Ro Khanna have condemned the rule as hamstringing new or expanded progressive policies.[152][153] She cites Modern Monetary Theory as a justification for higher deficits to finance her agenda.[137][154] Drawing a parallel with the Great Depression, she has argued that the Green New Deal needs deficit spending like the original New Deal.[142]

Immigration

Ocasio-Cortez has expressed support for defunding and abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency on multiple occasions. In February 2018 she called it "a product of the Bush-era Patriot Act suite of legislation" and "an enforcement agency that takes on more of a paramilitary tone every single day".[155][156] That June she said she would "stop short of fully disbanding the agency", and would rather "create a pathway to citizenship for more immigrants through decriminalization".[157] She later clarified that this does not mean ceasing all deportations.[158] She has called the Department of Homeland Security's immigration detention centers "black sites", citing limited public access to them.[159] Two days before the primary election, Ocasio-Cortez attended a protest at an ICE child-detention center in Tornillo, Texas.[160] She was the only Democrat to vote against H.R. 648, a bill to fund and reopen the government, because it funded ICE.[161]

Healthcare

Ocasio-Cortez supports transitioning to a single-payer healthcare system, recognizing medical care as a human right.[162][163] She says that a single government health insurer should cover every American, reducing overall costs.[132] Her campaign website says, "Almost every other developed nation in the world has universal healthcare. It's time the United States catch up to the rest of the world in ensuring all people have real healthcare coverage that doesn't break the bank."[163] The Medicare-for-all proposal has been adopted by many likely Democratic 2020 presidential contenders.[133]

LGBTQ equality

Ocasio-Cortez is a staunch proponent of LGBTQ rights and LGBTQ equality. She has said she supports the LGBTQ community and thanked its members for its role in her campaign.[164][135] She publicized and later appeared on a video game live stream to help raise money for Mermaids, a charity for trans children.[165] At the January 2019 New York City Women's March in Manhattan, Ocasio-Cortez gave a detailed speech in support of measures needed to ensure LGBTQ equality in the workplace and elsewhere.[166] She has also made a point of recognizing transgender rights, specifically saying, "It's a no-brainer ... trans rights are civil rights are human rights."[167]

Other issues

  • Education: Ocasio-Cortez campaigned in favor of establishing tuition-free public colleges and trade schools. She has said she is still paying off student loans herself and wants to cancel all student debt.[163]
  • Impeachment of President Trump: On June 28, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez told CNN she would support the impeachment of President Trump, citing Trump's alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause and stating that "we have to hold everyone accountable and that no person is above that law."[168][169]
  • Amazon HQ2: Ocasio-Cortez opposed a planned deal by New York City to give Amazon.com $3 billion in state and city subsidies and tax breaks to build secondary headquarters in an area near her congressional district, saying that the city should instead invest the $3 billion in their district themselves.[170][171][172]

Foreign policy

Israeli–Palestinian conflict

In May 2018 Ocasio-Cortez criticized the Israel Defense Forces' use of deadly force against Palestinians participating in the 2018 Gaza border protests, calling it a "massacre" in a tweet.[173] In a July 2018 interview with the PBS series Firing Line, Ocasio-Cortez said that she is "a proponent of a two-state solution"[174] and called Israel's presence in the West Bank an "occupation of Palestine".[175] Her use of the term "occupation" drew backlash from a number of pro-Israel groups and commentators.[176][177] Others defended her remarks, citing the United Nations' designation of the territory in the West Bank as occupied.[178][179]

Puerto Rico

Ocasio-Cortez has called for "solidarity with Puerto Rico". She has advocated for granting Puerto Ricans further civil rights, regardless of Puerto Rico's legal classification. She advocates for voting rights and disaster relief. Ocasio-Cortez was critical of FEMA's response to Hurricane Maria and the federal government's unwillingness to address Puerto Rico's political status.[180] She believes the federal government should increase investment in Puerto Rico.[135]

Political endorsements

Ocasio-Cortez's district includes part of Queens, where a special Democratic Party primary election for Queens County District Attorney will take place on June 25, 2019. She has endorsed Tiffany Cabán in a field of seven candidates. This has been seen as a test of her influence in New York politics.[181]

Awards and honors

The MIT Lincoln Laboratory named the asteroid 23238 Ocasio-Cortez after her when she was a senior in high school in recognition of her second-place finish in the 2007 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair.[22][23] Ocasio-Cortez was named the 2017 National Hispanic Institute Person of the Year by Ernesto Nieto.[12]

Personal life

Following the death of Ocasio-Cortez's father in 2008, her mother and grandmother relocated to Florida due to financial hardship.[16][31] She still has family in Puerto Rico, where her grandfather was living in a nursing home[180] before he died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.[182] She has said, "to be Puerto Rican is to be the descendant of... African Moors [and] slaves, Taino Indians, Spanish colonizers, Jewish refugees, and likely others. We are all of these things and something else all at once—we are Boricua."[18]

Ocasio-Cortez discussed her Catholic faith and its impact on her life and her campaign for criminal justice reform in an article she wrote for America, the magazine of the Jesuit order in the United States.[183] At a December 2018 Hanukkah celebration in New York, she revealed that she has Sephardic Jewish ancestry, although she does not practice the faith.[184]

During the 2018 election campaign Ocasio-Cortez resided in Parkchester, Bronx, with her boyfriend, Riley Roberts.[185][186][187]

See also

References

  1. ^ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (May 30, 2018). "The Courage to Change | Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez". Archived from the original on January 27, 2019. Retrieved November 20, 2018.
  2. ^ Murphy, Tim. "A progressive insurgent just pulled off the biggest Democratic primary upset in years". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on June 27, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Krieg, Gregory (June 27, 2018). "A 28-year-old Democratic Socialist just ousted a powerful, 10-term congressman in New York". Atlanta, Georgia: CNN. Archived from the original on June 27, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2018. in the most shocking upset of a rollicking political season
  4. ^ Merica, Dan; Bradner, Eric (June 27, 2018). "The biggest night so far for progressives and other takeaways from Tuesday night's primaries". CNN. Archived from the original on June 27, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2018. It was the most shocking result of 2018's political season so far ...
  5. ^ Resnick, Gideon (June 27, 2018). "Young Progressive Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Topples Old Boss Joe Crowley in Democratic Primary Shocker". The Daily Beast. Archived from the original on July 3, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2018. In one of the most shocking upsets in recent political history ...
  6. ^ a b Seitz-Wald, Alex (June 26, 2018). "High-ranking Democrat ousted in stunning primary loss to newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez". NBC News. Archived from the original on June 27, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2018.
  7. ^ [2][3][4][5][6]
  8. ^ Watkins, Eli. "Ocasio-Cortez to be youngest woman ever elected to Congress". CNN. Archived from the original on November 7, 2018. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
  9. ^ a b c McCammond, Alexi (November 28, 2018). "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has as much social media clout as her fellow freshman Democrats, combined". Axios. Archived from the original on November 28, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Neufeld, Jennie (June 27, 2018). "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a Democratic Socialists of America member. Here's what that means". Vox. Archived from the original on December 3, 2018. Retrieved December 2, 2018.
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