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Profile: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AKA The Boss Babe of Congress

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, AKA “AOC,” has been making headlines ever since she announced she was running for Congress back in 2017. She is known for speaking her opinion no matter who’s around or what the circumstances are. She’s a queen on social media and super engaged with her followers, which is a new trend that we’re seeing from political figures overall. At just 29 years old, she’s the youngest woman in the United States history to be elected to Congress which is simply said, freakin’ amazing. But with that said, she worked really really hard to get to where she is.

Source: Refinery29

AOC was born in The Bronx on October 13, 1989, and grew up in a Catholic family. Her father, Sergio Ocasio, was also born in The Bronx and was an architect. Her mother, Blanca Ocasio-Cortez, was born in Puerto Rico and eventually immigrated to the U.S. AOC also has a younger brother, Gabriel Ocasio-Cortez. Later on, AOC attended Boston University and interned with former U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy’s when she was a sophomore (she’s been involved with politics for a long time!) Her father, unfortunately, passed away in 2008 while she was in college, but she still graduated cum laude from Boston University with a double major in international relations and economics. After she graduated in 2011, she returned home to the Bronx and worked as a community organizer. Due to the recession and the death of her father, she started working as a bartender to help her family.

Source: 4 BTC News

AOC continued her political involvement in 2016 when she worked as a campaign organizer for Senator Bernie Sanders, which apparently inspired her to be her own campaign in 2017 to steal the seat from Representative Joe Crowley, who was the incumbent for New York’s 14th Congressional district, who had been serving for 10 terms. In my opinion, that’s a pretty big task to take on! We all know that she ended up ousting Crowley out of his seat because she now serves as part of the new generation of women serving in Congress. Despite Crowley outraising her by a 10-1 margin, she still won. On this win, AOC said “This is not an end, this is the beginning. This is the beginning because the message that we sent the world tonight is that it’s not OK to put donors before your community.”

Source: The Intercept

If you aren’t convinced by AOC’s awesomeness yet, let me outline her campaign for you which I’m sure will convince you. First off, she stands behind universal healthcare which definitely has been a topic of controversy within the last election cycle. According to her campaign website, “Medicare for All will reduce the existing costs of healthcare (and make Medicare cheaper, too!) by allowing all people in the US to buy into a universal healthcare system.” She also goes on to say that almost every developed nation in the world has universal healthcare and believes it’s time for the U.S. to follow in their footsteps. AOC also supports what she calls a “peace economy” which basically means taking all U.S. troops out of war zones where there is a military presence which includes Libya, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Yemen, Pakistan, and Somalia. The U.S. has spent trillions of dollars on wars in these countries with the intention of liberating its’ people, but millions of people are fleeing which is a huge part of the global refugee crisis. She believes that bringing troops home will repair both America’s global image as well as reunite families who have been affected by multiple deployments.

Source: Some Cards

AOC makes waves wherever she goes, and it doesn’t stop at lobbying for universal healthcare and bringing our troops home, she also wants to put very strict regulations on gun control in the U.S. According to her campaign, she wants to ban assault weapons, high capacity magazines, and bump stocks, require domestic abusers and people convicted of stalking to surrender any firearms they might own, put universal and improved background checks for the purchase of firearms, and require people of Congress to not take any money from gun lobbyists or private companies who are investing in the firearms industry. These are some serious issues to take on, but if anyone can do it, it’s AOC. She also has strong opinions on immigration reform. She stands behind abolishing ICE, otherwise known as the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency which was created in 2003. According to Ocasio-Cortez, ICE operates outside of the Department of Justice and therefore is unaccountable to due process. ICE has been associated with separating children from their families at the border and we’ve all seen those terrible images of holding centers. AOC wants to change all this.

Source: Time Magazine

AOC is obviously not happy about the current U.S. administration, but it is apparent that she still believes in America and wants to change it for the better. She is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and she has stated that “For me, democratic socialism is about – really, the value for me is that I believe that in a modern, moral, and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live.” I think we can all agree on that no person in a wealthy country like the U.S. or anywhere in the world, shouldn’t be able to afford to live. People come to America seeking out the “American dream” right? In my opinion, that dream has been slowly slipping through the cracks over the years and it’s becoming harder and harder to achieve as a society. It seems to me like AOC wants to change that and have a level playing field for all. AOC is definitely progressive, but maybe that’s exactly what America needs right now.

Shelby Lavery

CU Boulder '19

Shelby is currently a senior at the University of Colorado Boulder majoring in Communication and minoring in Theatre. She just joined HCCU this semester, but is super excited to start writing and creating content! She is originally from Playa del Rey, California but has become absolutely enamored with the mountains ever since she moved to Colorado. You can almost always find her with coffee in hand while walking to class and dazing off at the gorgeous Flatirons. Make sure to follow her on Instagram @shelbylavery and Twitter @shelby_anne19 ♡
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