Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC, is a U.S Representative serving New York’s 14th District, the Bronx, and Queens. Chances are you’ve heard about her before but maybe don’t know much on her. In case you haven’t, AOC has been a trailblazer for women in politics. She took office at age 29 which makes her the youngest woman to serve in Congress. Aside from this, AOC managed to defeat a 10-term incumbent, Joe Crowley. She did this through a grassroots campaign, which emphasized her community as a key part of her running. Once AOC got into office, she drafted and proposed a very famous piece of legislation, the Green New Deal. Aside from this, she has broken barriers by being a strong woman in politics, used social media in a never-before-seen way, shed light on the conditions if migrants, advocated for LGBTQ+ community, as well as women and minorities, not to mention working-class families. She also set in motion what is known as the “AOC effect”, or bringing in a new wave of progressive members to Congress. So yeah, she has done quite a bit to say the least.
In this piece, I am going to be giving you 10 different facts about AOC.
- She spent her early childhood living a life tittering between lower and upper class.
Something that AOC mentions as a foundation to her early knowledge on class disparities is time spent during her childhood. AOC was constantly going from Yorktown, where her immediate family lived, to the Bronx where her extended family lives. She was able to distinctly recognize that Yorktown was a much whiter and richer area, whereas the Bronx was a much more diverse and poorer area.
- Graduated from Boston University with a Double Major in Economics and International Relations (oh and btw graduated Cum Laude)
Yeah, this one sounds very difficult. Not to mention, she also was an intern in college to U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy for foreign affairs and immigration issues. On a sad note, her father unfortunately passed away from lung cancer during her second year of college.
- Actually Had a Working-Class Job
I especially wanted to highlight this fact, considering many members of congress are, you know, millionaires. After college, Cortez took a working-class job as a waitress and bartender to help support her widowed mother.
- Was Part of the Bernie Sanders 2016 Presidential Campaign
This I found pretty cool. She also endorsed Bernie Sanders when he ran for the presidency again in 2020. Both members of Congress are very progressive and self-identify as democratic socialists.
- She Defeated Crowley… by almost 15%
Being a 10-term incumbent, many people thought that Joe Crowley would definitely win in the general election between him and AOC. However, not only did Ocasio-Cortez defeat him, she did by 15 percentage points, which was astonishing to many.
- She Broke the Internet (Records)
In 2019 AOC made Twitter history by being the subject of Twitter’s most-watched political video, pulling in 37.5 million views. If you scroll through social media you’ll find that AOC has a lot of supporters from Gen Z and Millennials.
- Introduced the Green New Deal
AOC’s first and most famous piece of legislation is the Green New Deal, pushing for change in the environment. This famous piece of legislature calls for a 10-year “economic mobilization” to transfer out of fossil fuel use.
- Member of the Squad
You may have heard of the iconic squad consisting of AOC, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Cori Bush, and Jamaal Bowman. All of these members are people of color and freshman members of Congress. The squad really demonstrates the “AOC effect,” or more progressive democrats being elected to Congress.
- Used Social Media in a Very Unique Way
AOC’s Instagram account is one of the most helpful things that I have come across. She goes live often to discuss current events and issues to American people such as Q & A’s. Not to mention many Instagram highlights that give substantial information about COVID-19.
- Youngest Woman Elected to Congress… and Latina
AOC was the youngest woman to be elected to Congress, being only 29 years old. Being of Puerto Rican descent, AOC broke down barriers both for young women and people of color, as 78% of Congress is white.
To find out more information about AOC, be sure to check out the Netflix Original Documentary, Knock Down the House. Additionally, you can learn more from her website by clicking here