At the tender age of 29, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected into Congress and she is breaking barriers and making her name known, left and right (no pun intended). This latina from the Bronx, was bartending a little under two years ago. She recognized pressing issues in her community and set out to help solve them. As she puts it, “Women like [her] aren’t supposed to run for office,” but she did and she won.
Here are a few more reasons why AOC’s amazing.
1. She’s overcome struggles
One of the things I admire most about Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez is her humble beginnings. She wasn’t born with a silver spoon in her mouth—an image that one might think of when confronted with the word “politician.” That said, from a young age AOC was aware of the correlation between background and success, stating “the zip code a child was born in determined much of their destiny.”
With that in mind, AOC spent most of her adult life grinding, making sure she wouldn’t play into those statistics. In fact, she found herself working multiple jobs and 18 hour shifts waiting tables when her family was confronted with a financial situation after the death of her father in 2008. Being aware of this, I think it’s perfect to assume that AOC knows what it means to not only be a hard worker, but to have grit.
2. She’s the queen of twitter comebacks
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s tweets are nothing short of iconic. Like other celebrities, she uses the platform to inform people of projects and legislations she’s working on, as well as bring awareness to social issues. To no surprise, AOC deals with haters and people who ignorantly call her out for certain things. But to the surprise of many, AOC responds back to these comments.
A great example of this happened in recent days when someone had tweeted a screenshot of a staff directory and called out the congresswoman for employing her partner at the expense of taxpayers. AOC “dunked” on those claims as she offered a completely sane and legal explanation. Unlike other celebrities, AOC doesn’t get angry or fire back ruthlessly when confronted with such a situation, rather she simply reveals the truth.
3. She embraces the label of Democratic-Socialist
One of the platforms AOC ran on is her membership of the Democratic-Socialists of America. Democratic-Socialists believe “that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few.” For example, Ocasio-Cortez supports Medicare for all, free public college tuition, and the termination of ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency). For a long time, such ideas have been called radical, but in America today, many people, specifically millennials are saying ‘why not?’
4. She represents people like us
In short, AOC represents everyday people like us. While many representatives reside outside their district, congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez understands the needs of her constituents because she has been in their shoes, being raised in the very place she represents. As the youngest woman elected into Congress, she has done what one might expect, made noise. She has openly and loudly supported ideas that have been swept under the rug, deemed impossible, for years, however, people are starting to listen because these are the policies that we need. In her own words, “I don’t believe that in a moral and wealthy America, people should be too poor to live,” and many could not agree more.
AOC is an inspiration for young women who might not think they have what it takes to make a difference in the world, whether it be because of their background, minority status, lack of experience, or plainly, their gender.