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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: The Youngest Woman Ever Elected To Congress

If you are following politics after this year’s midterm elections, then you probably have heard of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. On the 6th, she became the youngest woman in history to be elected to Congress at 29. This is due to an incredible campaign and her remarkable story. Ocasio-Cortez was born into a working-class Puerto Rican family in Bronx, New York. Ocasio-Cortez worked for Senator Ted Kennedy’s office and there she focused on immigration issues. She also was a former organizer for Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign since she was a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. She graduated from Boston University with a major in economics and international relations. After her graduation, she became a community organizer, but her family faced financial trouble after her father’s death from cancer in 2008. This caused Ocasio-Cortez to take multiple low wage jobs, including working at a bar exactly one year before she would become the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress.

Ocasio-Cortez ran an entirely grassroots campaign that revolved around gun control, the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, access to affordable housing, universal Medicare, tuition-free college and ending private prisons. In the primary election earlier this year, Ocasio-Cortez defeated New York Democratic Representative, Joe Crowley, which was a big upset since he was the No. 4 Democrat in the House and was rumored to become a potential speaker eventually. He also represented the Bronx and Queens district for ten terms and had not faced a primary challenger in 14 years. This is incredible, considering that Crowley had a 10-to-1 fundraising advantage over Ocasio-Cortez. Ocasio-Cortez also made a popular viral video ad where she said: “Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office.”Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez believes that “We are fighting for an unapologetic movement for economic, social, and racial justice in the United States”. She also has said “They’ll tell you you’re too loud, that you need to wait your turn and ask the right people for permission. Do it anyway.” It is clear that we should know Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, not just as the youngest woman to ever be elected to Congress, but as an incredibly inspiring leader.

Mia is a sophomore at UIC pursuing a double major in history and Spanish. She is also pursuing a double minor in museum studies and social justice.
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