You’ll be forgiven if you’ve never heard of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. This time last year, she was working as a bartender in the Bronx. Now, she just unseated a 10-term incumbent congressman previously on track to lead the Democratic Party in the House of Representatives. Amazing how much can change in a year.
Ocasio-Cortez’s victory is sending shockwaves through the Democratic Party. Should she win the general election in November, an all-but-inevitable assumption given the heavy Democratic-leaning NY-14 district, she’ll become the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez represents something new in national politics in the United States—a Latina millennial entering power with a bold, progressive agenda. As she stated in a campaign ad that went viral, “Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office.” She campaigned on Medicare for All, a federal jobs guarantee, and on abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Each of these are to the left of where the mainstream Democratic party is at right now.
Voters in her district responded by giving her nearly 60% of their vote, despite the mainstream news ignoring her and her opponent outspending her 18 to 1.