5 Reasons Why Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Stands Out

The candidate who toppled Joe Crowley in New York is a young, political outsider who is ready to make a difference.

Progressive political newcomer Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez trounced Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.) in the biggest primary upset of 2018, and it seems like her compelling story has resonated with many voters.

The 28-year-old Bronx native is fresh to the political scene. She doesn’t come from money or influence. She barely received any media coverage throughout her campaign.

Here are some of the ways in which Ocasio-Cortez is so remarkable:

If She Wins, She Will Be The Youngest Woman Elected To Congress

“Congress is too old, they don’t have a stake in the game,” she told Elite Daily. If the 28-year-old is elected to the House of Representatives, as is widely expected, she will be 29 when the new Congress starts.

While she worked for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and on Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-Vt.) presidential campaign, she didn’t have any political ambitions of her own until a few years ago. But she was motivated by a need to more accurately represent the district she comes from.

“Our district is overwhelmingly people of color, it’s working class, it’s very immigrant ― and it hasn’t had the representation we’ve needed,” she told HuffPost earlier this month.

She Bartended To Make Ends Meet Until Recently

Ocasio-Cortez worked as a waitress and bartender in Manhattan up until recently to help keep her family financially afloat after her father died and her mom had to go back to work cleaning houses and driving a bus.

Her mother had to leave the Bronx and move to Florida because she could no longer afford life there, she told Vogue.

She’s Still Paying Off Student Loans

“Oh heck yes,” Ocasio-Cortez told Elite Daily when asked about loans. “I’m definitely still paying these off.” She campaigned on canceling all student debt and offering free tuition.

She Refused To Accept Corporate Money

Out of the more than $300,000 Ocasio-Cortez raised throughout her campaign (compared to Crowley’s $3 million), only about $5,000 came from PACs and about two-thirds were made up of small, under-$200 contributions, according to OpenSecrets.

“By not taking money from lobbyists, by taking money from working-class people, we can legislate for working-class people,” she told CBS News.

She’s A Dues-Paying Member Of The Democratic Socialists of America

And Ocasio-Cortez is trying to undo the stigma surrounding the term “socialist.”

“It’s really scary or it’s easy to generate fear around an idea or around an -ism when you don’t provide any substance to it,” she told New York Magazine’s “The Cut” this week. “I believe that every American should have stable, dignified housing; health care; education — that the most very basic needs to sustain modern life should be guaranteed in a moral society. You can call that whatever you want to call that.”

Before You Go


Popular in the Community


What's Hot