Saturday, July 20, 2024

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez makes history becoming the youngest woman elected to Congress

Progressive Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won her race for a U.S. House seat in New York’s 14th District last night, becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress.

“This is what is possible when everyday people come together in the collective realization that all our actions … are powerful, worthwhile and capable of lasting change,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her victory speech last night. “Words cannot express my gratitude to every organizer, every small-dollar donor, every working parent and Dreamer who helped make this movement happen,” she added. “And that’s exactly what this is, not a campaign or an Election Day but a movement … for social, economic and racial justice.”

The 29-year-old political newcomer made headlines nationwide in June when she unexpectedly defeated 10-term Rep. Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary. The millennial Latina, born to a Puerto Rican mom and Bronxite dad, famously worked as a bartender just months before winning her primary and had never previously held political office.

A member of the Democratic Socialists of America, Ocasio-Cortez is part of a wave of progressive Democrats promising to push the party establishment further left. She refused any corporate PAC money in her campaign and ran a progressive platform that included Medicare for all, a federal jobs guarantee and the abolition of ICE.

Ocasio-Cortez is one of several women who made history including Rashida Tlaib in Michigan and Ilhan Omar in Minnesota, now the first Muslim women elected to Congress, and Ayanna Pressley in Massachusetts, now the first black woman elected to Congress in her state.

“Alexandria, Ilhan, Ayanna. I love these names!” Rashida Tlaib said at a September summit celebrating women of color in politics. “Yes, you’re going to have to learn how to say our names.”