In case you missed it, the primary elections took place yesterday in New York, Colorado, Utah, Oklahoma, and Maryland. Bronx-born Puerto Rican, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez defeated her opposer Rep. Joe Crowley, who is actually one of the most powerful Democrats in the U.S. House of Representatives. Her win defeated all odds but folks came out and showed up to the ballots, proving that Americans really do want to see change.
The 28-year-old Democratic socialist activist is a political newcomer. She got her first taste of politics as a former organizer for Bernie Sander’s presidential campaign and also worked as a staffer for the late Sen. Ted Kennedy.
She hopes to represent the Bronx and Queens, which consists of a large community of immigrants and people of color—roughly 50 percent. Cortez’s platform was a lot more progressive than most of her opponents. She supports doing away completely with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, she’s on board with a new healthcare system, Medicare For All, which will work as a single-payer system, and she wants to do more for Puerto Rico’s Hurricane Maria recovery. Cortez is for the people and the people came out and voted for her—this is huge!
“What voters really want to hear about is, healthcare and education and wages and criminal justice and immigration reform,” she told HipLatina earlier this month. “They want to at least hear new ideas coming out from their members of Congress and not this petty anti-Trump message that isn’t mobilizing.”
Cortez won due to her grassroots efforts and that’s not just inspiring. The fact that a working class Latina from the Bronx who is new to politics, not only won but defeated one of the most powerful Democrats in Congress is a really good sign that change is near. Cortez will be running in the general midterm elections this November and if she wins she could become the youngest congresswoman ever elected.
“It’s so important for our community to see itself reflected in leadership. This could be the first time in a generation that the Bronx elects a new member of Congress—that’s huge,” she told Refinery29. “And what we’ve shown is that you don’t need access to money, to special social circles, to privilege in order to run for office … If I win, imagine how many other people are going to do it.”