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Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Franmarie Metzler; U.S. House Office of Photography
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13 Ways Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Totally OWNED 2018

It’s not easy to be a trailblazer. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, however, made it all look easy in 2018. When she saw that politics weren’t serving the population who needed help the most, and instead of backing down because of her gender, ethnicity, political experience, or age, she charged fearlessly forward. In the process, she made history, and inspired the world to be fearless, be loud, and most importantly, to be the change. Here is indisputable proof that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made 2018 her year.

She Used Her Struggle as Her Preparation

Some people buckle under pressure–Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grew from it. She reminded us all that struggle can often be preparation for something bigger in life. Working two jobs and 18-hour shifts, and facing foreclosure allowed Ocasio-Cortez to represent others going through the same.

Alexandria Broke Records Before She Even Won

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WE DID IT. This Bronx girl is running for CONGRESS! 🙅🏽‍♀️ Ocasio2018 volunteers made history yesterday: – FIRST NY-14 primary in 14 years – FIRST Democrat to make it to the NY-14 ballot with 💯% volunteer effort (no hired guns) – ONLY Democrat to run with NO LOBBYIST 💰. That means no developer money driving up rents! – ONLY person of color to run for NY-14 in a generation (our community is 70% PoC!) . 1250 signatures were required in 5 bitterly cold weeks marked by 5 snowstorms. 5,480 signatures were turned in, collected by 141 volunteer witnesses (helped by even more people!). . All I can say is thank you. Thank you to everyone who believes in this movement. Thank you for understanding what positive change asks of us: that we MAKE it happen, not WAIT to happen. . Thank you ALL. Now the real race begins. Join us at Ocasio2018.com/volunteer. If you’re short on time, help us stack up for the battle at Ocasio2018.com/donate

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Before being elected to Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was breaking records. This year marked the first primary for New York’s 14th Congressional District in 14 years. Alexandria was also the only Democrat to run with no lobbyist, the first Democrat to make it onto New York’s 14th Congressional District ballot with 100% volunteer effort (no one was hired), and the first POC to run for the post in a generation.

She Repped the Working Class in Politics

Alexandria Ocasio-Ortiz is helping the working class because she is the working class. Democracy works when politicians represent the people, not just a small section of the public.

And Became the Youngest Women Elected to Congress

It is also important to have someone younger in elected positions, to represent the interests of younger generations. Ocasio-Cortez made history when, at 29, she became the youngest woman ever to be elected to Congress.

She Was Part of a Historic Wave of WOC Politicians

Alexandria was just one part of a large wave of change that hit America during the midterm elections. The first Muslim woman in Congress, the first American Indian (Native American) women in Congress, the first lesbian mother in Congress, and the first black female Attorney General of New York, are among those who were elected.

Alexandria is Calling Out Double Standards in Politics

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Occasionally it seems there‘s an unspoken rule that you’re not supposed to point out double standards… that you’re somehow supposed to wait for a magic champion to drop out of the sky and advocate on your behalf. It’s a quiet suggestion that it’s rude, or crass, to point out double standards and advocate for yourself; and that doing so focuses on making YOU a victim, but conveniently allows the inefficiency, injustice, or mistake to perpetuate, unaddressed and off the hook from correction – even when everyone knows it’s wrong. . So, how do we fix it? We start by making the comfortable – the decisionmakers and benefiters resisting change – uncomfortable. Do it by pointing out the obvious. Say out loud what everyone is thinking quietly. Be brave. Shake the table. And MOST importantly, stick up for yourself – it’s a service to all who will come after you. . Sitting pretty has never gotten us a better world. Never has, never will. So buckle up and resolve yourself for good trouble. . And if you’re a news editor, understand and accept that you are subconsciously biased – everyone is – and ask yourself how you’ve perpetuated that bias and what you will do to correct it.

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Politics is full of hypocrisy, shady dealings, and double standards. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez didn’t hesitate to call out how Paul Ryan wasn’t seen as a genius when he was elected to the House at 28, while she was treated as a fraud.

She’s Already Being Honored on T-Shirts

T-shirts are usually reserved for important people who have struck a chord with the public. Fiercely Feminist made a dope tee shouting out Ocasio-Cortez, and calling her “ride or die.”

She’s Wasting No Time Demanding Big Change

Alexandria didn’t get into politics to tiptoe around issues. In fact, instead of getting offended that Fox News called her and her newly elected colleagues, “radicals,” she laughed at the idea that taking care of children and saving the planet was such a big deal.

Ocasio-Cortez Protested for a New Green Deal

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Progress > polite society. This week our good trouble with @sunrisemvmt got us from ZERO to EIGHT Democrats signed onto the Select Committee resolution for a Green New Deal. . I got a lot of heat when I joined these amazing activists on Tuesday. “Go protest Republicans,” we were told. “You’re being disruptive and unhelpful,” we were admonished. But the thing about protesting Republicans is that none of them listen. We learned that w/ the Kavanaugh fight and so many before that. Democrats, on the other hand, DO listen. So when everyday people show up in numbers and ask for change with commitment and consistency, we can get somewhere. And we are. . Today I’m thankful for gutsy leaders like @reprokhanna (CA), @repjohnlewis (GA), @repblumenauer (OR), sisters @deb4congressnm (NM) & @rashidatlaib (MI), NY fam @repmaloney & Rep. Serrano for signing on. Now call your local Dem Rep and let’s get a win in before we’re even sworn in. 💪🏽💜

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Ocasio-Cortez joined the protest inside Nancy Pelosi’s office to demand climate change. She isn’t afraid to join the masses to show her support, and make a difference.

She Stood Up for Children

Alexandria will kindly take the label of radical when it comes to doing what’s right. She made it known that she believes all children should be protected, treated equally, and given the chance to live full and healthy lives.

And Encouraged Us to Embrace Our Greatness

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Own your power. . For so many, it’s radical to feel comfortable in your own skin – and to know that you are more than enough, just as you are. . One of my favorite quotes is from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr: “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don't have to have a college degree to serve. You don't have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” . So take up space. Speak up. Hold the door open and take others with you. Accept that you will be criticized no matter what – that is the price of fighting for change and innovation. I consider constructive criticism a blueprint for improvement and a medicine for ego. . Ultimately, the people who get down, stay focused in adversity, and do the thankless work of change are the ones who transform society. We can all be a part of that, if we so choose. We can all knock a door, register our cousin to vote, or educate ourselves on an issue we’re curious about. . We are all capable of awakening and commitment. And because of that, we can all be great. . 📸: @gigilaub

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She’s now in a position of power, but Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez wants us to embrace our power as well. This, according to her, is through accepting yourself as you are, serving, speaking up and taking up space, and accepting that people will always criticize. Instead of taking away our power, she helped to empower us.

She Verbally Destroyed ICE

Ocasio-Cortez said what we all wanted to say when she verbally destroyed ICE in 2018. She dropped facts, spoke about her own experience regarding ICE, and stated what needed to be done.

She’s Kicking Down the Door, and is Just Getting Started

On the day of her Congress Freshman Orientation, instead of quieting learning the ropes, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez kicked the door down. She protested for climate change in Nancy Pelosi’s office, shared behind the scenes video of her day with the public, and attacked Amazon for its HQ2.