The sweet taste of victory! Within the twinkle of an eye, the mere bat of an eyelid, the perhaps, unexpected lift of delicate fingers, she waves her wand with enviable finesse, a big woosh of air and viola! Every untold pain is wiped away, every hurt blurred and at that very instant comes deep, heartfelt gratitude and yes, unmeasured hope for even greater successes ahead.
From being born into a less than privileged background, losing her father as a teenager, working two jobs; a bartender and at a charity to make ends meet, being scorned at for being working class and lacking political experience to rewriting history as the youngest congresswoman, one of the most talked about figures in present day America, the rise of Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, a young Hispanic is what fairy tales are made off. Make no mistake, it wasn’t pretty, still isn’t in reality with many oppositors at her every turn.
Ocasio-Cortez, 30, a freshman legislator in 2018 beat 10-term incumbent Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary to represent New York’s 14th District.
“I miss being able to go outside in sweats,” she says in her office one day in March, settling into a black leather chair after a long day of subcommittee hearings. She’s much smaller than she looks on TV, with a warm but cautious manner. “I can’t go anywhere in public and just be a person without a lot of people watching everything I do.” She tells Time Magazine.
The democratic socialist was born 1989,
in Bronx but split her time between the Bronx and Yorktown. Her dad owned a small architecture company – he would later in 2008 die from lung cancer – while her Puerto Rico–born mother cleaned houses to make ends meet.
A determined Alexandria took out student loans to enroll at Boston University, she graduated in 2011 with a degree in Economics and International Relations.
Upon graduation, Ocasio-Cortez worked at an educational nonprofit and also as a bartender at a Manhattan taco joint. Her political journey began during college, as an intern in Massachusetts Senator Ted Kennedy’s office. By the time -Bernie Sanders launched his 2016 campaign, she volunteered to support his campaign across the Bronx and Queens, following her previous grassroots organizing experience. “But Sanders’ race was one of my first times where I crossed that bridge from grassroots community organizing to electoral organizing.” She says.
Experienced garnered, she proceeded to New York’s 14th Congressional District to launch her people-funded, grassroots campaign for Congress, emerging successful.
Since her swearing-in to Congress in January of 2019, Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez has ensured putting working-class people over corporate interests as well as advocating for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice.
Image Credit: Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez House.gov