By: Christina Burgess
A young, self-Democratic socialist, who worked for Bernie Sanders, has beat a huge incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley for a seat in Congress. In the biggest primary in New York’s 14th House District, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Joe Crowley went head-to-head for a position in Congress this past Tuesday. She won the election despite the disadvantages she faced compared to Crowley. She only had a 10th of the funding that Crowley had; running with all donations she had received from those in her district. And not only that, she beat a white, leading 10-term Congressman. Ocasio-Cortez had stated before, “Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office.” Because she’s a woman, she’s young, and she’s Latina.
This Bronx-born 28-year-old woman is the first person to run against Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley in 14 years. This will make her the youngest person in Congress in 2019. And to think, just nine months ago she was working as a server at a restaurant while also trying to run in this election. Her win has made history and will be marked as a positive shift in the right direction. Ocasio-Cortez stated to supporters, “you have given this country hope, you have given this country proof that when you knock on your neighbor’s door, when you come to them with love, when you let them know that no matter your stance, you are there for them — that we can make change.” And that she did.
Ocasio-Cortez had a strong platform where she will be fighting for things like immigration justice, a universal job guarantee, Medicare for all, as well as paid family and sick leave. She also wants to push for an infrastructural overhaul.
Recently, everyone has been seeing the shelters that have been set up for immigrant children and the harsh conditions they live in. She believes in higher education for everyone, ending private prisons, and gun control. Ocasio-Cortez has a very strong goal to end ICE completely.
Because she will represent an area that is around 50% immigrants, the Bronx and Queens, she has stated they’ve been needing someone to speak up for them for years. She has vowed to be a voice for them.
On Monday night, incumbent candidate Joe Crowley did miss out on a debate with his opponent Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Which many believe is why New Yorkers felt like Crowley wasn’t a reliable candidate. If he can’t even show up for his voters and the people he is supposed to be “helping”, then he’s not the best candidate. Additionally, this isn’t his first no-show to a primary debate. As a long-time incumbent, the best thing for him to do to secure his seat was to attend. Since he could not do that, voters took matters into their own hands.
When asked by CNN’s Poppy Harlow why she thinks she won, Ocasio-Cortez responded, “We won because we had a clear message and we delivered it.” She hopes to bring a bit of clarity for the Democratic Party. When asked about gender equality in Congress, she said, “Women are at a time where they are feeling emboldened, we have to fight for it we have to earn it.” This statement is a takeaway for women of all ages out there that feel as though their time has passed or they won’t succeed, even if they try. The time is now, YOUR time is now, OUR time is now.