Badass Women Profile: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is all about breaking down the barriers for women and minorities in politics. Ocasio-Cortez is a politician, educator and political activist from the Bronx in New York City who has always had a passion for government and politics. The 28-year-old Latina graduated cum laude from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Relations.
By Brianna Allen
She began her first experience in government as a member of the National Hispanic Institute’s Lorenzo de Zavala (LDZ) Youth Legislative Session in high school. While studying at Boston University, she continued her involvement with the LDZ serving as the organizations Secretary of State. Additionally, she interned in the immigration office for U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and was an organizer for Bernie Sander’s 2016 presidential campaign. It’s safe to say Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been making an impact since the beginning of her career.
Last June, Ocasio-Cortez made national headlines when she ran against and defeated longtime Democratic Caucus Chair and U.S. Representative, Joe Crowley in the Democratic Congressional primary in New York. Having a significant disadvantage with an underfunded campaign, little press and never holding an elected office, her candidacy wasn’t viewed as a threat to the incumbent. Crowley had not faced a primary challenger in over a decade and was in disbelief that he had an opponent since Ocasio-Cortez was the first person to challenge him since 2004. Fast forward to 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made history and proved those who doubted her wrong by winning against Crowley and capturing 57% of the vote.
Given the current political climate, Ocasio-Cortez is part of a wave of minority women who have been inspired to run for elected office. In her campaign video, she stated, “Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office.” Ocasio-Cortez truly demonstrated tenacity by showing others that women from a working-class family can succeed. Not only are women like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez running for office, but they are winning and dominating against men that have held elected official positions for years.
As a young woman and millennial, she has become as a role model and someone for others to look up to. Although many people told her it wasn’t possible, she continued to believe in herself and advocating for the issues she felt were important. Ocasio-Cortez’s courage has inspired young women to make an impact in their communities and let their voices be heard. Let’s talk about major girl power! Alexandria Ocasio- Cortez will definitely be a woman to watch in upcoming elections.