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Tanzima Chowdhury
Social Entrepreneur & Activist
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piqer: Tanzima Chowdhury
Sunday, 01 July 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: A 28-Year-Old Democratic Giant Slayer

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is young, Latina and a Bronx-native that just won against a Democratic incumbent who had not been challenged since 2004.

Last Tuesday, Representative Joseph Crawley's defeat signaled a shift for the Democratic Party, the nation and the future of American elections when Ocasio-Cortez curbed his route to House Speaker and shook him from his seat of 19 years.

As a grassroots activist and community organizer with an understanding of working-class issues and the importance of communities, Ocasio-Cortez represents the change to come, which is driven by the youth and non-whites:

In her bid against Mr. Crowley, she was unafraid to foreground race, gender, age and class. When Mr. Crowley sent a Latina surrogate to debate Ms. Ocasio-Cortez last week, citing scheduling conflicts, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez blasted him on Twitter for sending someone with a “slight resemblance to me.” She attacked Mr. Crowley for taking corporate money, for not living in the district and for looking increasingly unlike the constituents of the Bronx and Queens he was elected to represent.

Ocasio-Cortez's presence itself is no less than a miracle as she even says in her campaign video: "Women like me aren't supposed to run for office." This is a politician that is still paying her college loans, openly calls for the elimination of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency, and has 70 percent of her campaign money funded by contributions under $200. 

Her victory belongs to the people Ocasio-Cortez personifies, and it should lead the party she runs for to reevaluate its purpose, politicians to address much-need conversations and politics to include individuals like her:

“I hope that this reminds us of what the Democratic Party should be about, which is, first and foremost, accountability from the working-class people."

If she is elected to Congress, she will be more than just the youngest woman.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: A 28-Year-Old Democratic Giant Slayer
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