Words by: Rashad Grove
On a historic night for women, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29, became the youngest woman in history to be elected to Congress. With all but 2 percent of the votes counted in the congressional race for New York’s 14th District, she earned support from 78 percent of voters. A remarkable feat, just last year Ocasio-Cortez was working in a bar to support her family.
Ocasio-Cortez stunned the political establishment when she was victorious in the Democratic primary in June, by unseating Rep. Joe Crowley who was the fourth-ranking House Democrat, represented the Bronx and Queens district for 10 terms and was on track in the eyes of many to replace Nancy Pelosi as minority leader. Ocasio-Cortez was his first primary challenge since 2004.
She ran a successful grassroots campaign, with a progressive agenda that included a federal jobs guarantee, universal Medicare, the abolition of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, tuition-free college, gun control, an end to private prisons and access to affordable housing. Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and has been endorsed by various politically progressive organizations and figures including Sen. Bernie Sanders.
Ocasio-Cortez’s landmark victory was one of many key races that will send over 100 women to Congress.