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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Delivered an Impassioned Speech After the ‘Green New Deal’ Failed to Pass in the House

credit: @Mediaite / Instagram

Those of you who have been following Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s career closely know that the “Green New Deal” has been a cornerstone of her platform since taking office in January. The “Green New Deal” is, according to the Sierra Club, a piece of legislation that aims to “mobilize vast public resources to help [the US] transition from an economy built on exploitation and fossil fuels to one driven by dignified work and clean energy.” On Tuesday, the Senate voted against passing the legislation by a margin of 0-57–an outcome that was largely expected.

What was unexpected, however, was Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s reaction to a fellow House member who dismissed the trailblazing bill as one that would only benefit “rich liberals.”

“If you are a rich liberal from maybe New York or California [the Green New Deal] sounds great,” Rep. Sean Duffy of Wisconsin (R) stated. “Because you can afford to retrofit your home or build a new home that has a zero emissions, that is energy efficient, affordable and safe.”

Needless to say, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez did not view the goal of reducing carbon emissions as a liberal fantasy in the same way Rep. Duffy did.

When it was her turn to speak at the committee hearing, Ocasio-Cortez didn’t mince words in her rebuttal.

“When we talk about the concern for the environment as an elitist concern, one year ago I was waitressing in a taco shop in downtown Manhattan,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “This is not an elitist issue. This is a quality of life issue. You want to tell people that their concern and their desire for clean air and clean water is elitist? Tell that to the kids in the South Bronx which are suffering from the highest rates of childhood asthma in the country. Tell that to the families in Flint…Call them elitist…People are dying!”

After the journalist and liberal media personality Brian Tyler Cohen Tweeted out the video to his 43,000 followers, the video quickly went viral–garnering more than 8 million views and 64,000 retweets in less than 24 hours.

Latinas, as usual, took to Twitter to support Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez…

The reaction on Twitter proves that combating climate change is not an issue that only effects elite liberals.

In fact, many Latinas view climate change as one of the most pressing issues in politics today.

@AOC Thank you for being a voice of reason. Your words come from the heart of many Americans who believe in helping our fellow man; who believe that clean water and air for ALL is top of the list of Congressional concerns. We MUST save the planet.— Janet (@SurruscoJanet) March 27, 2019

According to environmental scientists, the clock is ticking when it comes to both reducing and preventing humanity’s negative environmental impact.

Many Latinas experience first hand that negative consequences of the climate change crisis.

We, the people of communities like the Bronx where @AOC represents and the 7th where @AyannaPressley represents and the 5th Suffolk, where I represent are the original EJ warriors. We have been poisoned 4 generations w/ bad air, water & land. It’s not elitist, its righteous.— Rep. Liz Miranda (@lizforma) March 27, 2019

In fact, the affects of climate change disproportionately impact low-income Americans who are often displaced due to the destruction of unusual environmental occurrences.

Of course, there were those Latinas who were just ecstatic that they finally felt truly represented by a Representative.

All. Of. This! #AOC is my voice! @AOC represents my voice and my concerns for this country!!!! https://t.co/Ek8q3O36Q6— Alicia Figliuolo / adotfig on ig (@AliciaFigliuolo) March 27, 2019

It’s not every day that Latinas feel that their voices are being heard by politicians.

Some Twitter users reminded everyone that the devastating effects of climate change should not tainted by partisan politics.

The real question should be how ignorant are those old white men who don’t understand that #climatechange is real and will destroy humanity. #ScienceisReal We know the answer, they are driven by #Greed #GreenNewDeal— Michele Garron (@bassm67) March 27, 2019

Facts should not be made into a Republican vs. Democratic issue. The negative impacts of climate change are widely accepted by the scientific community.

Although the Green New Deal didn’t pass in the Senate, we’re very sure that this isn’t the end of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s fight against climate change.

Could This Young Woman Of Color Be The Next AOC? This Progressive Political Group Hopes So

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Could This Young Woman Of Color Be The Next AOC? This Progressive Political Group Hopes So

MeetMcKayla / Instagram

Inspired by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mckayla Wilkes of Maryland has got her sights set on 2020, challenging House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer for his seat. In fact, Wilkes has been influenced so much by AOC’s run for Congress in 2018, she’s now secured backing from Brand New Congress – the same progressive group that supported Ocasion-Cortez’s campaign way back when.

That’s swell and all, but why do we care?

Instagram / @meetmckayla

There’s plenty of reasons to care about Wilkes and who she is: she’s a black, working-class, 29 year-old mother-of-two studying political science in Waldorf, Maryland. When you compare her to Steny Hoyer and his background – essentially an old, white man serving his 20th term in office – you can definitely imagine that Wilkes would be more familiar with the everyday struggles that most of us face, than Hoyer. “He’s not for people that are my family, my friends, my coworkers,” Wilkes said in an interview with Buzzfeed. “It shows in the policies that he sponsors and that he endorses, and it shows in the donors that he gets his contributions from.”

Wilkes has been extremely candid and open about her past and her struggles.

Twitter / @MeetMckayla

It’s easy to see that Wilkes is as genuine as it gets, as she’s also been upfront about her past. “I just don’t want any secrets … I want everything to be out there. It’s not like I’m the only person who goes through these things,” she said, having publicly spoke about her time in jail as a teen and young adult. Wilkes has admitted to going through a rough patch, and also spoke about the abortion she had when she was 19: “It’s not like it’s something easy to do,” she told BuzzFeed recently. “It’s not an easy decision to make. But I feel like women should have that right. … My body is not a political playground. There’s no room for [politicians] in the room with me and my doctor.”

Sure, she’s more representative of the population, but what does Wilkes stand for?

Instagram / @meetmckayla

In short, it seems as if Mckayla Wilkes is running on a platform that’s kinda similar to Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Things like Medicare for All, the Green New Deal, affordable housing, overhauling the criminal justice system and even initiating impeachment proceedings against Trump are all on her to-do list, should she be elected. And yeah: none of these policies are gonna be easy to institute, especially as the Democrat’s current position doesn’t support impeachment. But, whoever said that running for office – and getting things done – would be easy?

She is committed to raising money for her campaign directly from her constituents.

Instagram / @meetmckayla

However, Wilkes is clearly driven by her morals, and isn’t afraid of a challenge. She’s also committed to staying away from PAC money and is seeking funding through other means. It’s meant that, since launching her campaign in June, she’s raised $70,000 from door knocking. To put it in perspective, Hoyer raised just $185 in the first quarter of 2019 from grassroots donations … and over $650,000 from other sources. What this means for Wilkes is that, having fundraised exclusively through donations from the community, her decisions and policies are tied directly to her constituents – and not other interests. More power to her, right?

It sounds like Wilkes is definitely for the people – but what is she up against?

Instagram / @leaderhoyer

Well, there is the obvious: Wilkes is running against an incumbent, and one who’s got plenty of funding and connections to boot. It’s not easy to run against someone who’s in that position. Especially when the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) made an announcement earlier this year that if an organization supports candidates challenging an incumbent House Democrat, the party would cut them off from business. It means that even simple things like securing advertisers becomes that much harder for someone in Wilkes’ position.

Wilke’s campaign will be a challenging one to win but she’s got her eyes on the prize.

Instagram / @meetmckayla

Chances are that Wilkes’ campaign will face more challenges than what Ocasio-Cortez saw, too. The population of Maryland’s 5th District is 60 percent white. However, New York’s 14th District, where AOC ran for her seat, is 18 percent white. Political pundits speculate that because 2020 is a presidential election year, it’s highly likely that younger and more diverse voters will show up to have their say – which in turn should help Wilkes.

Mckayla Wilkes is no fool, and she knows that she needs to lean into the fact that she not only represents a more diverse face in the race for Congress, but also a deeper, more tangible connection to the average Joe. “That’s … what sets me apart from Hoyer and also the majority of people in Congress,” Wilkes said to the media, “because I would not be able to sleep at night knowing that I’m denying my sister health care or that I’m denying my friend a place to live or that I’m denying my classmate a place to live. So, for me, it’s personal.”

AOC Has Receipts For Abuelas That Breakdowns The Thousands Of Dollars Worth Of Reasons Why You’re Not Having Kids

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AOC Has Receipts For Abuelas That Breakdowns The Thousands Of Dollars Worth Of Reasons Why You’re Not Having Kids

Mario Tama / Getty Images

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is always here to break down complex ideas into digestible ones for constituents. A true public servant, AOC highlighted why millennials aren’t having children in a single tweet. However, while millennials might be the first generation in the United States with a lower birth rate, fertility rates around the world have been steadily dropping. 

It’s no surprise, in a modern world where information is accessible and social services are not, having children is a much easier decision than bringing a child into an unstable world. Population decline has pros and cons. With increasing concerns about water, land, and food scarcity caused by climate change, fewer resources require fewer people in need. Nevertheless, civilizations are meant to proliferate in order to function. Fewer births mean a smaller labor force to ensure the society operates healthily. Moreover, when less young people are able to contribute to social services for the elderly, like Medicare, they suffer as well. 

Now you might be able to see how a simple issue of fewer people having babies, can have a negative domino effect with serious economic implications. Countries like Japan, where birth rates have declined to reach new lows, are already experiencing similar effects. While we each have a right to decide if we have kids or don’t, it is clear that if people were inclined to believe their children might have a future better than theirs, they might choose differently. 

AOC reveals why millennials don’t have children.

“When people chastise millennials for not having or delaying starting their families after growing up in a recession, here’s one big reason why,” AOC said in reference to Washington Post opinion writer Elizabeth Bruening’s near $8,000 medical bill after giving birth. This was the cost after insurance. 

Meanwhile, 40 percent of Americans don’t have more than $400 in their savings account, how can anyone be expected to pay for such a massive expense with or without health insurance? This, of course, doesn’t include the cost of childcare, and the loss of income most women who have children experience after taking leave from the workforce. 

Childcare is too expensive.

TheNew York Times surveyed 1,858 men and women millennials between the ages of 20 and 45. When asked why they are delaying having children or not having children at all, 64 percent said childcare is too expensive, 44 percent said they can’t afford to have more children, and 43 percent financial instability was the cause. All of these reasons are related to money. Moreover, Pew Research has connected lower fertility rates to a poor economy since the 2008 recession. 

The world’s population is expected to nearly stop growing.

According to Pew Research, the world’s population is expected to nearly stop growing by the year 2100. This is the first time such a thing has happened in modern history. The population is expected to reach roughly 10.9 billion by the end of the century, but annual growth is expected to be 0.1 percent, a huge decline. Since 1950 the population has increased between 1 percent and 2 percent — that’s 2.5 billion more people. 

Immigration has often been a remedy for declining populations. But we live in a time where xenophobia is heightened, and even citizens don’t get to live out the so-called “American dream.” 

In the future, everyone is a senior citizen. 

“Between 2020 and 2100, the number of people ages 80 and older is expected to increase from 146 million to 881 million,” according to the United Nations’ 2019 World Populations report. “Starting in 2073, there are projected to be more people ages 65 and older than under age 15 – the first time this will be the case.”

This is not good. When one age group becomes the dominant culture it can have a stronghold on the direction of that society. Consider the fact that the reason why our political landscape looks the way it has (bad) for so long is because the Baby Boomer generation has been the largest voting bloc up until 2018 (any coincidence that’s when the Blue Wave happened?), thus it is their values, priorities, and beliefs that are best represented in the United States. 

“The Latin America and Caribbean region is expected to have the oldest population of any world region by 2100, a reversal from the 20th century,” according to the UN report. 

While we all get older, progress is often instigated by younger generations. This is why Republicans fear college campuses. Without young people to steer us away from unhealthy traditions and values, what will become of us? These are structural issues the government must repair. So if you want to solidify a future for your child or future child, in 2020 vote for a candidate who makes children a priority. (Spoiler: that candidate probably won’t belong to the party that lets little children die in cages.)