Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continues to make her mark in Washington. Aside from continuing to fight for the environment via her Green New Deal and introducing a 3-month paid parental leave policy, the New York native is working hard for Americans every day. She doesn’t take any of it for granted either; she understands the obstacles she endured to get where she is. This weekend she hit another historical moment and took time to reflect on what she has achieved so far.
Yesterday, for an hour, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez led the House making history as the youngest women to do so.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez presided over the House for about an hour in routine rotation. Various members of the Democratic party take over for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi title role, and Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was grateful for her turn.
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez took this shining moment as an opportunity to thank the New Yorkers who voted her into office.
“Today I presided over the House floor for the first time,” she tweeted. “Every day here is a sacred privilege and responsibility entrusted to me by my community. I never forget that, and moments like these drive it home. Thank you to the people of NY14 + beyond. This House belongs to all of us.”
She may have stumbled a little during her delivery, but who could blame her? Standing up there can be quite intimidating.
Thank heavens for Cardi B because boy does the Dominican rapper know how to use her voice.
Since her rise to fame, the hitmaker has made a point to use her platform to raise awareness of the issues she finds important. From politics to our world leaders, the rapper has done her due diligence to break down current events to her followers.
Fortunately, she’s up to it again.
Last week, the rapper took to Twitter to open up about the protests breaking out across the country in an effort to demand justice for the wrongful deaths of Black people killed by police.
You might have already heard about the protests that broke out over the weekend which outcried the wrongful deaths of two Black people: George Floyd a Black man from Minnesota who was killed while being restrained by the police on May 25. The other, Breonna Taylor a 26-year-old woman, was fatally shot by Louisville Metro Police officers on March 13, 2020.
In regards to their recent deaths, Cardi B shared her thoughts and a call to action.
“Seeing people looting and going extremely outraged, you know, it makes me feel like, ‘Yes, finally! Finally motherf****** is gonna hear us now. Yeah!’” the rapper said in her Instagram post. “And as much as people is so against it, at this point, I feel like I’m not against it, even though it do scare me and I don’t want anybody to get hurt, but it’s really frustrating. You want to know why? Because police brutality been going on even way before I was born, but it has been more visual ever since social media started getting poppin.’ And ever since, let’s say Instagram started–just one app–let’s say since Instagram started, how many peaceful protests have we seen? How many trending hashtags have we seen? These hashtags keep freakin’ repeating themselves. I feel like I’ve done videos against police brutality… I feel like this is my seventh time. I’ve been doing f*ckin’ police brutality videos ever since my teeth been f*cked up, and the only shit that changed has been my f****** teeth. You know what I’m saying? People are tired, so now their tired is showing that it’s, “Oh motherf*ckers are educated. Motherf*ckers can take the grown and adult way and act peaceful people are tired of that, so now this is what people have to resort to.”
Cardi B continued her post telling her fans to vote in the upcoming general elections.
“And another thing, I also want to say this: Another way for people to take power–I don’t want to make everything political, but it is what it is–it’s by voting. And when I say voting, I’m not only talking about the President. We could vote for mayors. We could vote for judges, and we could also vote for DA’s–district attorneys. Yes, we could vote for these people, for our county. We sure can. The people that are voting for these people are most likely cops, most likely rednecks; that’s why every single time some fuck shit like this happens, it goes to their favor, because these people have the power–DA’s, these judges, these attorneys–they have the power to prosecute these cops when they do f***s***,” she said
It didn’t take long for users to respond to Cardi’s post with support and words of heartbreak.
We will win this!
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Puerto Rican’s are no stranger to referendums. Since 1967, they’ve had five chances to make their opinions known on U.S. statehood and each and every time, their voice hasn’t been listened to. Congress has failed to take up the issue after each referendum and local leaders are often guilty of using the referendum simply to drudge up support for their candidates.
But this upcoming referendum is different in that it comes at a crossroads for Puerto Rican politics. The island has been plagued by natural disasters, political scandals, and unprecedented hate crimes. Even Bad Bunny is letting his thoughts out on the referendum and many others have lots to say on the issue.
For the first time in the island’s history, the referendum will ask a single question: Should Puerto Rico be immediately admitted as a U.S. state?
On Saturday, Puerto Rico’s pro-statehood Republican governor, Wanda Vázquez, announced yet another vote on the question (the sixth since 1967 and the third since 2012). It’s a move that comes amid growing frustration with the island’s territorial government and its relationship with the mainland.
However, it’s a question that also outraged the island’s independence supporters and members of the main opposition Popular Democratic Party – which supports the status quo.
But it’s a gamble that members of the governor’s pro-statehood party are confident will pay off given that Puerto Rico has struggled to obtain federal funds for hurricanes Irma and Maria, a string of recent strong earthquakes and the coronavirus pandemic amid growing complaints that the island does not receive fair and equal treatment.
“Our people will have the opportunity once and for all to define our future,” Vázquez said. “It’s never too late to be treated as equals.”
The upcoming referendum is just the recent in a long line of previously failed ones.
In the past, voters have been asked more than one question and presented with various options, including independence or continuing with the current territorial status – but none of them have ever been as direct as the upcoming one scheduled for the November 3 general election.
However, many on the island see the referendum as little more than a political move by the governor’s New Progressive Party to get voters out on Nov 3 – to boost her party’s candidates.
The New Progressive Party has been rattled with scandal after scandal and many are ready for change.
The past few years have not been good for the party – or the island for that matter. A string of devastating hurricanes, a severe debt crisis, ongoing corruption scandals that even forced a pro-statehood governor to resign, earthquakes, and now a global pandemic – have all led to challenging times in Puerto Rico. To some observers, the idea seems to be: Let’s dangle the illusion of a yes or no statehood referendum (nonbinding) that is already dead on arrival?
Many also feel that Gov. Vasquez is not truly authorized to make such a decision since she was never actually elected to the office. Instead, she became governor after Ricardo Rosselló was forced to resign following massive protests.
Meanwhile, the Republican government on the island doesn’t even have the support of the Republican-led federal government. The Trump administration’s blunt response was basically, “The first priority for all Puerto Rico leaders should be getting their financial house in order.”
Statehood would award Puerto Rico two senators and five representatives, but it’s unlikely a Republican-controlled Congress would acknowledge the referendum because Puerto Rico tends to favor Democrats.
Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens but cannot vote in U.S. presidential elections. And while the island is exempt from the U.S. federal income tax, it still pays Social Security and Medicare and local taxes and receives less federal funding than U.S. states. Many believe the island’s territorial status has contributed to its struggle to recover from the hurricanes and earthquakes, as well as worsened its economic crisis, largely caused by decades of heavy borrowing and the elimination of federal tax incentives.
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