Things That Matter

She Hasn’t Started Her Term Yet And AOC Is Already Offering Interns $15 An Hour

If you want 2019 to be all about making positive changes in your life and working to better the lives of the American people, you may want to look into a job in politics. The problem with most civic jobs — such as teachers, council members, working at a non-profit — is that they don’t pay much. In fact, just to get your foot in the door landing an unpaid internship is the only way to go. Thankfully some people are looking out for the common man because they know what it’s like to hustle for money.

Newly elected congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is looking to hire interns and is offering at least $15 an hour.

CREDIT: Instagram/@iridescentwomen

“Time to walk the walk,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “Very few members of Congress actually pay their interns. We will be one of them.”

Ocasio-Cortez, who hasn’t technically started her new job in Washington, is ge changes. Paying her interns is one of them.

According to The Washington Post, a 2017 study found that only 8 percent of House Republicans and 4 percent of House Democrats pay their interns.

The Washington Post also reports that while some senators pay their interns (51 percent to 31 percent); House representatives pay even less (8 percent to 3.6 percent).

This year, however, President Trump has approved a bigger budget for senators, which means they now have money to pay interns.

CREDIT: Twitter/@thehill

According to reports, this year money allotted for senators’ staffing increased from $871 million last year to $920 million for 2018. But it’s still their choice whether they choose to use that money for staffing or other costs.

Thanks to Carlos Mark Vera, founder of advocacy group Pay Our Interns, senators are now feeling the pressure to pay their interns.

“I write to encourage your office to take action and use some of the surplus funds to launch a paid internship program,” Vera wrote in a letter to senators. “So that, once again, opportunities on Capitol Hill are open to all young people, and not just those who can afford to work for free.”

Ocasio-Cortez broke down how the funds are used, and how lawmakers are allowed to do what they want with their own budget.

CREDIT: Instagram/@ocasio2018

“Each member of Congress gets around $1.2 million (give or take a bit) for their entire operating budget,” she said on Twitter. “That’s supposed to cover all salaries (DC and district), rents for district offices, travel home, tech devices, services, contracts, etc. Members decide how it’s all spent.”

She went on to say that “There’s a little wiggle room—everyone isn’t given the same exact amount, but it’s pretty close. If you’re from a district with high transportation costs, high rents (urban/suburban areas), or both, it can have the potential to pressure wages downward for similar operations.”

She’s basically getting $20,000 to hire four interns. But as she said, she wants to pay them at least $15 an hour.

CREDIT: Twitter/@Ocasio2018

Are you interested in working for her? Apply here. And good luck.


READ: It’s The 21st Century And Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Is Using Social Media To Call Some Things Out

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Push For A Bernie Sanders Presidency Might Just Be The Fight We Need

Things That Matter

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Push For A Bernie Sanders Presidency Might Just Be The Fight We Need

@realDailyWire / Twitter

As the 2020 presidential election draws ever nearer, the stakes are growing significantly higher for the candidates of both major parties—and quickly. In the case of the Democrats, the top four candidates (Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and Pete Buttigieg) are all closely ranked in New Hampshire and Iowa, and it’s no secret that Iowa is a particularly important state when it comes to forecasting election season. This week, the Des Moines Register poll showed Sanders with a mild lead in this Midwest state, a stat that bodes well for him in the coming months—well, at least, it might. At this point in the game, it’s really impossible to guess what’s to come, especially in the midst of the chaos surrounding our military conflict with Iran and the impeachment of President Trump.

In addition to a millennial-friendly position on a wide range of issues—from healthcare reform to student loan forgiveness—many folks are speculating about Senator Sanders’ success resulting from his endorsement by none other than AOC herself.

Credit: J Pat Carter / Getty Images

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed Sanders back in October, and ever since, she’s stood alongside him in several early-voting states, drawing major crowds in Nevada, California, New York, and, of course, Iowa. Sanders’ approach to policy may already pique the interest of the millennial generation, but AOC is, herself, a millennial—she speaks to this age group from her own perspective as a progressive young person, appealing to her peers with firsthand knowledge of what matters to them most. She’s impassioned, savvy, likeable. And she’s not just exciting the millennial demographic—she’s appealing to all kinds of Democrats.

“Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a leader in the progressive movement,” said Jeff Weaver, longtime adviser to Sanders. “She is broadly popular, frankly, among Democratic voters. She is particularly strong with young voters, voters of color. She’s an important national voice and adding her weight to the political revolution is a real coup for us.”

It’s definitely clear that AOC and Sanders are making waves across the country, establishing powerful connections with legions of unlikely and diverse Democratic constituencies. And as they continue to generate energy and excitement, people are starting to wonder: Will AOC ultimately inherit the progressive movement headed by Sanders? Will she occupy the White House one day?

Credit: Kevin Kuo / AP Photo

Again, no one can answer these questions right now. But in the meantime, the political duo is leaving a powerful imprint on enthusiastic delegates, paving the way for what might end up being a highly productive race for the Democratic socialists. With that said, it’s important to remember that Joe Biden is currently favored in Nevada and South Carolina, placing him and Sanders in a sort of limbo, hovering at a similar point  in the race. But if one of them ends up gaining early momentum, either candidate could potentially emerge as a singular favorite by the time Super Tuesday arrives in March.

Waleed Shahid, a former aide to both Sanders and AOC, acknowledged the pair’s recent visit through California, saying that Sanders would benefit from further establishing himself within the Super Tuesday state—a move that would allow him to expand his already strong position among Latino voters. (In surveys of Latino Democrats, Sanders typically polls first or second.) And AOC is, without a doubt, boosting his ratings among this demographic: to make sure their message is being heard, she’s been delivering campaign speeches entirely in Spanish to Latino crowds.

Even if there’s no way to predict AOC’s future role in the Democratic party, there have been hints as to what might come to pass if Sanders is chosen as the Democratic candidate for this year’s election.

Credit: Lucas Jackson / Reuters

In an election endorsement interview with The New York Times Editorial Board, Sanders said that it was “a little bit premature” to name a running mate, as the first nominating contest is still weeks away. But he continued by saing, “I think Joe [Biden] has had eight years as vice president: probably enough.” He added, “I believe in diversity. I believe and know that my administration and my cabinet will look like America looks like. I’m not going to tell you who it’s going to be.”

While Sanders may be trying to keep his plans on the down low (he isn’t wrong, after all—it is a bit early to start naming potential running mates), it’s clear that he and AOC have a similar vision and a sincere, collaborative chemistry. Plus, he did tell ABC in November that she would “play a very, very important role — no question” if he becomes president. He has even taken to occasionally citing remarks by AOC during his speeches, reiterating that they share a parallel perspective for the future of our country. At this point, all we can do is speculate about a Sanders/AOC ticket. Ya veremos!

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Will Give A Spanish Keynote Speech on The West Coast In Support Of Bernie Sanders

Things That Matter

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Will Give A Spanish Keynote Speech on The West Coast In Support Of Bernie Sanders

@NevadaForBernie / Twitter

There’s a lot going on right. Christmas is coming up, then New Year’s after that. The House Democrats voted to impeach the President of the United States, so, yes, we’re a bit stressed. But there’s still a presidential campaign going on and not the holidays or the impeachment will put that on hold. That means lawmakers will continue to hit the streets and campaign for the candidate they support. 

As you may know, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is supporting Sen. Bernie Sanders for president in 2020. On Sunday, she will be the keynote speaker at a town hall for Sen. Sanders, and she will be speaking in Spanish.

Credit: Facebook

This is a big deal, and not just because Rep. Ocasio-Cortez will be campaigning for Sen. Sanders trying to reach Latino voters, but also because she has admitted in the past that her Spanish isn’t very good. 

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez tweeted, “I’m nervous for this all-Spanish town hall, but I also know that the only way I’m going to improve my Spanish is by practicing it!” She also tweeted in Spanish, “Nevada: Únete a nosotros este Domingo para un… town hall(?) en Español, y probablemente con un poquito de “spanglish” también.”

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has hit the campaign trail for Sen. Sanders before, and aside from her speech in Las Vegas, she will also be in Los Angeles. 

This weekend’s town hall events on the West Coast will be aimed at reaching Latino voters.

Credit: @weareunidosus / Twitter

According to NBC News, “the Democratic Party has been holding trainings in Spanish to increase Latino participation in the state’s Feb. 22 caucus. Latino voters in the state helped usher in a Democratic candidate and senator.”

“When we started last year, it was 12 weeks before the general election,” Cynthia Jasso-Rotunno, DNC Latino political director, told NBC News.  Jasso-Rotunno was speaking about a program called Mujeres Mobilize. “We’re starting now … so when one of the Democratic candidates becomes the nominee, they plop into a structure already there.”

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has been very open about the fact that her Spanish isn’t very good, but that’s okay, girl!

Credit: @aoc / Twitter

In September, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez appeared on the Spanish-language show, Univision Nueva York to explain her Green New Deal initiative, and had to speak in Spanish. So how did she do? She speaks Spanish very well. It’s not perfect, but most first-generation and second-generation Latinos don’t speak Spanish often, so we’re pretty impressed by her wordage. In that particular segment. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez didn’t use any Spanglish, which is tough to do. 

“I’m really proud of this interview!” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said about her Spanish a couple of months ago. “Growing up, Spanish was my first language – but like many 1st generation Latinx Americans, I have to continuously work at it & improve. It’s not perfect, but the only way we improve our language skills is through public practice. #Palante

If that’s what her Spanish sounded like just a couple of months ago, we’re certain she’s been practicing and will sound even better this weekend.

Credit: @univisionnuevayork / Twitter

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez actually represents a lot of us, and we have proof. Pew Research released a study last year that showed that most Latino parents speak Spanish at home to their kids, but the longer they’ve been in the country, the less Spanish they end up speaking. 

“Overall, 85 percent of Latino parents say they speak Spanish to their children, according to the Center’s 2015 National Survey of Latinos. Among immigrant parents, nearly all (97 percent) say they do this. But the share drops to 71 percent among U.S.-born second-generation Latino parents (those with at least one immigrant parent). And the share falls to just 49 percent among third or higher generation Latino parents – those born in the U.S. to U.S.-born parents.”

If Rep. Ocasio-Cortez wants to reach older Latinos on the West Coast and encourage them to vote for Sen. Sanders, it’s very smart of her to do her keynote speech in Spanish.

Credit: @belensisaw / Twitter

Most young supporters of Rep. Ocasio-Cortez already know the power that she bestows on social media and in Washington, so she doesn’t have to prove much to them. But when it comes to the older Latino population, and there are millions of them on the West Coast ready to vote, they mostly speak Spanish. 

We’re rooting for you, AOC! Si se puede!

READ: A Police Department In South Carolina Is In Hot Water After Sending Out A Tweet About AOC