Things That Matter

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

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.”

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Rep. AOC Opens Up About Being A Sexual Assault Survivor And Capitol Riots In Powerful IG Live

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Rep. AOC Opens Up About Being A Sexual Assault Survivor And Capitol Riots In Powerful IG Live

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, one of the most recognizable faces of Congress, used an Instagram Live video to share her experience in the Capitol riot. The congresswoman from New York also shared with the audience that she is a victim of sexual assault.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez finally broke her silence about her experience during the Capitol riot.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was in the Capitol on Jan. 6 when a group of angry far-right extremists stormed the building. The Congress was in the process of certifying the election results to certify President Joe Biden’s victory. In the chaos, people died and members of Congress were rushed to secure locations to keep everyone safe.

There has been a lot of chatter that some Republican members of Congress are responsible for the attack. Some members of Congress have accused colleagues of giving rioters tours the day before the attack and two senators are facing calls to resign or expulsion over their connection. Sen. Josh Hawley and Sen. Ted Cruz are facing sustained nad bipartisan calls to resign after appearing to encourage the insurrection on Jan. 6.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez openly shared that she is a survivor of sexual assault. The moment comes at the beginning of the video as he breaks down the way some of her colleagues have talked about the riot.

“They’re trying to tell us to forget about what happened. They’re trying to tell us that it wasn’t a big deal. They’re trying to tell us to move on without an accountability, without any truth telling, or without actually confronting the extreme damage, physical harm, loss of life, and trauma that was inflicted on, not just me as a person, not just other people as individuals, but on all of us as a collective and on many other people,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says in the IG Live. “We cannot move on without accountability. We cannot heal without accountability. So, all of these people who want to tell us to move on are doing so at their own convenience.”

AOC highlighted how these tactics and this rhetoric is similar to that of an abuser. She calls out those using this rhetoric as hiding from what they did for their own convenience and how it something she has heard before.

“I’m a survivor of sexual assault and I haven’t told many people that in my life,” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says as her voice cracks and she tears up. “When we go through trauma, trauma compounds on each other and so whether you have a neglectful parent or whether you have someone who was verbally abuse towards you. Whether you are a survivor of abuse, whether you experience any sort of trauma in your life, small to large, these episodes can compound on one another.”

During that moment, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez hid in a colleagues office and feared for her life. In a previous Instagram Live video, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez spoke about how she had a moment when she feared for her life but could not say anything due to security issues. Her latest IG Live is open and free to discuss what happened and it is a terrifying ordeal.

At first, AOC took shelter in her office and had to hide in the bathroom as the attackers broke into her office.

“I just hear these yells of ‘WHERE IS SHE? WHERE IS SHE?’” Rep. Ocasio-Cortez recalls. “This was the moment where I thought everything was over. I thought I was going to die.”

“I felt that if this was the journey my life was taking, I felt that things were going to be okay — and that I had fulfilled my purpose,” Rep. AOC said through tears.

According to AOC, her legislative director Geraldo Bonilla-Chavez, told her to come out of the bathroom and that there was a Capitol police officer there who secured her office. Yet, something seemed off so the two fled to get to another secure location. That’s when they ended up in Rep. Katie Porter’s office.

This is when AOC changed into sneakers and gym clothes so she could run and blend if she had to. She continues to say that a real split between Democrats and Republicans has led to an environment of fear and that on the day of the insurrection, she never felt sully safe or secured.

READ: Rep. AOC Calls Out Sen. Ted Cruz After He Tried To Join Her Fight Against Robinhood

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Rep. AOC Calls Out Sen. Ted Cruz After He Tried To Join Her Fight Against Robinhood

Things That Matter

Rep. AOC Calls Out Sen. Ted Cruz After He Tried To Join Her Fight Against Robinhood

The story about Reddit users gaming the stock market at the detriment of hedge fund managers has caught everyone’s attention. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is ready to go after Robinhood for their action to stop people from gaming the system that the elite and rich game every day.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is ready to take on the Robinhood app for intentionally disenfranchising people using the stock market.

There is a lot of buzz about the stock market right now. The GameStop stock soared unexpectedly and everyone was shocked. Then it was discovered that a group of people on Reddit noticed that hedge fund managers were dumping the stock in mass. In response, amateur traders bought the GameStop stock with a vengeance to push GameStop’s value from $2 billion to $24 billion in a matter of days. It was a decisive victory against Wall Street that was celebrated across all social media platforms.

In response, to protect the hedge fund managers, stock trading apps like TD Ameritrade and Robinhood, stopped new trading and buying of the stocks in question. The move has drawn sharp criticism as it appears the move was made to hinder the efforts of amateur investors to the betterment of the hedge fund managers angered to be losing at their own game.

“It is not uncommon for us to make such decisions, which we consider on an individual basis, in the interest of mitigating risk,” a TD Ameritrade spokesperson told CNET. “We have been adjusting our requirements for several days as we continued to see trends indicating unusual volume in an unprecedented market environment, which appear to be divorced from traditional market fundamentals. We have made what we believe to be prudent and appropriate decisions to place some limits on certain transactions for certain securities.”

Sen. Ted Cruz, in an opportunistic tweet, appeared to side with Rep. AOC.

Rep. AOC and Sen. Cruz have a highly publicized strained relationship. The two politicians are polar opposites in their beliefs and styles of governing. Sen. Cruz’s tweet in support of finding out the reason behind Robinhood’s actions was not a welcomed sight.

People have responded to the tweet confused by Sen. Cruz’s interest is siding against Wall Street. Others are highlighting that the trading apps are directly manipulating the market in favor of the hedge fund managers and trying to force the retail investors to sell to the benefit of the hedge fund managers.

Rep. AOC is not interested in working with Sen. Cruz.

Sen. Cruz along with Sen. Josh Hawley, have faced resounding criticism from the public and colleagues after the insurrection at the U.S. Capitol Jan. 6. The two senators have been singled out for their rhetoric and support that emboldened the mob that violently overtook the Capitol seeking to injure and kill members of Congress.

Rep. AOC expanded on her thoughts and fully laid bare the hypocrisy in Sen. Cruz’s tweet.

Rep. AOC is not someone who messes around with these issues. She is demanding accountability from those in government who have long created problems and take no responsibility. This is just the latest issue in her fight.

READ: Rep. AOC Took Up For A Medic Who Turned To OnlyFans For Extra Cash Because America Needs To Increase Wages

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