Things That Matter

Here’s What You Need To Know About Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a 30-year-old Democratic socialist and Queens native, unseated 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley on June 26, 2018 in the Democratic primary in New York’s 14th congressional district.

This young Latinx activist and first-time politician had what is being called the biggest upset of the political season so far, shaking up her party to represent a district that is 49.80 percent Hispanic and includes parts of eastern Bronx and north-central Queens.

Here are some fast facts you need to know about Ocasio-Cortez.

1. She might become the youngest person elected in Congress.

Instagram @ocasio2018

At 28-years-old, Ocasio-Cortez could become the youngest politician in Congress. She is younger than the current youngest U.S. Representative, Elise Stefanik, who is 33-years-old.

2. Ocasio-Cortez proved that strong grassroots campaigns have power.

Instagram @ocasio2018

After her surprising win, Ocasio-Cortez told CBS News the average contribution to her campaign was $17. “We have blown through well past $200,000 for this race, all in small-dollar working-class kind of contributions,” she told CBSN in May.

She also refused to take any big-name donations from corporations. Her campaign was also all volunteer-led.

3. She has a major love for the Bronx because that’s her home.

Instagram @ocasio2018

Ocasio-Cortez was born in Queens and moved back to the Bronx after receiving a degree in economic and international relations from Boston University. During her time living in the Bronx, she worked for the National Hispanic Institute and helped high school and middle school students expand their community leadership and literacy skills as an educational director.

4. Her campaign video is simple yet powerful.

Instagram @ocasio2018

Ocasio-Cortez’s two minute-long campaign video has been viewed more than 330,000 times and starts out with “Women like me aren’t supposed to run for office.” With a statement like that, you know she is ready to be the change for her congressional district. In fact, the video is titled “The Courage to Change.”

5. She’s a Democratic Socialist.

Instagram @ocasio2018

Ocasio-Cortez says in her campaign video, “It’s time to fight for a New York that working families can afford,” alluding to her Democratic socialist roots. She honed that part while campaigning for Senator Bernie Sanders in New York back in 2016. An article by The Daily Beast said membership for the Democratic Socialists of America trended upwards after her victory.

6. Bernie Sanders congratulated her victory because it was truly a surprise victory.

Twitter @BernieSanders

Speaking of Bernie Sanders, he gave her a congrats post on Tuesday night, getting more ‘likes’ and RTs than his other congratulatory posts to another political candidate that night.

7. She flew under the radar in the campaign.

Instagram @ocasio2018

Ocasio-Cortez was seen as an outsider for her political views as much as her freshman status as a first-time political candidate. The New York Times didn’t even profile her before the race, but outlets including Refinery 29, El Nuevo Dia and NY1 did.

8. She worked for late Senator Ted Kennedy.

Instagram @ocasio2018

During college, she worked for the late Senator Ted Kennedy where she handled immigration casework for constituent families, as well as handling foreign affairs. She still values the lessons she learned under his guidance.

9. The issues she fights for are close to her heart.

Instagram @ocasio2018

Ocasio-Cortez ran on a platform of abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and fighting for universal health care, tuition-free college and federal jobs guarantee. According to her campaign website, she says she knows what it is like to meet issues regarding immigration, financial distress and healthcare head-on because she lived through them with her own family.

10. She used to work as a waitress.

Instagram @ocasio2018

In order to help her family make ends meet during the middle of the recession, Ocasio-Cortez took 18-hour shifts working as a waitress and at two other jobs.

11. She is close to her family.

Instagram @ocasio2018

Her father was a Bronx-born small businessman who died from cancer at the age of 48. She is close with her Puerto Rican mother and took a sweet video with her that she posted on her Instagram story after her monumental victory, saying she was catching up after having an intense day of media interviews.

12. She was part of the Standing Rock protest.

Instagram @ocasio2018

Ocasio-Cortez has been a part of rallies and protests including Standing Rock pipeline protests in South Dakota, visits to Flint, Michigan to meet with local community members and headed to the border recently to protest the Trump administration’s family separation policy.

13. Next chapter—the White House?

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Will Ocasio-Cortez be setting her sights on the Oval Office eventually? Her mother, Blanca Ocasio-Cortez, told the New York Post her daughter’s “aspiration is to be president.”

14. She refuses to entertain bad-faith debate proposals

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Alexandria’s time is not for people who are just going to waste it. Case in point: conservative pundit and provocateur Ben Shapiro. Shapiro publicly offered Ocasio $10,000 to sit down and have a political debate with him. Recognizing the publicity stunt for what it was, she ignored his request. But Shapiro and his followers didn’t like this answer and made their disapproval clear on social media. Alexandria responded with this incredible comeback: “Just like catcalling, I don’t owe a response to unsolicited requests from men with bad intentions. And also like catcalling, for some reason they feel entitled to one.” Burn.

15. She’s had to set the record straight on her upbringing on more than one occasion.

Instagram @ocasio2018

Alexandria has been vocal about her love for the Bronx, where her family’s root go deep and where she’s lived for years. Unfortunately, some people are unhappy with that story. Conservative critic John Cardillo attempted to call her a fraud, stating that she lied about her “hood” upbringing. In addition, he claimed that she attended Brown University (an Ivy League) implying that she was part of the establishment she’s campaigned so hard against. Her response? “I didn’t go to Brown…I went to BU. [That neighborhood] was a good town for working people. My mom scrubbed toilets so I could live here…Your attempt to strip me of my family, my story, my home, and my identity is exemplary of how scared you are of the power of all four of those things.”

16. She’s not gonna let you get away with calling her a “Girl…or whatever”

Instagram @ocasio2018

When talking to a crowd of his supporters in Florida, GOP Congressman Ron DeSantis brought up Ocasio Cortez’s name as a talking point, saying “You look at this girl Ocasio-Cortez or whatever she is, she’s in a totally different universe…”. After his sexist remarks made headlines, Alexandria fired back on Twitter: “Rep DeSantis, it seems you‘re confused as to ‘whatever I am.’ I am a Puerto Rican woman. It‘s strange you don’t know what that is, given that ~75,000 Puerto Ricans have relocated to Florida in the 10 mos since María.” This “girl” knows how to write a clap-back.

17. She’s not going to let you get away with being a sore loser.

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When the primary election results for District 14 came in, Rep. Joe Crowley was understandable, upset about the outcome. However, when Crowley didn’t concede, Alexandria decided to take to Twitter. She called out Rep Crowley for initially saying he would “absolutely support [her] candidacy”, but when he lost he “stood [her] up for all 3 scheduled concession calls.” It’s clear that Ocasio-Cortez expects the same respect from her peers as they would give to a more conventional candidate.

18. She’s a defender and will clap back at anyone who tries to disparage the accomplishments of minorities.

Instagram @ocasio2018

In trying to refute Ocasio’s claim that Puerto Rico is treated like a colony, conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza stated that normally, colonies “provide resources for the nation that rules them”. He then went on to ask Ocasio-Cortez what Puerto Rico “provides” to the US. Ocasio shut down that question really quick, rattling off a list of things PR “provides”, and then explaining to him that his question “comes from quite the colonial mindset of ‘what value is this territory providing us anyway?’”. And that’s how you handle ignorance with strength and grace.

19. Conservatives have compared her to a dictator.

Instagram @ocasio2018

After the people of Queens and The Bronx nominated her, the Republican party compared Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to the current leader of Venezuela, President Madura. Specifically, they called her a “mini Maduro”, implying she supports anti-democratic policies. No one missed the fact that the GOP compared her to a negative Latinx figure, as opposed to a positive Socialist one. Alexandria responded saying that her policies are “more reminiscent of Norway than of Caracas”. She then blasted the Republican party for showing “comfort with and weakness towards the racism of this [administration]”.

20. She’s out to shut down blatant double standards in politics.

Instagram @ocasio2018

After appearing on The Daily Show, Ocasio-Cortez faced a barrage of criticism for erroneously stating that the military’s budget increased by $700 billion in 2017. In fact, it only rose by $61 billion. In true form, Ocasio-Cortez deftly and swiftly highlighted this double-standard. She brought up the time Senator James Inhofe pulled a snowball out of his pocket to prove that climate change was a hoax. How did the media react? The media hardly covered the incident and the public quickly forgot it. Coincidence? Probably not. Double standard? Definitely.


READ: Here’s Why People In Los Angeles Came Out In Support Of Reuniting Families

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Donald Trump Compared His Son’s ‘Proud Latina’ Girlfriend To Eva Perón After RNC Speech Where She Claimed Puerto Rico Isn’t Part Of The United States

Fierce

Donald Trump Compared His Son’s ‘Proud Latina’ Girlfriend To Eva Perón After RNC Speech Where She Claimed Puerto Rico Isn’t Part Of The United States

Chip Somodevilla / Getty

We might all be proud Latinas but not all Latinas are so proud of Kimberly Guilfoyle.

The girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr. has proven herself to be a controversial figure on both sides of the Democratic and Republican aisles. The American attorney, prosecutor, and television news personality has made waves for her part on the 2020 presidential campaign trail as she stands by her man and his grody dad. She even showed her support during a very loud appearance at the Republican National Convention wherein she made claims of being a “first-generation American.”

Her booming speech at the 2020 Republican National Convention quickly went viral and prompted a comparison to Argentina’s Eva Perón from Donald Trump. As well as backlash from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) who gave her a major fact check.

While critics found Guilfoyle’s speech to be
“over-the-top,” at the very least our so-called “leader of the free world” loved every bit of it.

According to reports, soon after her speech, Donald Trump called Guilfoyle and praised her for her speech. He even compared her to Eva “Evita” Perón.

“That was fantastic…so amazing,” Trump told Guilfoyle on the reportedcall. “So much energy…so much passion.” According to The Daily Beast, the president said “nobody could have done that but you,” and called her “my Kimberly.”

Eva Perón was the former first lady of Argentina from 1948 to 1952. In 1976 Andrew Lloyd Webber made her story into a musical called Evita. Trump has apparently been a huge fan of the musical.

While Trump loved the speech Ocasio-Cortez was quick to slam Guilfoyle for her speech and the ignorance that she delivered during it

AOC took Guilfoyle to task for calling herself a child of immigrants and a “first-generation American.”

“My mother Mercedes was a special education teacher from Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. My father, also an immigrant, came to this nation in pursuit of the American dream,” Guilfoyle recalled in her speech.

The claims, like many made by the Trumps, are only partly true. While Guilfoyle’s father is from Ireland, her mother was born in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico which makes her a U.S. citizen.

“The woman the GOP picked as their ‘proud’ Latina … didn’t seem to know that Puerto Rico is already part of the United States,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in a Twitter.

AOC, also a proud Boricua, noted that Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens by birthright for over more than a century.

The lawmaker slammed Guilfoyle for supporting the Republican portrayal of Latino Americans as foreigners despite the fact that they are U.S. citizens.

“It reflects their belief that Latinos aren’t real citizens,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted.

Guilfoyle who is a former Fox News pundit received quite a bit of backlash for her RNC speech last week in which she shouted into a camera. Even memes were born of the event which was not done before a live audience. They want to destroy this country and everything we have fought for and hold dear,” Guilfoyle shouted during her theatrical event. “They want to steal your liberty, your freedom!”

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AOC’s Quote About Being The Only Daughter In A Latino Household Is Getting Latinas Fired Up

Fierce

AOC’s Quote About Being The Only Daughter In A Latino Household Is Getting Latinas Fired Up

Brittany Greeson / Getty

As young Latinos, there’s no denying the fact that learning to fold our family culture into the customs we acquire as Americans can shape our abilities to handle pressure. In the process of assimilation, we learn how to meet the demands of our parents and our peers all the while juggling the everyday expectations we shoulder while in school.

Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez knows all about managing these expectations. Last year, while addressing the media’s desire to see her pursue her career and fulfill societal expectations of her personal life (AKA get married) the politician reminded her followers that she can handle pressure because she grew up in a Latino household.

To boot, she was the only daughter in her home.

But what about the rest of us?

Those of us who maybe aren’t quite yet thriving politicians but manage to succeed in our everyday lives and do it all? We asked Latinas on FIERCE about how they’re able to relate to AOC’s comments and the responses were not only enlightening but a good reminder of Latina strength.

“And the oldest for that matter!! You not only learn to be tough, but also to be resourceful and amazingly great at delegating.” – emramirez1

“So true ughh the oldest child the only female and the first American born and the first to go to college oyeeeee the PRESSURE #mujerfuerte AINT NO ONE CAN TAKE ME DOWN lol por que our familia made us strong!” –paulinacastrellon

“Or the OLDEST daughter.” –m0zz_

“And be a food server for many years…” –kimoti_87

“Only daughter and only child! Thats some other level of #latinohousehold.” –wellnessparalamama

“Or a daughter in a Latino household with a strict father period!” –elliev03

“Look i went through allot and none of it made me stronger im a very shaky person theres a difference between trauma and tough love , i think she had tough love trauama fucks u up.” –__head___in___the____clouds__

“Oldest daughter, of 3 girls! You are the example!” – _cynnrenee

“I only wish the means to becoming tough and handle pressure for a Latina daughter didn’t root in traumatic machismo (male chauvinism) and systematic inequalities experiences. Surely there are ways to learn to have an affirmative tone and handle pressure without the trauma.” – marimukkii

“Or just being in a Latina household, period.” –mar_knut

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