Things That Matter

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Victory Lap Rallies To Abolish ICE, Erase Student Loan Debt And Keep Organizing

Alexandria Ocasio-Ortiz was just elected to represent New York’s 14th District in the U.S. House of Representatives, making her the youngest woman in history, at 29 years old, to be elected to Congress. While that alone is a huge accomplishment, Ocasio-Cortez is just getting started.

In her victory speech Tuesday night, she named abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), erasure of student loan debt and healthcare for all is “what we deserve as a nation.” Meet the freshly minted politician and her policies to change the New York political landscape.

“This is the beginning.”

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

During her victory speech Tuesday night, Ocasio-Cortez made it clear that every person who helped secure her values to victory is coming with her to Washington. Given that Ocasio-Cortez refused to accept any campaign contributions from lobbyists or special interests, she truly was buoyed by the community.

Her name on the ballot was a major upset in the primaries, when she unseated a 10-term Democratic incumbent.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

She quickly was made famous nationwide for such a historic upset. Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley raised $4 million more dollars than her campaign did, and yet, her progressive views won The Bronx.

Today, she is the youngest woman in Congress.

CREDIT: Screenshot. Digital Video. NBC News. 8 November 2018.

She broke the record of Republican Elise Stefanik, who was elected in 2014 at age 30. Ocasio-Cortez will assume office on Jan. 3, 2019.

Before running for office, she was a bartender at a Mexican restaurant.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

She was born in the Bronx to Puerto Rican parents and graduated from Boston University. After college, she moved back to the Bronx and waited tables while fighting the foreclosure of her family home after her father died of lung cancer in 2008.

When she found out she was purged from the NY voter rolls and couldn’t vote in 2016, she got pissed.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

Instead of doing nothing, she campaigned hard for Bernie Sanders and then traveled to Flint, Mich. and Standing Rock. Seeing people put their whole lives into their community helped Ocasio-Cortez realize that politics isn’t just for the powerful and rich.

Yet, on election day, she was thinking about the disenfranchised island of Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

She has not been shy about legitimizing questions around Puerto Rico’s political status. In a tweet back in February, she pointed to the federal government’s lackluster response to starvation, hospital shut downs and delayed death tolls because “the US gov has refused to ANY discussion of PR’s political status – whether that be statehood or independence. This is the result.”

Ocasio-Cortez has a 5-step plan for Puerto Rico.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

She wants to create a Marshall Plan that would move Puerto Rico past recovery mode and into thrive mode, with renewable energy systems and modern infrastructure. She intends to forgive Puerto Rico’s Wall Street debt, which has been accrued by “vulture funds” using irresponsible behavior latent in the 2008 financial crisis.

She also wants to waive and review the Jones Act, which puts an undue burden on the Puerto Rican economy that other American communities do not have to contend with. She also understands that all this injustice is embedded in deep, dark roots that will take a lot to untangle.

Ocasio-Cortez is so working class that she can’t even afford housing in Washington until she gets on Congress’s payroll in January.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

Ocasio-Cortez told the New York Times that she quit her job to run for Congress, and now that she’s won, she has three months without a salary and without real funds to get an apartment.

Of course, she took the opportunity to tell it like it is in a tweet, saying, “There are many little ways in which our electoral system isn’t even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead.”

Ocasio-Cortez is aiming to fight Trump to protect the LGBTQIA+ community in a major way.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

On her campaign website, Ocasio-Cortez writes that advocating for legislation like the Equality Act is more urgent than ever. She wants to make it illegal to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity illegal. Punta.

Included in that effort is to be inclusive when talking about universal healthcare, allowing gender-affirming healthcare to be covered.

Ocasio-Cortez was voted in to #AbolishICE and now she has the power to bring it to government.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

Her campaign website states:

“It’s time to abolish ICE, clear the path to citizenship, and protect the rights of families to remain together. ICE was created in 2003, in the same suite of post-9/11 legislation as the Patriot Act and the Iraq War. Its founding was part of an unchecked expansion of executive powers that led to the widespread erosion of Americans’ civil rights.

As overseen by the Trump administration, ICE operates with virtually no accountability, ripping apart families and holding our friends and neighbors indefinitely in inhumane detention centers scattered across the United States.”

She will endorse the DREAM Act.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

Because America is built on immigrants. And immigrants are people who deserve due process and dignity, two things that ICE has proven over and over again incapable of doing.

ICE was founded under extrajudicial circumstances; it operates under extrajudicial circumstances–it’s gotta go.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

Ocasio-Cortez has gone on record adamantly opposing the existence of ICE and suggesting a replacement organization that aims for safe passage and continued protection of our borders.

Ocasio-Cortez wants to end the war in Iraq.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

She sees America for how the world sees it. On her campaign website, she writes, “America should not be in the business of destabilizing countries. While we may see ourselves as liberators, the world increasingly views us as occupiers and aggressors. Alexandria believes that we must end the “forever war” by bringing our troops home, and ending the air strikes that perpetuate the cycle of terrorism throughout the world.”

She’s going to protect the Bronx with stricter gun control laws.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

America is suffering from gun violence at a rate of 10 times higher than in other high-income countries. Why? Because America has the NRA, a gun manufacturer organization disguised as a civil rights organization.

Ocasio-Cortez wants to ban assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and bump stocks, because the Founding Fathers had no idea what was coming.

Ocasio-Cortez is a woman who is for all women.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

She’s here to decriminalize sex work, to support legislation that promotes caregiving and paid family leave, along with access to equal pay across all genders.

Ocasio-Cortez is expanding the notion of reproductive freedom beyond abortion rights, to include marginalized transgender folks.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

She believes that the government should not roll back funding to any health care center that offers birth control, HIV/AIDS care and prevention or reproductive health care services deemed “immoral” by any religion.

In an interview with Refinery29, she said, “If women and gender-expanding people want to run for office, we can’t knock on anybody’s door – we have to build our own house.”

We’re building this house together, New York.

Ocasio-Cortez wants to make public colleges and universities across the country tuition-free.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

In her victory speech Tuesday night, she described our entire generation’s crippling student loan debt “a ticking time bomb for our economy” and she’s right. Compared to our parents, our inflation-moderated potential for net income is 30 percent less. We need free tuition to actually get ahead in life. Thank you very much.

Her major campaign goal is to achieve healthcare for all.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Twitter

She was the only candidate that didn’t accept money from pharmaceutical lobbyists or private insurance companies, meaning she has la ganas to bring single payer health care to the American people.

In Congress, she plans to endorse the Improved and Expanded Medicare for All Act.

Ocasio-Cortez won votes with her progressive policies. She also won votes by being her brutally honest self.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

Caption: “Sometimes people ask me how this feels. To be honest, at least in part, I feel scared. Anxious. Overwhelmed. And that’s okay. It is a surreal experience to go from being virtually anonymous to having an enormous amount of attention overnight. Things went from feeling like folks going out of their way NOT to cover our campaign to feeling like there’s a microscope on my every word, joke, meal, outfit, or makeup decision. Every time a media event like this happens I get NERVOUS. But I also think about how I never got to see anyone like me on any magazines growing up. I never saw a version myself in leadership, or on TV, or anywhere really and think, “That could be me.”

In a district that is 70 percent POC, Ocasio-Cortez is the first woman of color to ever even try running for Congress in the district.

CREDIT: @Ocasio2018 / Instagram

We are so excited and proud to see women like us in leadership. Please turn this country around. We’re rooting for you, querida.


READ: How Latinos Made History Across The Country During The Midterm Elections

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says She Faced Close Encounter And Feared For Her Life

Things That Matter

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says She Faced Close Encounter And Feared For Her Life

aoc / Instagram

We are getting a better look into what happened at the U.S. Capitol when Trump supporters stormed the building. There have been stories of politicians with military history saving lives and horrific revelations. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently let the world know that she had a moment when she feared for her life.

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is speaking out after the violent day at the Capitol building.

In an hour-long Instagram Live video, Rep. AOC spoke frankly about what happened while far-right Trump supporters stormed the building. The unruly mob turned a usually ceremonious and boring function of Congress, certifying the electoral votes, into one of the darkest days for our democracy. For Rep. AOC, it was almost the end of her life.

“As for myself, I had a pretty traumatizing event happen to me. I do not know if I can even disclose the full details of that event due to security concerns,” she said in her Instagram Live while recounting the insurrection of Jan. 6. “I can tell you that I had a very close encounter where I thought I was going to die and you have all of those thoughts where, you know, at the end of your life, and all of these thoughts come rushing to you. That’s what happened to a lot of us on Wednesday. I did not think, I did not know if I was going to make it to the end of that day alive. Not just in a general sense but also in a very, very specific sense.”

Rep. AOC also used her Instagram Live to talk about the traitorous acts she witnessed.

At the beginning of the video, Rep. AOC highlights the Republicans who helped create the dangerous insurrection. She did not hold back on naming some of the people she holds responsible for inciting the mob through rhetoric and political ambition.

“Wednesday, as you know, the president, frankly assisted by members of Congress, incited an attack on the United States Capitol,” Rep. AOC says in the video. “This is known as an act of insurrection, an act of sedition. Frankly, he is a traitor to our country, a traitor to the United States and I don’t think there’s another way you can put it. I don’t think there’s another way to put, there’s no other way to put it.”

She continued adding: “If you are Senator Ted Cruz or Senator Josh Hawley, and frankly if you are many members of Congress, you cast that vote not out of genuine belief, but you cast it out of political ambition. That is what they did. They incited an attack on the Capitol and many many many members of Congress were almost murdered. Many Congressional staffers were almost killed. Many children, children of members of Congress, were there. Children.”

Rep. AOC is not the only member of Congress sounding the alarm about colleagues making this happen.

Rep. Mikie Sherrill, D-N.J., came forward to tell people about how she saw Republican members of Congress allegedly working with the rioters.

“We can’t have a democracy if members of Congress are actively helping the president overturn the elections results,” Rep. Sherrill said during a live webcast Tuesday. “And so not only do I intend to see that the president is removed and never runs for office again and doesn’t have access to classified material, I also intend to see that those members of Congress who abetted him; those members of Congress who had groups coming through the Capitol that I saw on Jan. 5 — a reconnaissance for the next day; those members of Congress that incited this violent crowd; those members of Congress that attempted to help our president undermine our democracy; I’m going to see they are held accountable, and if necessary, ensure that they don’t serve in Congress.”

Rep. Ayanna Pressley’s chief of staff reported her own terrifying moment.

Sarah Groh told Boston Globe that she and her husband were in Rep. Pressley’s office and barricaded the door with furniture. That was when she tried to use the panic buttons for help, which she had done before. Despite never changing offices, Groh said that all of the panic buttons were gone.

READ: Ted Cruz Among Senators Facing Backlash And Calls To Resign After Mob Breaches US Capitol

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12 Latinas Who Absolutely Crushed It In 2020

Fierce

12 Latinas Who Absolutely Crushed It In 2020

Photos via Getty Images

2020 has been a helluva year. Not only did the entire globe suffer through the coronavirus pandemic, but Americans had to deal with an endless campaign, a nail-biting election, and its exasperating aftermath.

But throughout this grueling year, women (as usual) stepped up to the plate. In 2020, we were once again reminded how strong and resilient Latinas are. Despite its challenges, 2020 was a year of that Latinas proved they are innovators, activists, and artists.

Because of this, FIERCE by mitú has compiled a list of 12 Latinas who absolutely crushed 2020. Take a look at our picks below!

1. Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Credit: Getty Images

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez continued to crush the political game this year. Not only was she reelected to office, but she expertly fundraised for the Democratic party and started much-needed conversations. Ocasio-Cortez may be controversial, but she’s also powerful.

2. Vanessa Bryant

Credit: Getty Images

Vanessa Bryant went through a year that is many people’s worst nightmare. But throughout her personal tragedy, Bryant exhibited an endless amount of strength and grace. She truly is an inspiration to women everywhere.

3. Nanette Cocero

via LinkedIn

Nanette Cocero may not be a household name (yet), but she is shaping up to be one of the most powerful Latinas in the world. This Puerto-Rican-born jefa is the Global President of Pfizer Vaccines. That means she’s in charge of the development and delivery of vaccines throughout the world. Cocero had her work cut out for her in 2020, and sis delivered.

4. Jennifer Lopez

Credit: Getty Images

Jennifer Lopez is 51-years-old and she continues to turn everything she touches into gold. Not only did she perform at the Super Bowl’s halftime show this year (remember that?), but she also launched a much-anticipated skincare line.

5. Elizabeth Acevedo

Credit: acevedowrites/Instagram

Award-winning Dominicana author Elizabeth Acevedo published her first Young Adult novel, Clap When You Land, that tells the story of two half-sisters who discover they have the same father after he tragically dies in a plane crash. Recently, outlets reported that Clap When You Land will be adapted into a TV series. So it’s safe to say that Acevedo is having a good year.

6. Anya Taylor Joy

Credit: Getty Images

Even in the middle of a pandemic, when most movie stars have had a tough year, Argentinian actress Anya Taylor Joy managed to have a breakthrough year. Not only did she star in the streaming phenomenon of the year, The Queens Gambit, but she headlined a movie adaptation of Jane Austen’s Emma in February.

7. Shakira

Credit: shakira/Instagram

2020 was a fantastic year for Shakira. The Colombian singer started off the year by headlining the Super Bowl with JLo and she ended it by being the most-Googled artist of the year. Oh, and she also took the time to slam the Trump Administration for its “unimaginably cruel immigration policies” of separating children from their families at the U.S.-Mexico border.

8. Cardi B

Credit: Getty Images

Love her or hate her, Cardi B undoubtedly had a good year. Not only did the Cardi released the multi-platinum hit single “W.A.P.”, but she used her platform to educate her fans about the 2020 presidential election. She was also voted Billboard’s Woman of the Year.

9. Annie Segarra

Credit: annieelainey/Instagram

For years accessibility activist Annie Segarra has used her large platform (20,000 YouTube subscribers and 25,000 Twitter followers) to advocate for rights for disabled people, and in 2020 she had her work cut out for her. This year, Segarra tirelessly spoke up on behalf of disabled people who are being disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

10. Victoria Volkova

Credit: vicovolkov/Instagram

Victoria Volkova made headlines this year when she became the first trans model on cover of Playboy Mexico. She is also an outspoken advocate for trans and queer rights. She wrote a lovely tribute on her Instagram page in which she expressed hope that her cover would spark a conversation about the “different ways of being a woman.”

11. Sara Mora

Credit: misssaramora/Instagram

Back in 2017, Sara Mora publicly shared that she was undocumented, and her life snowballed ever since. This year, the Costa-Rican born immigrants rights activist used her platform and her non-profit, Population Mic, to spotlight civil rights issues like voter suppression and the migrant crisis.

12. Julie Chávez Rodriguez

Photo: Public Domain

You may know Julie Chávez Rodriguez as the granddaughter of César Chávez, but she also has her own claim to fame. The Biden administration just named her director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. We can’t wait to see this powerful Latina in the White House.

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