Things That Matter

Here’s Why AOC Called Her Address At Bronx’s Pride The Most ‘BX’ Speech She Ever Gave

Twitter / @_SanchezSabrina

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) made an appearance at Bronx Pride 2019 on Sunday, where she gave an air horn-accompanied address that she called “The most BX pride speech I ever gave.”

As the Puerto Rican congressional freshman, who hails from the borough, shouted LGBTQ  policy points she has advocated for in her five months in elected office, spectators blasted “bwa-bwa-bwa-bwaaah” air horns, a familiar sound to the community that birthed hip-hop.

“They really cued up the horns for our policy points. There’s no place like home,” she later tweeted alongside a couple laughing-crying emojis.

During her short talk, AOC touched on what Pride, a time to commeorate the trans women of color-led Stone Wall riots that birthed the gay rights movement and led to the LGBTQ battles and wins of today, means.

“Pride is about honoring the community workers, the people who work in the clinics, the community organizers, the people who work with LGBTQ youth, the people who are fighting to make sure that it’s not just about marriage equality, but quality of life for all people in the community,” she said.

The congresswoman also highlighted some of the biggest issues impacting queer communities at the moment.

“What does the LGBTQ fight mean in a post-marriage-equality world? Here’s what it means: It’s making PrEP free for all people,” she said, as an air horn blasted. 

In Congress, Ocasio-Cortez has led the fight for affordable PrEP (pre-exposure prophylaxis), which could decrease the spreading of HIV during sexual intercourse, criticizing the CEO of Gilead, the pharmaceutical company behind the PrEP drug Truvada, in May during a congressional hearing over the high cost of the drug.

“It means tackling the homelessness crisis among our LGBTQ youth,” she continued, with the sound of another “bwa-bwa-bwa-bwaaah” following. 

“It means decarcerating our society so that no trans woman and no person ever dies again in custody,” she said, alluding to the death of transgender Afro-Latina Layleen Polanco earlier this month in New York’s Rikers Island, as another round of air horns exploded. 

“It means no one is denied a job because of their gender identity, no matter what it is,” she said to a final blast.

Ocasio-Cortez wasn’t the only elected official at Bronx Pride. State Senator Alessandra Biaggi and Senator Chuck Schumer were also in attendance, supporting and taking photos with those who participated in the parade.

Since taking office, the young congresswoman has made issues confronting the LGBTQ community a top priortity.

Read: Historians And AOC Agree That Detention Centers Look Like Concentration Camps But Conservatives Don’t Want To Hear It

AOC Is Teaming Up With Other Congresswomen To Give Domestic Workers Equal Employee Rights And We Are Here For This

Things That Matter

AOC Is Teaming Up With Other Congresswomen To Give Domestic Workers Equal Employee Rights And We Are Here For This

@domesticworkers / Twitter

After over a decade of lobbying, The National Domestic Workers Alliance’s (NDWA) work is on the verge of paying off. This week, Representative Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) and Senator Kamala Harris (D-CA) introduced legislation that would establish the first-ever National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights. 

The bill would effectively include domestic workers as worthy of the same rights as other American workers–including “paid overtime, safe and healthy working conditions, meal and rest breaks, earned sick time, and freedom for workplace harassment,” according to NDWA.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal is leading the charge to ensure this bill is passed into law.

Credit: @RepJayapal / Twitter

“Did you know most domestic workers are not covered by federal anti-discrimination and sexual harassment laws? Well we’re pushing back to change that,” tweets Rep. Jayapal. “My #DomesticWorkersBillofRights will give domestic workers the protections they deserve!”

The bill would grant basic worker’s rights to 2.5 million people in the U.S.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

Of those 2.5 million people, 91 percent are women, mostly women of color. Given that domestic workers aren’t required to be paid even minimum wage, and that their work doesn’t include benefits like health insurance, it’s important to make sure every worker earns a living wage. According to NDWA, 70 percent of domestic workers are paid less than $13 an hour.

The workers who do the heavy lifting in the shadows of our economy may finally be recognized as worthy of rights.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

NDWA has worked hard over the years to make it easier for domestic workers (home care workers, nannies and house cleaners). They even created a web app that would allow clients to contribute to a PTO and benefit fund for domestic workers. This bill would ensure that the government is advocating for every worker, so that domestic workers don’t have to fight so hard to advocate for themselves.

Members of the group broke off to meet with their representative.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

“We had a powerful meeting with @timkaine where our members in Virginia shared stories about abuse and exploitation in the workplace,” the organization tweeted. “Every single worker deserves to work safely and with dignity. Onward to a National #DomesticWorkersBillOfRights!”

The group met with AOC, who opened up about how the bill would help “little girls like [her].”

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

“My mom was a domestic worker,” she tells the group. “As a child I grew up reading books on the staircases of other people’s homes, and doing homework on other people’s dinner tables, because my mom was pursuing domestic work so that I could go on field trips and have a future.”

For AOC, this bill is about reparations for a group of people who often go unseen in this world.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

She praised the group for their advocacy, saying, “When you all are fighting for this, you’re fighting for little girls like me. You’re putting a shirt on a little girl like me’s back. I can’t tell you the reparations it has to see people who are used to being unseen and that’s what this bill does.”

The group also live-tweeted a conversation between several domestic workers and Rep. Jayapal.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

The stories were shocking. A nanny named Thaty shared her experience, saying that “being a nanny takes so much hard work. I don’t know many people who can handle caring for 5 kids under 5 years old! But our work is still considered unskilled. We need to bring our work out of the shadows — so everyone can know what we do and how hard we work.”

Jayapal touched on something deeper than granting legal rights–this issue is about overdue respect.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

So many families rely on domestic workers to come home to a clean home, safe and cared-for children, and more. They’re often not seen as employees but rather, “the help.”

But “The Help” encounter medical issues and injuries while on the job, without any legal protections.

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

Domestic workers are not included in federal protections for workers injured while on the job. So when Sylvia shared that she never fully recovered from a bad fall on the job, and though it impedes her ability to continue to work, she just has to grimace through it.

That same Sylvia is an inspiration. She told Rep. Jayapal that her experience “meeting workers who felt too vulnerable at work to raise their own voices forced me to be brave enough to raise my own voice, for me and for them. That’s why I’m part of the National Domestic Workers Alliance.”

We’re rooting for you!

Credit: @domesticworkers / Twitter

As Latinos, so many of our own moms, tías or abuelas have driven this industry that, frankly, serves as the backbone to our economy. They offer support to middle and upper-class families who have money but don’t have time, and their work supports our families. Time to give some respect.

The NYC Blackout Forced J.Lo To Cancel Her Concert But She Came Back Better Than Ever

Entertainment

The NYC Blackout Forced J.Lo To Cancel Her Concert But She Came Back Better Than Ever

jlo / Instagram

Jennifer Lopez’s “It’s My Party” Tour was set to reach its pinnacle as the Puerto Rican icon returned to her home barrio, New York City, on Saturday, July 13. Instead, the sold out Madison Square Garden show was evacuated after a city-wide blackout turned Madison Square Garden (MSG) dark. 

While StubHub reportedly refunded $500k to customers affected by the blackout, along with other suffering businesses, J.Lo was quick to action because her party ain’t over till she says it is.

When the lights went off, fans turned on their phone lights to light up the arena.

Credit: @jlo / Twitter

In video footage posted by J.Lo on her social media accounts, you can see the 49-year-old knockout performing for her loudest, most loyal fans when everything went black. Fans started to scream, and although J.Lo’s microphone cut out, she starts to tell the crowd, “Don’t panic. Everybody, stay calm.”

The singer quickly took to social media to blast her thoughts out to her fans.

Credit: @jlo / Twitter

Since nobody could hear her, she brilliantly sent a message through to everyone with a selfie video. “Hi guys, we’re backstage. They just told me to get off stage… They’re asking everyone to evacuate very slowly and calmly and that’s what we’re going to have to do,” she tells the camera. She tweeted out to her fans, “Heartbroken to say tonight’s show is cancelled. We will reschedule. Love you all!!! Stay safe! ❤️ #ItsMyPartyTour”

Some thought her fire caused the NYC blackout.

Credit: @jlo / Twitter

In a video she posted to Twitter, we hear someone telling Jennifer, “New York just wasn’t ready for you.” J.Lo agreed.

J.Lo posted several more videos that night expressing to her fans how “heartbroken” she was to have to cancel the show.

Credit: @jlo / Twitter

“Devastated and heartbroken that I can’t perform for all of you tonight. We will make this up to you, I promise!” she tweeted alongside the video. And that she did. :’ )

Later, she shared a video of her finding out the show could be rescheduled for the upcoming Monday.

Credit: @jlo / Twitter

“UGHHHH, this sucks. This SUCKS, she frustratingly shouted into a phone.” We see her with fiancé Alex Rodriguez and her team in a business meeting where the person on the other end of the phone confirmed that MSG could reschedule her concert for Monday.

J.Lo made sure to bring the whole Madison Square Garden to its feet during rescheduled concert.

The blackout might have stopped her concert in its tracks but that would never hold J.Lo down. She promised to deliver a performance for her fans and she did just that.

The singer is celebrating her 50th birthday like only she can and fans approve.

Way to go, J.Lo. That’s how you deliver a show to your fans.

Of course, A-Rod was there with all of the support.

Credit: @AROD / Twitter

Alex Rodriguez is the attentive and supportive partner everyone deserves. He seems to always be there for her performances and his unyielding support of her is something we can all cry over.

Even though she’s going to perform in a different city the very next day, she’s making The Garden show round two happen the night before.

Credit: @MySimple_Life / Twitter
“I just want to let you guys know that you’re going to get your money’s worth, that we are going to come back and do an amazing show for you. I am so sorry that this happened. Obviously, it was all beyond our control,” she told fans just hours before following through on her promise. 

This morning, she tweeted “The party’s not over til I say it is…. See you tonight, NYC!!!!!!!!”

Credit: @momdcpac / Twitter

You can’t stop a Puerto Rican fire. ; ) J.Lo’s swift action and obvious disappointment for her fans has just reinvigorated her fanbase.

Meanwhile, around the city, Latinos were taking in the city sin luz.

Credit: @Joseph_Mora78 / Twitter

As the sun set on the city, it’s usually bright cityscape was absolutely pitch dark. Citizens started directing traffic, including directing police cars in the right direction. A Symphony Hall orchestra moved their performance to the middle of a busy New York street, making it open to the public.

Bodegas kept doing their thing.

Credit: @AliBaumanTv / Twitter

The metaphorical and literal cornerstone of NYC and Latino culture remained the hub for socializing and snacking.

Broadway just took their performances to the street.

Credit: @Hadestown / Twitter

Lin-Manuel Miranda tweeted an incredible video of André and company freestyling about the blackout, during the blackout, to keep the Hadestown performance alive.

Kulture still had a “lit” 1st birthday party during the blackout.

Credit: @iamcardib / Instagram

In an Instagram live video posted Sunday, Cardi B told her fans that her baby’s first birthday party “was so lit that I lost my motherf–king nail. Let me tell ya’ll something, ya’ll made it lit was the fact that I had got there, the lights went off in the party, it was like a whole hour with no lights, no music. But it was…lit!”

Here’s what we learned. A blackout may turn off the power in the City of Lights, but it can’t stop culture from doing its thing.

READ: A Valedictorian Wasn’t Allowed To Give A Speech Because He’s Gay, So J.Lo Came To His Hometown To Bring His Noise

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