Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

New York 14th

For U.S. Congress

About Alexandria

I’m the daughter of working class parents: my father was a small business owner with a love of community, and my mother did just about everything to help keep our family afloat - from driving buses to housekeeping. Our family values were strengthened in no-nonsense dinner table talks over the importance of hard work, common sense, fairness, curiosity, and compassion.

At an early age it became clear that the zip code we lived in had an outsize influence on our opportunities. We started our journey in the Bronx, but were forced to leave our neighborhood in search of public schools with more to offer than a 50% dropout rate. From the get-go, it seemed wrong that a child could be disadvantaged simply due to the zip code in which they were born. It didn’t stop at schools, either -- healthcare, worker protections, and solid jobs are all part of the equation for healthy communities. Everywhere we looked, it seemed like these rungs on the economic ladder were slipping away from ordinary Americans. I started to become dedicated to expanding economic opportunity for working and middle class Americans in New York and beyond.

Much public policy is all talk until you’ve worked 18-hour days to make ends meet.

My interests brought me to Boston University, where I studied Economics and International Relations. While there I had the honor of working under the late Senator Kennedy and spent time in West Africa working with expectant mothers and female entrepreneurs. Afterwards, I worked as an Educational Director with the NHI fostering high-ability Latino youth with the skills to lead and succeed. Then I founded Brook Avenue Press, an early childhood literacy project exploring storytelling and project-based curriculum.

This is when life hit. My father passed away from cancer in the middle of the ‘08 financial crisis, and my family was buckling under the financial strain of losing him and our life savings while trying to put two children through college. Our home was on the brink of foreclosure, so I did what any committed daughter would do: I started waitressing on the side to help keep our family above water.

Serving, bartending, and helping manage a local business has ranked among the best educational experiences of my life. The fact is, much public policy is all talk until you’ve worked 18-hour days to make ends meet. Doing that, and having the experience of a working person, we begin to truly understand the real-life impact of healthcare policy, labor laws, living wage, and so on. This is how I realized how far D.C. has strayed from everyday Americans.

We are going to take our collective experiences and bring them to Washington to fight for an economy that empowers liberty and justice for all.

In 2016 I rededicated my local organizing efforts towards the Bernie Sanders campaign in New York City. We didn’t stop there. After the election, some friends and I hopped in a beat up Subaru and drove cross-country in search of common ground. We broadcast conversations from Ohio, Flint, MI, Indiana, and Minnesota. We landed at Standing Rock. In the process, we got a ground-level view of the greater fight for economic justice and equal opportunity in the United States. Together, we are going to take our collective experiences and bring them to Washington to fight for an economy that empowers liberty and justice for all.

I got in this race to represent people whose interests have been sold out to the highest bidder by the likes of my opponent. It’s time NY-14 had someone who understands their struggles fighting for them in the halls of power.

Our current representation works for Wall Street, not the honest and hard-working people of NY-14. What's worse, he works to pull other Democrats in Congress under corrupt Wall Street influence by funneling his donations across the House of Representatives. Because of Crowley's insurance industry donors, he hasn't budged for expanding proper healthcare for our families -- until now. Crowley has heard that we were coming for him and is beginning to get second thoughts.

We know better - once a Wall Street bidder, always a Wall Street bidder. Let's fight for Alexandria to authentically represent and lead on the issues for the families of NY-14.


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