Less than a year ago, most people did not know who Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was. Now, she is being celebrated all over the world as the youngest woman ever to be elected to the US Congress.
She defeated 10-term incumbent, Joe Crowley at the primaries and republican nominee, Anthony Pappas at the November 6 general elections in the race for New York’s 14th Congressional District.
She was born on the 13th of October 1989 to Blanca Ocasio-Cortez and Sergio Ocasio, both of Puerto Rican descent. When she was 5, they left the Bronx and moved to a suburb in Westchester county where she attended Yorktown high school and was part of the National Hispanic Institute’s Lorenzo de Zavala (LDZ) Youth Legislative Session. She had a small asteroid named after her by the International Astronomical Union for coming second place at the Intel International Science and Engineering fair.
She proceeded to Boston university and graduated with honors in 2011 obtaining a degree in economics and international relations. While in school, she lost her dad to lung cancer, became the LDZ Secretary of State and served as an intern in the immigration office of U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy.
Right after college, she moved back to the Bronx and worked in Manhattan as a bartender and a waitress at a taco restaurant to help her housekeeper mom. Later on, she established a publishing firm, Brook Avenue Press, which specializes in children’s literature that portrays the Bronx in a positive light. She worked as the lead educational strategist at GAGEis, Inc. She was also an educator at the nonprofit National Hispanic Institute,where she served as the Educational Director of the 2017 Northeast Collegiate World Series.
In 2016, she worked as an organizer for Bernie Sander’s 2016 presidential campaign. After the general election, she traveled across America by car speaking to people affected by the human rights violations.
Cortez has advocated and campaigned for free education, sustainable approaches to environmental issues, the transition to a single-payer healthcare and supports a “path to citizenship” for both legal and illegal immigrants. She has called for electoral reforms and the abolition of the electoral college. She also condemns the Israeli-Gaza conflict and would support the impeachment of President Trump.
At 29, Cortez is the youngest woman elected into congress.