Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez represents hope for the future of Congresses


Attention garnered for local politics may pale in comparison to state-wide gubernatorial elections or presidential campaigns, but recently, in New York’s District 14 centered in the Bronx and Queens, history was made.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was a name that consistently appeared in the media during the midterm elections. Vying to be a New York congresswoman for District 14, her campaign was shrouded by a cloud of coverage and attention, mainly for her groundbreaking victory.

Growing up in a middle-class Puerto Rican family, Ocasio-Cortez launched her campaign while waiting tables at a taco restaurant, with her opposition putting in 17 times more money into his campaign. She ran on her ideas, her policies, her drive, and her dreams.

She beat the 10-term New York Democrat incumbent in a congressional primary, before becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress at the age of 29.

It seems that when it comes to Cortez, there is a stark divide between those who support her and those who do not; one side of the scale is populated with devoted supporters who admire her message, success, and the work it took to get there, while the other side drastically contrasts with distinct opposers. But alas, perhaps that’s how it is with all politics, anyway.

What inspires me most about Ocasio-Cortez is the extent to which she stands up for what she believes in. Upon receiving criticism from the media, she remains committed to her ideas and backs them up. And this is something she has had to do repeatedly, as the media has not been a friend to her.

For example, Cortez recently announced that no one working under her campaign would return home with less than $52,000 a year, explaining that too many lower-level congressional workers had to work multiple jobs to support themselves. What could have been perceived as a noble act of both kindness and responsibility was quickly denounced as “communism” by FOX News.

Cortez has rapidly morphed into FOX’s punching bag, from comments surrounding global warming to campaign salaries to raising families. However, her most admirable characteristic is her ability to stand tall and remain grounded at each hit to her platform.

Through her Instagram and Twitter platforms, which have now over three million combined followers, Ocasio-Cortez defends her ideas, presents new ones, and above all, connects with her constituents.

Through her actions, she demonstrates how much she values the idea of democracy, and actions speak far louder than words.”

The idea of garnering mass support for a campaign and its ideas through social media is not a new one; in fact, our current president holds worldwide notoriety for doing so. But rather than passive aggressive tweeting and needless hostility, Cortez utilizes the power of social media to present her ideas and policies through passionate Instagram videos of her speaking and calls to action through her posts.

She connects with real people who follow her platform and its ideas through her social media, even streaming live videos of her cooking dinner, bouncing ideas off her colleagues and friends. Cortez’s down-to-earth tendencies make her even more likable and approachable, and they truly demonstrate the level of accountability she holds herself to.

To say the least, it’s inspiring.

With only two months in office thus far, the environmental policies that Ocasio-Cortez has already launched are groundbreaking, and her campaign platform indicates that she has a lot left to achieve.

It’s refreshing to see someone like Ocasio-Cortez in office for her policies, hard-working nature, but above all, for her desire to connect with the community. Through her actions, she demonstrates how much she values the idea of democracy, and actions speak far louder than words. One can only hope that her political aspirations extend further than Congress.