Ocasio-Cortez drew national recognition when she won the Democratic Party's primary election for New York's 14th congressional district on June 26, 2018. She defeated Democratic Caucus ChairJoe Crowley, a 10-term incumbent, in what was widely seen as the biggest upset victory in the 2018 midterm election primaries. She defeated Republican opponent Anthony Pappas in the November 6, 2018, general election. At age 29, Ocasio-Cortez became the youngest woman to serve in the United States Congress. Ocasio-Cortez has been noted for her substantial social media presence relative to her fellow members of Congress.
Ocasio-Cortez was born into a Catholic family in the Bronx borough of New York City on October 13, 1989, the daughter of Blanca Ocasio-Cortez (née Cortez) and Sergio Ocasio. She has a younger brother named Gabriel. Her father was born in the Bronx to a Puerto Rican family and became an architect, while her mother was born in Puerto Rico. She has described her Puerto Rican community as an amalgamation, stating, "We are black; we are indigenous; we are Spanish; we are European." Ocasio-Cortez lived with her family in an apartment in the Bronx neighborhood of Parkchester. When she was five, the family moved to a house in suburban Yorktown Heights.
In 2008, while Ocasio-Cortez was a sophomore at Boston University, her father died of lung cancer. Ocasio-Cortez became involved in a lengthy probate battle to settle his estate. She has said that the experience helped her learn "firsthand how attorneys appointed by the court to administer an estate can enrich themselves at the expense of the families struggling to make sense of the bureaucracy".
During college, Ocasio-Cortez served as an intern for U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, in his section on foreign affairs and immigration issues. She recalled, "I was the only Spanish speaker, and as a result, as basically a kid—a 19-, 20-year-old kid—whenever a frantic call would come into the office because someone is looking for their husband because they have been snatched off the street by ICE, I was the one that had to pick up that phone. I was the one that had to help that person navigate that system."
After college, Ocasio-Cortez moved back to the Bronx and took a job as a bartender and waitress to help her mother—a house cleaner and school-bus driver—fight foreclosure of their home. She later launched Brook Avenue Press, a now-defunct publishing firm for books that portrayed the Bronx in a positive light. Ocasio-Cortez also worked for the nonprofit National Hispanic Institute.
During the 2016 primary, Ocasio-Cortez worked as an organizer for Bernie Sanders's 2016 presidential campaign. After the general election, she traveled across America by car, visiting places such as Flint, Michigan, and Standing Rock Indian Reservation in North Dakota, and speaking to people affected by the Flint water crisis and the Dakota Access Pipeline. In an interview she recalled her December 2016 visit to Standing Rock as a tipping point, saying that before that, she had believed that the only way to run for office effectively was to have access to wealth, social influence, and power. But her visit to North Dakota, where she saw others "putting their whole lives and everything that they had on the line for the protection of their community", inspired her to begin to work for her own community. One day after she visited North Dakota, she got a phone call from Brand New Congress, which was recruiting progressive candidates (her brother had nominated her soon after Election Day 2016).
Ocasio-Cortez's congressional campaign logo was inspired by "revolutionary posters and visuals from the past."
Ocasio-Cortez began her campaign while waiting tables and tending bar at Flats Fix, a taqueria in New York City's Union Square. "For 80 percent of this campaign, I operated out of a paper grocery bag hidden behind that bar," she told Bon Appétit. She was the first person since 2004 to challenge Joe Crowley, the Democratic Caucus Chair, in the primary. She faced a financial disadvantage, saying, "You can't really beat big money with more money. You have to beat them with a totally different game." Her campaign posters' design were said to have taken inspiration from "revolutionary posters and visuals from the past".
On June 15, the candidates' only face-to-face encounter during the campaign occurred on a local political talk show, Inside City Hall. The format was a joint interview conducted by Errol Louis, which NY1 characterized as a debate. On June 18, a debate in the Bronx was scheduled, but Crowley did not participate. He sent former New York City Council member Annabel Palma in his place.
On June 26, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez received 57.13% of the vote (15,897) to Joe Crowley's 42.5% (11,761), defeating the 10-term incumbent by almost 15 percentage points. Her win, and Crowley's defeat, came as a shock to many political commentators and analysts and immediately garnered nationwide attention. Time called her victory "the biggest upset of the 2018 elections so far";CNN made a similar statement.The New York Times described Crowley's loss as "a shocking primary defeat on Tuesday, the most significant loss for a Democratic incumbent in more than a decade, and one that will reverberate across the party and the country".The Guardian called it "one of the biggest upsets in recent American political history". She was outspent by a margin of 18 to 1 ($1.5 million to $83,000) but won the endorsement of some influential groups on the party’s far left.Merriam-Webster reported that searches for the word "socialism" spiked 1,500% after her victory. Crowley conceded defeat on election night, but did not telephone Ocasio-Cortez that night to congratulate her, fueling short-lived speculation that he intended to run against her in the general election.
Ocasio-Cortez faced Republican nominee Anthony Pappas in the November 6 general election. Pappas, who lives in Astoria, is an economics professor at St. John's University. According to the New York Post, Pappas did not actively campaign. The Post wrote that "Pappas' bid was a long shot," since the 14th has a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+29, making it the sixth most Democratic district in New York City. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by almost six to one. The district and its predecessors have been in Democratic hands for all but two years since 1923 and without interruption since 1949.
Ocasio-Cortez won the election with 78% of the vote (110,318) to Pappas' 14% (17,762). Crowley, on the WFP and WEP lines, received 9,348 votes (6.6%). Her election was part of a broader Democratic victory in the 2018 midterm elections, as the party gained control of the House by picking up at least 40 seats.Saikat Chakrabarti, who had been her campaign co-chair, became chief of staff for her congressional office. Co-creator of two progressive political action committees, he has been called a significant political presence.
After her primary win, Ocasio-Cortez quickly garnered nationwide media attention, including numerous articles and TV talk-show appearances. She also drew a great deal of media attention when she and Sanders campaigned for James Thompson in Kansas in July 2018. A rally in Wichita had to be moved from a theater with a capacity of 1,500 when far more people said they would attend. The event drew 4,000 people, with some seated on the floor. In The New Yorker, Benjamin Wallace-Wells wrote that while Sanders remained "the de-facto leader of an increasingly popular left, [he is unable to] do things that do not come naturally to him, like supply hope". Wallace-Wells suggested that Ocasio-Cortez had made Sanders's task easier, as he could point to her success to show that ideas "once considered to be radical are now part of the mainstream".
Ocasio-Cortez's campaign was featured on the cover of the June 2018 edition of The Indypendent, a free New York City-based monthly newspaper. In a tweet she hailed the cover appearance on "NYC's classic monthly" as an important breakthrough for her campaign. Otherwise Ocasio-Cortez was barely mentioned in print until her primary win.
In an attempt to embarrass Ocasio-Cortez just before she took office, Twitter user "AnonymousQ" shared a video dating to Ocasio-Cortez's college years: a Boston University student-produced dance video in which she briefly appeared. Many social media users came to her defense, inspiring memes and a Twitter account syncing the footage to songs like "Mambo No. 5" and "Gangnam Style". Ocasio-Cortez responded by posting a "lighthearted" video of herself dancing to Edwin Starr's "War".
When the 116th Congress convened on January 3, 2019, Ocasio-Cortez entered with no seniority but with a large social media presence. Axios has credited her with "as much social media clout as her fellow freshman Democrats combined". As of April 2019[update], she had 3.8 million Twitter followers, up from 1.4 million in November 2018 and surpassing Nancy Pelosi. By July 2019 that had risen to almost 4.8 million, or about seven times the population of her congressional district. She had 2.2 million Instagram followers as of January 2019 and 500,000 followers on Facebook as of February 2019. Her colleagues appointed her to teach them social media lessons upon her arrival in Congress. In early July 2019 two lawsuits were filed against her for blocking Joseph Saladino and Dov Hikind on Twitter in light of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals ruling that it was a violation of the First Amendment for President Trump to block people on Twitter. On November 4, 2019, it was announced that they settled the lawsuit with Ocasio-Cortez issuing a statement apologizing for the Twitter block.
In an interview with the Yahoo! News podcast Skullduggery, Ocasio-Cortez said she had stopped using her private Facebook account and was minimizing her usage of all social media accounts and platforms, calling them a "public health risk".
In November 2018, on the first day of congressional orientation, Ocasio-Cortez participated in a climate change protest outside the office of House Minority LeaderNancy Pelosi. Also that month, she backed Pelosi's bid to be Speaker of the House once the Democratic Party reclaimed the majority on the condition that Pelosi "remains the most progressive candidate for speaker".
In January 2019, when Ocasio-Cortez made her first speech on the floor of Congress, C-SPANtweeted the video. Within 12 hours, the video of her four-minute speech set the record as C-SPAN's most-watched Twitter video by a member of the House of Representatives.
In February 2019, speaking at a Congressional hearing with a panel of representatives from campaign finance watchdog groups, Ocasio-Cortez questioned the panel about ethics regulations as they apply to both the president and members of Congress. She asserted that no regulations prevent lawmakers "from being bought off by wealthy corporations". With more than 37.5 million views, the clip became the most-watched political video posted on Twitter.
When PresidentDonald Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen appeared before the Oversight Committee in February 2019, Ocasio-Cortez asked him whether Trump had inflated property values for bank or insurance purposes and inquired where to get more information on the subject. Cohen's reply implied that Trump may have committed potential tax and bank fraud in his personal and business tax returns, financial statements and real-estate filings.New York Times columnist David Brooks praised her for "laying down specific questions for specific predicates".
According to reports in March 2019, Ocasio-Cortez continued to receive media coverage early in her congressional tenure on a par with that of 2020 presidential candidates and was considered "one of the faces of the Democratic party" and one of the most talked-about politicians in the United States. Between July 8 and July 14, 2019, she drew more social media attention than the Democratic presidential candidates. Tracking company NewsWhip found that interactions with news articles on Ocasio-Cortez numbered 4.8 million, while no Democratic presidential candidate got more than 1.2 million. David Bauder of the Associated Press wrote that Trump's supporters are thus having "some success" in having "Ocasio-Cortez be top of mind when people think of" the Democratic Party.
According to a Media Matters for America study, Ocasio-Cortez has been intensely discussed on sister television channels Fox News and Fox Business, being mentioned every day from February 25 to April 7, 2019, for a total of 3,181 mentions in 42 days (an average of around 75 per day). The Guardian'sDavid Smith wrote that this is evidence that Fox is "obsessed by Ocasio-Cortez, portraying her as a radical socialist who threatens the American way of life." Brian Stelter of CNN Business found that between January to July 2019, she had nearly three times as many mentions on Fox News as on CNN and MSNBC, and seven times the coverage of James Clyburn, a Democratic leader in the House of Representatives. Stelter wrote that the attention Ocasio-Cortez is receiving has caused "the perception, particularly on the right, that her positions and policies are representative of the Democratic Party as a whole". In a CBS News and YouGov poll of almost 2,100 American adults conducted from July 17 to 19, it was found that Republican respondents were more aware of Ocasio-Cortez than Democratic respondents. She had very unfavorable ratings among Republican respondents and favorable ratings among Democratic respondents.
Ocasio-Cortez is a member of an informal group of progressive freshmen members of Congress called "The Squad," along with Ilhan Omar (D-MN), Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), and Rashida Tlaib (D-MI). On July 14, Trump attacked the Squad in a tweet, saying that they should "go back and help fix" the countries they came from rather than criticize the American government. He continued to make the same kind of comment over the next several days, even though three of the women, including Ocasio-Cortez, were born in the United States. Ocasio-Cortez responded in a tweet that "the President’s words [yesterday], telling four American Congresswomen of color "go back to your own country," is hallmark language of white supremacists." She later added, "We don't leave the things that we love, and when we love this country, what that means is that we propose the solutions to fix it." Days later, Trump falsely asserted that Ocasio-Cortez called "our country and our people 'garbage'"; she had actually said that Americans should not be content with moderate policies that are "10% better from garbage". Trump also falsely claimed that Ocasio-Cortez said "illegal immigrants are more American" than Americans who tried to keep them out; she actually said that "women and children on that border that are trying to seek refuge and opportunity" in America "are acting more American" than those who tried to keep them out.
In March 2019, PolitiFact reported that Ocasio-Cortez is "one of the most targeted politicians for hoax claims, despite the fact that she just entered Congress as a freshman". Fake quotes attributed to her, fake photos of her, and false rumors about her have spread on social media. Some of these have originated from 4chan and r/The_Donald. By July 2019 the fake material included attributing things Trump said to Ocasio-Cortez, such as "I have a very good brain and I’ve said lots of things." On July 18, 2019, Charlie Rispoli, a police officer from Gretna, posted on Facebook an apparent threat to shoot Ocasio-Cortez, calling her a "vile idiot" who "needs a round, and I don't mean the kind she used to serve" as a bartender. Rispoli posted the comment in response to a fake news article that falsely quoted Ocasio-Cortez as saying "We pay soldiers too much". A photo from the article also had the label "satire". Rispoli was fired for his post and his Facebook account deleted.
H. Res. 109: "Recognizing the duty of the Federal Government to create a Green New Deal"; the first piece of legislation authored by Ocasio-Cortez.
On February 7, 2019, Ocasio-Cortez submitted her first piece of legislation, the Green New Deal, to the Senate. She and Senator Ed Markey released a joint non-binding resolution laying out the main elements of a 10-year "economic mobilization" that would phase out fossil fuel use and overhaul the nation's infrastructure. Their plan called for implementing the "social cost of carbon" that was part of the Obama administration's plans to address climate change. In the process it aimed to create jobs and boost the economy. According to CNBC, an initial outline the Green New Deal called for "completely ditching fossil fuels, upgrading or replacing 'every building' in the country and 'totally overhaul[ing] transportation' to the point where 'air travel stops becoming necessary'". The outline set a goal of having the U.S. "creating 'net-zero' greenhouse gases in 10 years. Why 'net zero'? The lawmakers explained: 'We set a goal to get to net-zero, rather than zero emissions, in 10 years because we aren’t sure that we’ll be able to fully get rid of farting cows and airplanes that fast.'" Activist groups such as Greenpeace and the Sunrise Movement came out in favor of the plan. No Republican lawmakers voiced support. The plan gained support from some Democratic senators, including Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders and Cory Booker; other Democrats, such as Senator Dianne Feinstein and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, dismissed the proposal (Pelosi has referred to it as "the green dream, or whatever they call it").
On March 26, in what Democrats called a "stunt", Senate Republicans called for an early vote on the Green New Deal without allowing discussion or expert testimony. Markey said Republicans were trying to "make a mockery" of the Green New Deal debate and called the vote a "sham". In protest, Senate Democrats voted "present" or against the bill, resulting in a 57–0 defeat on the Senate floor. In March 2019, a group of UK activists proposed that the Labour Party adopt a similar plan, "Labour for a Green New Deal." The group said it was inspired by the Sunrise Movement and the work Ocasio-Cortez has done in the US.
Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and embraces the democratic socialist label as part of her political identity. In an interview on NBC's Meet the Press, she described democratic socialism as "... part of what I am. It's not all of what I am. And I think that that's a very important distinction." In response to a question about democratic socialism ultimately calling for an end to capitalism during a Firing Line interview on PBS, she answered: "Ultimately, we are marching towards progress on this issue. I do think that we are going to see an evolution in our economic system of an unprecedented degree, and it's hard to say what direction that that takes."
Ocasio-Cortez speaks on a Green New Deal in front of the Capitol Building in February 2019.
Ocasio-Cortez has called for "more environmental hardliners in Congress," describing climate change as "the single biggest national security threat for the United States and the single biggest threat to worldwide industrialized civilization." Referring to a recent United Nationsreport indicating that the effects of climate change will be irreversible unless carbon emissions are reined in over the next 12 years, she said, "Millennials and people—you know, Gen Z and all these folks that will come after us are looking up and we’re like: ‘The world is gonna end in 12 years if we don’t address climate change and your biggest issue is how are we gonna pay for it?'"
Ocasio-Cortez's environmental plan, termed the Green New Deal, advocates for the United States to transition to an electrical grid running on 100% renewable energy and to end the use of fossil fuels within 10 years. The changes, estimated to cost roughly $2.5 trillion per year, would be financed in part by higher taxes on the wealthy.
Ocasio-Cortez proposed introducing a marginal tax as high as 70% on income above $10 million to pay for the Green New Deal. According to tax experts contacted by The Washington Post, this tax would bring in extra revenue of $720 billion per decade. Ocasio-Cortez has opposed and voted against the pay-as-you-go rule supported by Democratic leaders, which requires deficit-neutral fiscal policy, with all new expenditures balanced by tax increases or spending cuts. She and Representative Ro Khanna have condemned the rule as hamstringing new or expanded progressive policies. She cites Modern Monetary Theory as a justification for higher deficits to finance her agenda. Drawing a parallel with the Great Depression, she has argued that the Green New Deal needs deficit spending like the original New Deal.
Ocasio-Cortez has expressed support for defunding and abolishing the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency on multiple occasions. In February 2018 she called it "a product of the Bush-eraPatriot Act suite of legislation" and "an enforcement agency that takes on more of a paramilitary tone every single day". That June she said she would "stop short of fully disbanding the agency," and would rather "create a pathway to citizenship for more immigrants through decriminalization." She later clarified that this does not mean ceasing all deportations. She has called the Department of Homeland Security's immigration detention centers "black sites", citing limited public access to them. Two days before the primary election, Ocasio-Cortez attended a protest at an ICE child-detention center in Tornillo, Texas. She was the only Democrat to vote against H.R. 648, a bill to fund and reopen the government, because it funded ICE.
Detention centers for undocumented immigrants
In June 2019, Ocasio-Cortez compared the detention centers for undocumented immigrants at the Mexico–United States border to "concentration camps". She cited "expert analysis", linking to an Esquire article quoting Andrea Pitzer, author of One Long Night: A Global History of Concentration Camps, who had made a similar claim. Some academics supported Ocasio-Cortez's use of the term for the forced detention of immigrants; others strongly criticized it, saying it showed disrespect for Holocaust victims. In response to criticism from Republicans, Ocasio-Cortez said they had conflated concentration camps ("the mass detention of civilians without trial") with death camps. She refused to apologize for using the term: "If that makes you uncomfortable, fight the camps, not the nomenclature."
In July 2019, Ocasio-Cortez visited migrant detention centers and other facilities in Texas as part of a congressional delegation to witness the border crisis firsthand. Ocasio-Cortez described conditions she called "horrifying." She said that women in one cell said they had not had access to showers for two weeks and were told to drink water from the toilet when their sink broke, and that one woman said that her daughters had been taken from her two weeks earlier and she did not know where they were.
Ocasio-Cortez supports transitioning to a single-payer healthcare system, viewing medical care as a human right. She says that a single government health insurer should cover every American, reducing overall costs. Her campaign website says, "Almost every other developed nation in the world has universal healthcare. It's time the United States catch up to the rest of the world in ensuring all people have real healthcare coverage that doesn't break the bank." The Medicare-for-all proposal has been adopted by many likely Democratic 2020 presidential contenders.
In September 2019, Ocasio-Cortez introduced an anti-poverty policy proposal that would take into account the cost of childcare, health care, and "new necessities" like Internet access when measuring poverty. The proposal would cap annual rent increases and ensure access to social welfare programs for people with convictions and undocumented immigrants.
Ocasio-Cortez is a proponent of LGBTQ rights and LGBTQ equality. She has said she supports the LGBTQ community and thanked its members for their role in her campaign. She publicized and later appeared on a video game live stream to help raise money for Mermaids, a UK-based charity for trans children. At the January 2019 New York City Women's March in Manhattan, Ocasio-Cortez gave a detailed speech in support of measures needed to ensure LGBTQ equality in the workplace and elsewhere. She has also made a point of recognizing transgender rights, specifically saying, "It's a no-brainer ... trans rights are civil rights are human rights."
Ocasio-Cortez has called for "solidarity with Puerto Rico." She has advocated for granting Puerto Ricans further civil rights, regardless of Puerto Rico's legal classification. She advocates for voting rights and disaster relief. Ocasio-Cortez was critical of FEMA's response to Hurricane Maria and the federal government's unwillingness to address Puerto Rico's political status. She believes the federal government should increase investment in Puerto Rico.
Other domestic issues
Education: Ocasio-Cortez campaigned in favor of establishing tuition-free public colleges and trade schools. She has said she is still paying off student loans herself and wants to cancel all student debt.
Impeachment of President Trump: On June 28, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez told CNN she would support the impeachment of President Trump, citing Trump's alleged violations of the Emoluments Clause and stating that "we have to hold everyone accountable and that no person is above that law."
Amazon HQ2: Ocasio-Cortez opposed a planned deal by New York City to give Amazon.com $3 billion in state and city subsidies and tax breaks to build secondary headquarters in an area near her congressional district, saying that the city should instead invest the $3 billion in their district themselves. Some right-wing commentators criticized her remarks on the grounds that they implied she did not understand that "New York does not have $3 billion in cash."
Following the death of Ocasio-Cortez's father in 2008, her mother and grandmother relocated to Florida due to financial hardship. She still has family in Puerto Rico, where her grandfather was living in a nursing home before he died in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. She has said, "to be Puerto Rican is to be the descendant of... African Moors [and] slaves, Taino Indians, Spanish colonizers, Jewish refugees, and likely others. We are all of these things and something else all at once—we are Boricua."
^Gstalter, Morgan (July 12, 2018). "Ocasio-Cortez accuses defeated Dem of mounting third-party challenge". The Hill. Crowley stated on live TV that he would absolutely support my candidacy, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted on Thursday. Instead, he's stood me up for all 3 scheduled concession calls... Numerous phone calls have been set up but Ocasio-Cortez's aides have failed to follow through with providing a phone number, the aide [to Crowley] said.
^Kilgore, Ed (June 26, 2018). "Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ousts Joe Crowley, a Top House Democrat, in Stunning Upset". New York. Archived from the original on June 27, 2018. Retrieved June 27, 2018. In a shocker that is already being compared to the 2014 primary loss by then–House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, the chairman of the House Democratic Caucus (the fourth-ranking leadership position among House Democrats), ten-term veteran Joe Crowley has been upset by 28-year-old first-time candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez in the Bronx-Queens 14th congressional district.
^Alter, Charlotte (March 21, 2019). "'Change Is Closer Than We Think.' Inside Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's Unlikely Rise". Time. Retrieved March 28, 2019. Wonder Woman of the left, Wicked Witch of the right, Ocasio-Cortez has become the second most talked-about politician in America, after the President of the United States... No lawmaker in recent memory has translated so few votes into so much political and social capital so quickly.
^ abFriedman, Thomas (January 8, 2019). "The Green New Deal Rises Again". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 19, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019. The Green New Deal that Ocasio-Cortez has laid out aspires to power the U.S. economy with 100 percent renewable energy within 12 years and calls for "a job guarantee program to assure a living wage job to every person who wants one", "basic income programs" and "universal health care", financed, at least in part, by higher taxes on the wealthy.
^Meyer, Robinson (March 26, 2019). "The 3 Democrats Who Voted Against the Green New Deal". The Atlantic. Retrieved March 28, 2019. The Senate rejected the Green New Deal on Tuesday, in a decisive 57–0 vote that Democrats decried as a political stunt meant to divide their caucus. All the Republican senators opposed the measure. They were joined by four senators who caucus with the Democrats—Senator Joe Manchin, from the coal-heavy state of West Virginia, along with Senators Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, Doug Jones of Alabama, and Angus King of Maine.
^Battenfield, Joe (March 26, 2019). "Green New Fail as Dems shun GOP-forced vote on climate bill". Boston Herald. Retrieved March 27, 2019. an early vote on the Green New Deal on Tuesday and not a single U.S. Senator—including the measure's sponsor, Massachusetts' Ed Markey—signed on to the overly ambitious environmental overhaul
^Kullgren, Ian (July 1, 2018). "Ocasio-Cortez discusses 'Democratic Socialist' label". Politico. Archived from the original on July 16, 2018. Retrieved July 16, 2018. Democratic congressional nominee Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said Sunday she embraces the 'Democratic Socialist' label but doesn't want to force other Democrats to do the same. 'It's part of what I am; it's not all of what I am,' Ocasio-Cortez said on 'Meet the Press' on NBC. 'And I think that's a very important distinction.'
^Kaufman, Dan (July 7, 2018). "Progressive Populism Can Save Us From Trump". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 1, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019. The recent primary upset of Joe Crowley, the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House, by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, showcased the electoral strength of her platform, which included single-payer health insurance and tuition-free college and trade school.
^ abSuderman, Peter (August 2, 2018). "How Republican Hypocrisy Lifts Social Democrats". The New York Times. Archived from the original on January 21, 2019. Retrieved January 20, 2019. Although true-blooded socialists—Democratic Socialists, to be precise—remain a relatively small niche within the Democratic Party, they are having a visible impact on the party's agenda, with nearly every likely 2020 presidential contender embracing Medicare for all. Bernie Sanders's 2016 campaign galvanized progressive support for the idea of Democratic Socialism, and this year, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has embraced not only the label but also a blue-sky vision of American socialism—free public college, a jobs guarantee, guaranteed family leave and more—unbound by moderate liberal worries about government overreach or overspending.
^Mays, Jeffrey C. (May 22, 2019). "Ocasio-Cortez Back Insurgent Tiffany Cabán in Queens D.A. Reace, Testing her Influence in N.Y."The New York Times. Retrieved May 22, 2019. Now Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, 29, may be testing the extent of her influence back home: In a hotly contested seven-way Democratic primary for Queens district attorney, she has decided to endorse Tiffany Cabán, the candidate whose platform most echoes the first-term congresswoman’s. "Our criminal justice system needs to change," Ms. Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times in a statement. "New Yorkers deserve a seat at the table, and a champion who will fight to realign our priorities toward equal treatment under the law. If Tiffany Cabán wins, things are going to change."
^Wang, Vivian (July 29, 2019). "The Queens D.A. Race Has a Winner. Here's Why It's Still Not Over". New York Times. Retrieved July 30, 2019. But the board’s certification does not end the contest: One of Ms. Katz’s opponents, Tiffany Cabán, has already filed a lawsuit challenging the results, which have her losing to Ms. Katz by a mere 60 votes.