Young, But Bold


Courtesy of Charles Krupa

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is making big waves in D.C.

Amanda Chung, Photojournalist

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, at the mere age of 29, became the youngest women to be elected in Congress when she won in the 2018 midterms. She defeated the incumbent in New York’s 14th Congressional District, Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley, and won with over 75 percent of the vote (VOX).

AOC, a young democratic socialist, has been in the spotlight ever since her victory last November. Many seem to see her as refreshing: a young, woman of color from the bronx. She even defied tradition and wore red lipstick and gold hoops to her swearing-in ceremony on January 3, 2019.

However, numerous attempts have been made to smear her and tarnish her image and credibility, such as the recent surface of a video of the congresswoman dancing from her college days. Contrary to what the Republicans intended with that video, the public actually reacted positively to it, praising Ocasio-Cortez for being relatable. AOC even responded with another video of her dancing on Twitter, showcasing her nonchalant, unwavering confidence, despite others’ efforts to undermine her.

Not only has she stirred up opposition from the Republican party, but she has also alarmed her democratic colleagues with her far left-leaning views and policy suggestions. Her most notable proposal is her “Green New Deal,” an aggressively progressive deal that would essentially transition U.S. energy usage entirely to renewables within 10 years of the legislation passing, which means no more coal, natural gas, oil, and nuclear power (The Hill). The main problem that opposers are pointing out is the major tax increase AOC plans to use to fund the project.

When asked about her “extreme” ideologies in a recent interview with Anderson Cooper, she embraced the label “radical.”

“I think that it only has ever been radicals that have changed this country. Abraham Lincoln made the radical decision to sign the Emancipation Proclamation. Franklin Delano Roosevelt made the radical decision to embark on establishing programs like Social Security,” she said. “If that’s what radical means, call me a radical.”

Ashley Bui Tran (12) is really excited to see the impact Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez will make in the upcoming year. “I think we need more young people, especially young women, in Congress,” she says. “The youth needs more representation in the government, and now we have someone there to advocate for a better future for all of us.”