AOC quickly became a symbol the future generation of political leaders who will finally put people above party.
One year ago today Brand New Congress’ Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won a primary, despite all odds, and beat the 4th most powerful Democrat in the House. She did this through hard work, grassroots organizing and standing for fierce progressive values.
Alex uses her platform every day to speak for the people. We can’t list all she’s accomplished, but we are celebrating a few of them today.
Alex’s year in quotes:
“This is not an end, this is the beginning. This is the beginning because the message that we sent the world tonight is that it’s not OK to put donors before your community.” —
“In a modern, moral and wealthy society, no person should be too poor to live. I believe that every American should have stable, dignified housing; health care; education — that the most very basic needs to sustain modern life should be guaranteed.” —
“We have to have respect for children, respect for families, respect for human rights and respect for the right of human mobility. Because it is a right. It is a right. Because we are standing on native land, and Latino people are descendants of native people. And we cannot be criminalized simply for our identity or our status. Period.” —
Pushing progressive ideas and real legislation
Since her swearing in as the youngest woman elected in Congress in American history, she has held to her values as a Brand New Congress candidate by unapologetically pushing for progressive policies. In six short months AOC has:
- Introduced The Green New Deal just one month after swearing in
- Partnered with Bernie on Loan Shark Prevention act to cap interest rates at 15%
- Co-sponsored a bill to eliminate federal and private student loan debt
- Fought for housing reform and to make housing a human right
- Called for a 70% tax rate on the $10 millionth dollar earned.
- Offered to draft a bi-partisan bill to prevent lawmakers from becoming lobbyists
- Rallied for money for Puerto Rico and continued disaster relief
- Supported Medicare for All
- Supported worker’s rights expansions, protections of unions and labor empowerment
- Has taken on corporate corruption, from Amazon, to privatized prisons, to big pharma
- Is paying her interns $15 an hr. and her entry level staffers make $52,000
- Fought against interventionist wars
- And hasn’t missed a single vote
Committees: Taking on Washington, finally someone is asking questions that matter
Many eyes were on AOC as the freshman Congresswoman was selected for two important committees, the House Committee on Financial Services and the House Committee on Oversight Reform. She’s used her time to direct pointed questions at hearings that has exposed corruption in big pharma, big banks, campaign finance, criminal justice and others.
In one case, she confronted a Gilead corporation CEO whose company is charging upwards of $2000 for the HIV treatment Truvada, despite the fact that the drug was developed with taxpayer funding. She not only held the pharmaceutical company accountable, but the entire body.
“This is about the system of incentives we have set up and when it comes to who to blame for this…I blame this body because every single developed country in the world guarantees healthcare as a right except the United States.”
A shifting political climate: The Dream is Possible
Alex is shaking up D.C. in more ways than one. She’s harnessed the power of social media to fuel a grassroots national movement to bolster fellow progressive candidates and progressive values across the country. When Alex Tweets, people listen.
Her race showed that if a regular working-class latina bartender from Queens can run for office against the 4th most powerful Democrat in the House and win, anything is possible. This year Brand New Congress has received nominations for hundreds of candidates across the country who were inspired and emboldened by AOC’s legacy and they’ve accepted the challenge to run against corrupt incumbents in their districts.
Alex can’t pass legislation alone, she needs more candidates behind her who will vote for policies to benefit ALL Americans, not just the wealthy few. Can you contribute today to send AOC the help she needs on the Hill?