Born In: Bronx, New York, United States
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an American politician, best known as the representative for New York’s 14th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives. Born and raised in New York, she grew up in a middle-class family of Puerto Rican immigrants. Her mother worked as a domestic help, and her father managed a small architectural firm. Following her graduation from Boston University, she began working several jobs to pay off her college loan and to financially support her family. She became interested in politics during the 2016 presidential election where she endorsed Bernie Sanders candidature as the Democratic Party candidate. She toppled a powerful, long-term Democratic representative and won the 2018 Democratic primary and later that same year defeated her Republican opponent and became the U.S. Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district. As a progressive, she supported free education for all, ensured equality for the LGBTQ community, called for the abolishment of strict immigration laws, and proposed strong measures to tackle chaotic climate crisis. She was re-elected to the same constituency in 2020 and emerged as one of the most coveted American politicians in the late 2010s.
Also Known As: AOC
father: Sergio Ocasio
mother: Blanca Ocasio-Cortez
Partner: Riley Roberts
Born Country: United States
U.S. State: New Yorkers
education: College of Arts and Sciences, Yorktown High School
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born on October 13, 1989, in New York, to Sergio Ocasio-Roman and Blanca Ocasio-Cortez. She was the elder child and has a younger brother. She lived with her family in an apartment in the Bronx borough of New York. At the age of five, she moved with her family to live in Yorktown Heights, a suburb of New York City.
Her parents were of Puerto Rican descent. Her father worked as an architect and owned a small architectural firm. Her mother worked at cleaning houses. However, her parents earned just enough to provide their children with a decent life.
She enrolled at the Yorktown High School, where she was identified as a gifted student. She was particularly fond of microbiology and asked for a microscope as a birthday present at a very young age.
Alexandria’s talent won her the second prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair. To honor her efforts, the Lincoln MIT laboratory named a little asteroid after her. Post her high school graduation, she enrolled at Boston University on a student loan. From there, she earned a bachelor’s degree in both economics and international relations.
In 2008, during her second year of college, her father died of lung cancer. The economic recession was at its peak around this time, and this left the family in huge financial ruin, making it difficult to manage the household finances. Hence, Alexandria picked up multiple jobs to help her mother who worked as a house cleaner.
Alexandria started doing odd jobs after her college graduation and survived on low paying jobs. She moved to the Bronx and worked as a bartender and a waitress. Aside from helping her family, she also paid $300 every month to pay off her student loans.
While she was in college, she worked closely with Senator Ted Kennedy during an internship at his office. By the time of the 2016 presidential election, when Bernie Sanders kick-started his presidential nominee campaign, Alexandria had become deeply interested in politics. She worked as an organizer for Bernie Sanders’ campaign during the 2016 primary.
Following the general elections and Donald Trump’s victory, she traveled across the country by driving a car to the places affected by the Flint Water Crisis and the Dakota Access Pipeline. She visited North Dakota, which became the major turning point in her life when she realized that being a politician is not about gaining wealth and power but about working to support one’s community.
Following his loss in 2016, Bernie Sanders’ staffers established a committee called Brand New Congress. It was a group of young progressives that showed promise. When Alexandria was on her way back to New York from North Dakota, she received a phone call to join the newly formed group.
She decided to contest from the 14th congressional district of New York. Her chief opponent in the Democratic primary was the incumbent Democrat Joe Crowley, who had been elected from the district for 10 consecutive times. Her chances looked bleak and her primary campaign was also low-key, owing to lack of funds and experience.
However, she surprised everyone when she defeated Crowley to win the Democratic ticket for the 2018 elections. It was the biggest upset in the 2018 midterm election primaries. She was supported by former President Barack Obama and Senator Bernie Sanders during her campaign, against the Republican candidate for the November 2018 general election. She defeated the Republican opponent Anthony Pappas in the general election and became the Representative from the 14th congressional district of New York.
Her victory over Republican Anthony Pappas made her the youngest female representative in the house at the age of 29. The story of her victory was promoted as a “fairy tale” and was covered extensively by the national and local media. The Young Turks, a left-wing online news show had continuously reported on Alexandria during her campaign and after her victory.
She also appeared on several talk shows and became the subject of newspaper articles. She popped up in a 2018 documentary film titled Fahrenheit 11/9, which extensively covered her primary campaign. She also appeared as one among the four female democrats on the Netflix documentary film titled Knock Down the House. Democratic Party also made the full out of her popularity, and she became the face of the party.
Alexandria is also a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. She has openly admitted to being a socialist and wants to put an end to capitalism.
She has been an ardent supporter of progressive drives, such as tuition-free public college and trade school, single-payer healthcare system, a federal job guarantee, environment conservation, and ending prison privatization.
She has deemed climate change to be the biggest threat to the United States and the world in general. She presented an environmental plan in this regard, known as the Green New Deal, which promotes the use of 100% renewable energy. It also calls for an end to using fossil fuels as the source of energy within the next decade.
She has been a staunch critic of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and has repeatedly called for the agency’s abolition. In addition, she compared the Trump-era detention centres for immigrant detainees at the U.S.–Mexico borders to the Nazi-era concentration camps.
In tune with her progressive politics, she has worked immensely toward LGBTQ equality in the workplace and elsewhere.
In 2019, she was included in the list of BBC 100 Women. She was also honoured with the Adelle Foley Award in 2019 and the National Hispanic Institute Person of the Year Award in 2017.
In the 2020 general election, she was challenged by Michelle Cabrera in the Democratic primary. She ended up winning the primary and the general election to retain her seat as the U.S. Representative from the 14th congressional district.
Her tenure as a House Representative is also known for her interactive usage of social media as a tool to connect with people from her constituency. However, in a 2019 interview, she mentioned that she had stopped using her Facebook account and was now a minimal user of the social media.
Despite being a progressive, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez claims that she is a devoted Roman Catholic. She also said in an interview that she has Sephardic Jewish roots as well.
After her father’s demise in 2008, her mother and grandmother moved to Florida due to financial difficulties. Alexandria has an extended family in Puerto Rico, too.
Alexandria has been a regular target of social media trolls, especially by those belonging to the Republican Party. She has been called as an “extremist socialist who is here to bring an end to the American way of life.” A dancing video from her college years was made viral on social media to ruin her image as a public representative.
There are strong indicators that she has been dating web developer Riley Roberts for a long time. However, she has never confirmed her relationship status openly.
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