Biography of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, also known as AOC is an American politician and activist. Currently, the youngest woman ever to serve in the United States Congress, after, assuming political office at age 29.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rose to national and international fame in 2018 after beating a 10-term New York Democrat incumbent in a congressional primary, to becoming the youngest woman ever elected to Congress in America.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has served as the U.S. representative for New York’s 14th congressional district since 2019, as a member of the Democratic Party. Her districts include the eastern part of the Bronx, portions of north-central Queens, and Rikers Island in New York City.

Ocasio-Cortez is a progressive and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America. She defends universal healthcare and the Jobs Guarantee work program. She advocates for; 1) ending the privatization of prisons, 2) access to a free public university, and supports gun control policies.  Ocasio-Cortez is also Critical of Israel’s foreign policy, she called the 2018 death of Palestinian protesters on the Gaza border “a massacre.”  She supports the abolition of ICE (United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Service) and maintains that the agency would be using clandestine detention centers. She has also promoted an environmental Green New Deal.

Alexandria Ocasio formally began her political career in the 2016 primary election, when she was an organizer for Bernie Sanders’s presidential campaign. After the general election, she traveled the US by car in a post-election tour, visiting places like Flint, Michigan, and the Standing Rock Reservation, speaking with people affected by the human rights violations of the Flint Water and Pipeline crisis.  In an interview, she recalled her visit to Standing Rock was a turning point for her, saying that she previously felt that the only effective way to run for office was by having wealth, social influence, and power. But her visit to North Dakota, where she saw others “putting their lives and everything on the line to protect their community,” inspired her to start working for her community.

Alexandria Ocasio was disadvantaged on many grounds, firstly she was considered young, inexperienced, and did not have the financial muscle. She was a waitress at this point. This was a statement she made in an interview “when people look at me the bais is to not take me seriously until I open my mouth. Her contender Joe Crowley had a 10-to-1 advantage over her in fundraising, nevertheless, she was able to organize grassroots campaigns and largely harnessed social media to support her. Ocasio-Cortez was the first opponent in the Democratic party to challenge Crowley’s seat in 14 years.

On June 26, 2018, Alexandria Ocasio made history when she hands down defeated 10-term Congressman Joe Crowley, the fourth most powerful Democrat in the House, in New York’s 14th congressional district in the state’s Democratic primaries.

In the legislative elections held on November 6, 2018, she won the seat of the 14th district of New York by a very large majority of votes. Ocasio-Cortez was re-elected to the House for a second term on November 3, 2020, beating Republican John C. Cummings. 

Ocasio-Cortez was born on October 13, 1989, in the Bronx, New York to Blanca Ocasio-Cortez and Sergio Ocasio-Romanto a Puerto Rican family. At age five the family moved to  Yorktown Heights, where Alexandria Ocasio had her high school education at Yorktown High School, graduating in 2007. While in high school, Ocasio-Cortez won second prize at the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with a research project on the effect of antioxidants on the life cycle of Caenorhabditis elegant.  For this achievement, the International Astronomical Union named a small asteroid in her honor.

With an avid interest in science, Ocasio-Cortez continued to Boston University to study Biochemistry but later switched to major in economics and international relations. During her second year in college, she interned at Senator Ted Kennedy’s office where she focused on immigration issues. It was also around the same time that her father passed away from lung cancer disease. Ocasio-Cortez later graduated cum laude from Boston University in 2011.

After graduation, Alexandria Ocasio returned home and became a community organizer. Nevertheless, the protracted impact of the 2008- 2009 financial crisis coupled with her father’s ill health leading to his death had a toll on the family finances. This resulted in Alexandria Ocasio taking multiple low-wage restaurant jobs (bartender and waitress) and her mother as a house cleaner, and a school bus driver, to help keep the family afloat.

Since her father died without a will,  Alexandria Ocasio was involved in a long legal battle to appropriate the family’s inheritance. She stated that the experience in court gave her an understanding of how attorneys appointed to manage an estate can enrich themselves at the expense of poor families.

With financial support from the Bronx business incubator, she established a publishing company, Brook Avenue Press, specializing in children’s literature that represents the Bronx in a positive light. She also worked as Chief Education Strategist at GAGEis, Inc. She was also an educator at the NGO National Hispanic Institute, where she was the director of education for the 2017 Northeast Collegiate World Series, where she participated in a panel on Latino leadership. 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.

Persona Life

She is currently in a relationship with Riley Roberts.


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