Yesterday, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s hard work grassroots campaign paid off after she won a seat in Congress. Beating Rep. Joe Crowley in the primary race is the first major upset for the Democratic Party of the year. Though Crowley had been running unopposed for 14 years and ran on a Wall-Street backed campaign that raised over $3 million, the 28-year-old Latina is re-writing the progressive script for the NY 14 district and is unapologetic about it.
“If Democrats want to turn out the sleeping giant that is the Latino electorate they need advocacy from candidates like me. I don’t just mean because I’m Latina but because I’m not being tokenized to advance causes that are not in the best interest of Latinos,” Ocasio-Cortez told Latino Rebels in April.
Winning particularly as a Puerto Rican woman today is monumental–making her success even more urgent. With a lack of representation in Congress, Ocasio-Cortez stands as a pillar of hope for Puerto Ricans, especially those from the Bronx, to lean on. Her win is a huge step towards finally giving Boricuas all over the country more representation in Congress, while the island itself still doesn’t have proper representation.
Ocasio-Cortez has already been outspoken for Puerto Rico. In September, days after Hurricane María, she called for the Repeal of the Jones Act, and an undoing of PROMESA.
I don’t want your prayers, @JoeCrowleyNY. I want you to undo the horrendous PROMESA Act that sold our families to the highest bidder 🇵🇷 /7
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) September 21, 2017
The Bronx native is running on a democratic socialist platform and has plans to fix issues concerning the expansion of Medicare, development of housing, and the rectification of gun control and immigration. She also wants to push for protection against ICE in the areas that she will now represent.
She told Latino Rebels that, “This district is absolutely one of those districts that represents the broader progressive movement, which is why I support a federal jobs guarantee, defunding ICE, and leading the charge on medicare for all.”
Puerto Ricans across the state and those watching her from afar are especially proud of Ocasio-Cortez’s win and what it could mean for them.
Check out what Boricuas and other Latinos are saying on Twitter.
Puerto Rican Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez – defeats incumbent Democrat congressman Joe Crowley in New York to become a force for grassroots Latino leadership across the nation. #NY14 🇵🇷 @Ocasio2018 #Resist ✊🏼 pic.twitter.com/Qqlym2qr4G
— LGBT Puerto Rico (@lgbtpr) June 27, 2018
— Andrew J. Padilla (@apadillafilm6) June 27, 2018
— Geovanny Vicente Romero (@GeovannyVicentR) June 27, 2018
Her win marks an emblematic achievement, which will likely make her the youngest person in Congress in 2019. pic.twitter.com/rntv3yvfDm
— Mayita Meléndez (@mayitaalcaldesa) June 27, 2018
Dear Media: She is a Puerto RIcan woman, not just a woman. She is a Puerto Rican woman from the Bronx, she is not from NYC. She is not just left she ran as a Puerto Rican woman socialist. Her name is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez stop erasing who she is @Ocasio2018
— Rosa A. Clemente (@rosaclemente) June 27, 2018
Mi hermana Boricuaaaaaaa! https://t.co/eZdPAkZgXA
— BOBBITO GARCIA (@koolboblove) June 27, 2018
Her name is Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, an activist and Democratic Socialist of Puerto Rican descent. If Crowley didn’t kiss your ring, she sure as hell won’t.
— oMar (@omz74rpm) June 27, 2018
She was there for us already… Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Day of Hurricane Maria… This thread 🔽 https://t.co/B2reWr3gnd
— Emi 🇵🇷 la watchdog Boricua Ⓥ #CountryOverParty (@thepowerofmeow) June 27, 2018
— Lmareeb (@L_mareeb) June 27, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez – a 28-year-old Latina and Puerto Rican from the Bronx, who decided to run for office with no corporate funding and on a very progressive platform focused on working class New Yorkers. 👏🏾 She would be the first Latina to represent a district 50% Latino & 70% color https://t.co/Y011yWp1X4
— Samy Nemir Olivares (@Samynemir) June 27, 2018
When one considers the history, and understands the devastation that impacted every South Bronx family from the 60’s up through the 90’s, the fact that Ocasio-Cortez, a Puerto Rican girl with roots in The South Bronx, triggered AND won this primary is nothing short of a miracle.
— Angie Báez 🇩🇴 (@Angbee) June 27, 2018
🗣HER NAME IS ALEXANDRIA OCASIO-CORTEZ AND SHE’S A DAMN GOOD PUERTO RICAN WE REPRESENTING OUT HERE 🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷🇵🇷 https://t.co/9kEDeCksuF
— Gabe Gonzalez (@GabeJGonzalez25) June 27, 2018
Shayla Colon is an intern at the Futuro Media Group and currently attends Quinnipiac University. In one year from now, she will have her bachelor’s in Journalism and English with a minor in International Business, accompanied by her MBA in Interactive Media.