Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is an American politician, serving as the Congressional Representative for New York state beginning in January 2019. Since taking office Ocasio-Cortez has received considerable attention from the political media and from some Republicans critical of her policies. (1) At age 29 Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman to serve in American Congress.
Born on October 13, 1989 in New York City, Alexandria is a Libra. She was educated at Boston University and has a bachelor’s degree in international relations and economics.
As an elected member of Congress, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a Democratic party representative. She once described her exact political beliefs as “democratic socialist”; indeed, Alexandria is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America.
Journalist Anderson Cooper asked the congresswoman to explain what this form of socialism means:
Cooper: When people hear the word socialism, they think Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela. Is that what you have in mind?
Ocasio-Cortez: Of course (LAUGH) not. What we have in mind— and what of my— and my policies most closely re— resemble what we see in the U.K., in Norway, in Finland, in Sweden. (2)
On another occasion Alexandria explained what being a democratic socialist means for her:
“I think what it really means is just democratic participation in our economic dignity, and our economic, social, and racial dignity. It is about direct representation and people actually having power and stake over their economic and social wellness, at the end of the day. To me, what socialism means is to guarantee a basic level of dignity…to examine the historical inequities that have created much of the inequalities—both in terms of economics and social and racial justice.” (3)
Ocasio-Cortez has been highly critical of President Donald Trump. When asked if she believed that Trump was a racist, Alexandria said, “Yeah. No question.” When asked to elaborate further, Ocasio-Cortez said, “When you look at the words that he uses, which are historic dog whistles of white supremacy. When you look at how he reacted to the Charlottesville incident, where neo-Nazis murdered a woman, versus how he manufactures crises like immigrants seeking legal refuge on our borders, it’s— it’s night and day.” (2)
Ocasio-Cortez is Catholic. Alexandria was raised in that faith and uses her spiritual strength as a means to guide her in her responsibility for social justice.
“Let us not forget the guiding principle of ‘the least among us’ found in Matthew: that we are compelled to care for the hungry, thirsty, homeless, naked, sick and, yes—the imprisoned,” she said of her Catholic beliefs. (4)
Alexandria believes in the guiding Catholic doctrine that one’s sins can be forgiven, and that true repentance in the heart of the offender can grant forgiveness. “What should be the ultimate goal of sentencing and incarceration? Is it punishment? Rehabilitation? Forgiveness? For Catholics, these questions tie directly to the heart of our faith.” (4)
Alexandria’s mother Blanca was a school bus driver and house cleaner while her father, Sergio, was an architect. During Alexandria’s sophomore year at Boston University her father passed away from lung cancer.
To combat global warming trends Ocasio-Cortez wants America to turn into a 100% clean energy consumption country by 2030. “It’s going to require a lot of rapid change that we don’t even conceive as possible right now. What is the problem with trying to push our technological capacities to the furthest extent possible?” (2)
2: 60 Minutes