Democratic New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has invited an activist and constituent who made headlines during the Justice Brett Kavanaugh confirmation hearings to be her guest at the State of the Union address on Tuesday.
Ocasio-Cortez invited Queens resident Ana Maria Archila, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy Action, The Intercept reported. Archila briefly entered the political limelight last fall after she confronted former Arizona Republican Sen. Jeff Flake in a Capitol Hill elevator during the tempestuous Kavanaugh hearing.
“I just feel particularly moved that in her first participation in the State of the Union, she is inviting me to join and inviting that moment of the elevator, my confrontation with the men who do not understand the life of women and the lives of people who are not in power, that she’s inviting that into the imagination of people again,” Archila told The Intercept.
Archila said she is a strong supporter of Ocasio-Cortez.
“I cherish this privilege that I have as a citizen to vote, but I have never felt so proud of voting for someone as when I voted for Alexandria. It was really a powerful experience to feel like I was voting for someone I 100 percent believed in,” she said.
This @AnaMariaArchil2, the NY-14 shero that will be accompanying me to the State of the Union tomorrow.
She wasn’t planning on leaping into that elevator ahead of the Kavanaugh vote, but after hearing the stories of survivors across the country, she went in.
A defining moment. https://t.co/J4J8xCii4n
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 4, 2019
Archila and another woman, Maria Gallagher, blocked the doors of an elevator to confront Flake over allegations of sexual misconduct against Kavanaugh from his high school years, insisting Flake testify against his confirmation.
“You have children in your family. Think about them. I have two children. I cannot imagine that for the next 50 years they will have to have someone in the Supreme Court who has been accused of violating a young girl,” Archila shouted. “What are you doing, sir?”
Archila claimed she was assaulted when she was 5 years old and later told The Washington Post that her family was not aware of the sexual assault until the Flake incident.
Gallagher told Flake that she was also sexually assaulted.
“I was sexually assaulted and nobody believed me. I didn’t tell anyone, and you’re telling all women that they don’t matter, that they should just stay quiet because if they tell you what happened to them you are going to ignore them,'” she said. “That’s what happened to me, and that’s what you are telling all women in America, that they don’t matter.”
After the women’s confrontation, Flake announced he wouldn’t support Kavanaugh’s nomination without an additional FBI investigation into the allegations. Following the investigation, Flake voted to put Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.
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