Newly minted Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez lost no time Tuesday night in going on the attack.
Ocasio-Cortez, who at 29 became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, stunned the political establishment in June when she defeated longtime U.S. Rep. Joseph Crowley in the Democratic primary. Her election to the overwhelmingly Democratic 14th District, which covers parts of the Bronx and Queens, became all but assured when local GOP leaders withdrew their support of her Republican rival, Anthony Pappas, after domestic violence allegations were lodged against him, the New York Post reported.
Ocasio-Cortez received 78 percent of the vote to Pappas’ 14 percent.
In her Tuesday night victory speech, she characterized herself as the leader of “a movement … for social, economic and racial justice.”
“We launched this campaign because no one was clearly and authentically talking about issues like the corrupting role of money in politics, like the disturbing human rights violations being committed by ICE,” Ocasio-Cortez said, adding later in the speech that “an agency that systematically and repeatedly violates human rights cannot be reformed, it must be abolished.”
The Democratic Socialist also telegraphed one issue she will be working on after she assumes office January.
“By the fact that no one was giving a voice to the idea, to the notion that an entire generation is graduating with crippling loads of student loans debt that’s a ticking time bomb for our economy,” she said.
Ocasio-Cortez also supports Medicare for all but has been vague on the details of paying for the program, estimated to cost $32.6 trillion.
On Tuesday night, she told supporters that the policies she supports will spread, calling the loss of Democratic Senate candidate Beto O’Rourke in Texas to Republican incumbent Ted Cruz just a speed bump in the path of progressives.
“We are going to flip that state in our generation, I’ll tell you that much right now,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “We will flip Texas; it’s just a matter of time.
“We should never be scared. There is never any fight that is too big for us to pick. We proved that this year. We proved that this year. When we advocate and champion the causes of our neighbors and our economic dignity, and come with innovative and ambitious plans for our future, there is no state beyond our grasp and no community beyond victory. We just need to keep at it.”
She said victory will come through boldness.
“Right now, in the wealthiest nation in the history of the world, our greatest scarcity is not a lack of resources, but the absence of political courage and moral imagination,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Prior to the election, she made it clear that she would be making political decisions based on race.
“Our district is 70 percent people of color, and we have never had a person of color represent us in American history,” she said.
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