Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Principles & Values



Congress is a shit show, scandalizing every single day

Q: What is it like being a member of this institution, which from outside, looks like a shit show?

AOC: Honestly, it is a shit show. It's scandalizing, every single day. What is surprising to me is how it never stops being scandalizing. Some folks perhaps get used to it or desensitized to the things that may be broken, but there is so much reliance on this idea that there are adults in the room, and, in some respect, there are. But sometimes they're just susceptible to groupthink.

Source: New Yorker on NY-14 2021 House incumbent, "An Insider?" , Feb 14, 2022

In other countries, Biden and I would not be in same party

If there is anyone who represents the future of American Catholicism more accurately, it is House Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez, who said in January 2020, "In any other country Joe Biden and I would not be in the same party, but in America we are." The American Catholic reality of at least two different churches is not only ideological: it's also generational.
Source: Biden and Catholicism, by Massimo Faggioli, p.133 , Jan 20, 2021

Trump represents fascism in the United States

Ocasio-Cortez's brief speech described the left as a mass movement not only fighting for "guaranteed health care, higher education, living wages, and labor rights" but also "striving to recognize and repair the wounds of racial injustice, colonization, misogyny, and homophobia."

Bernie Sanders argued that "at its most basic, this election is about preserving our democracy." Likewise, in a debrief following her comments, AOC said voting for Biden was about "stopping fascism in the United States--that is what Donald Trump represents."

They are forming an alliance, however uneasy, with establishment Democrats to defeat Trump.

This type of multiracial coalition-building is something that Ocasio-Cortez has excelled at in her congressional career. Regularly advocating for anti-racism, reparations, and police reform on her social media platforms and on the Hill, she has drawn comparisons to activists like Martin Luther King Jr. and politicians like Shirley Chisholm.

Source: A.R.Coleman on Vox.com on 2020 Dem. National Convention , Aug 22, 2020

Protesting Dakota pipeline & Flint water transformational

In December 2016, Alexandria and a few friends crammed into a borrowed 1998 Subaru and drove all the way to Standing Rock Indiana Reservation in North Dakota. At the time, the Lakota Sioux had been protesting for months against the Dakota access pipeline, arguing it would pollute the reservation's water supply and endanger the tribe's sacred sites. Along the way Alexandria's group stopped in Flint, Michigan, which had been struggling with a crisis of lead poisoned water for years after the city changed its water supply to save money.

The trip was transformational for Alexandria. "It was really from that crucible of activism where I saw people putting their lives on the line for people they've never met and never known," she said in late 2018. When I saw that, I knew that I had to do something more."

Source: AOC, by Lynda Lopez, p.30-31 , Aug 11, 2020

Her background can help Democrats better understand

Some critics, political scientist mark Lilla and the most prominent among them, are about organizing from a vantage point of racial or cultural particularity fails to generate the appeal necessary to keep Democrats, and to progressives more generally, in office. Lilla, the author of the Once and Future liberal: After Identity Politics, maintains that social movements and party politics are at odds. Cortez's success tells us otherwise. Through her advocacy she has shown how her experiences as a Puerto Rican woman from a working-class background (a designation that those on the political right and moderates alike often reserve for low-income whites) can deepen the party's understanding of the problems that continue to plague non-white and poor American's while providing a tool kit with which to tackle them.
Source: AOC, by Lynda Lopez, p.61-62 , Aug 11, 2020

Socialism is democratic participation in economic dignity

When I saw these actions, it was alike, okay, this is clearly an intention of our own community. And the thing about DSA is that it's a very large tent organization. When we talk about the world socialism, I think what it means is just Democratic participation in our economic dignity, and our economic, social, and radical dignity. To me, what socialism means is to guarantee a below level of dignity. It's asserting the level of saying that the America we want and the America we are proud of is one in which all children can access a dignified education. It's one in which no person is too poor to have the medicines they need to live. It's to say that no individual's civil rights are to be violated. And it's also to say that we need to really examine the historical inequities-both in terms of economics and social and racial justice-because they are intertwined. The idea of like, race or choice is a false choice.
Source: AOC, by Lynda Lopez, p.89 , Aug 11, 2020

In Congress to safeguard and protect people, not profit

AOC may make it farther than any elected Latina in our elected government before her, and I believe it will be because of this particular fire for economic justice and her knowledge of the financial service industry.

Because, after all, what drives AOC is a set of values. Values that, were not yet clear to folks, she stated succinctly in 2019 hearing on the disastrous dealings of private equity firms that brought up companies (like Toys R Us) only to lay off thousands of employees while pocketing millions for themselves: "I wasn't sent here to safeguard and protect profit. I was sent here to safeguard and protect people."

Source: AOC, by Lynda Lopez, p. 120 , Aug 11, 2020

Defeated ten-term incumbent via shifting demographics

From the most local to the highest federal offices, candidates are expected to reflect the melange that is America. And voters believe they should be able to make a choice between more than two heterosexual white men. During the 2018 congressional cycle, Alexandria Ocasio Cortez and Ayanna Pressley became the highest profile examples of this trend. Cortez defeated a ten-term Democratic incumbent in New York City, partly as the result of the shifting demographics in the congressional district. In Massachusetts, Representative Pressley also defeated a ten term Democratic incumbent. Like Cortez, Pressley campaigned on a platform of being more responsive to the increasingly diverse legislative district.

New congressional leaders have each made their mark by advocating for legislative issues that propelled them to victory. For representative Cortez, her promotion of the Green New Deal capitulated the resolution into national discourse.

Source: Our Time Is Now, by Stacey Abrams, p.145-6 , Jun 9, 2020

Presidential nominee must fight for transformational change

We have a very real risk of losing the presidency if we do not have a presidential candidate fighting for true transformational change in the lives of working people. If we elect a president that says we're fighting for higher wages but we don't want a $15 minimum wage, fighting for education but we don't to make colleges tuition-free, fighting for women's rights, et cetera, but we don't want to go all the way with that, then I think we have a very real risk of losing the presidency.
Source: ABC This Week 2019 interview for Congress NY-14 election , Jun 16, 2019

Moderate is not a stance; it's just "meh"

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez slammed political moderates at the South by Southwest Conference in Austin, Texas, calling their views "misplaced" as she defended her progressive politics: "Moderate is not a stance. It's just an attitude towards life of, like, 'meh,'" the New York Democrat said during an interview. "We've become so cynical, that we view 'meh,' or 'eh'-- we view cynicism as an intellectually superior attitude, and we view ambition as youthful naivete when the greatest things we have ever accomplished as a society have been ambitious acts of visions, and the 'meh' is just worshipped now, for what?"
Source: Louis Casiano, Fox News, on 2019 SXSW conference , Mar 10, 2019

Election winners didn't look like me; now maybe more will

[The speech at SXSW by] Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was centered on her unlikely rise in the Democratic party and what it means for the future of the country. "Part of what happened last year was a crack in the system," she explained, of her election to the U.S. House of Representatives for New York's 14th district. The politician has often said that election winners do not look like her, a woman of color from a working-class Puerto Rican family in the Bronx. "Suddenly, a lot of other people said, 'Wait a second, maybe I can do this too,'" said Ocasio-Cortez.

The freshmen representative is known for an explosive brand of left-facing ideology, whose loud and bold criticisms of Washington institutions (including her own party) has drawn her critics and fans alike.

"History is often revisionist. Martin Luther King is cast as this angelic person that never made anyone mad and just asked for civil rights and got it," Ocasio-Cortez said.

Source: Matt Donnelly, Variety Magazine, on 2019 SXSW conference , Mar 9, 2019

Activism is inherently divisive, like MLK was

In an interview on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez says that she gives "zero f---s" about criticism she's received from members of the Democratic party.

Colbert asked, "You and other freshman members of Congress are getting a fair amount of pushback, privately and publicly, from more established members of your own party saying 'Wait your turn'; Go slow'; 'Don't ask for so much so fast'; and 'Don't make waves.' On a scale of 'zero' to 'some,' how many f---s do you give?" Ocasio-Cortez responded, "Zero."

Colbert followed up, "What do you say about having a divided party that the opposition can take advantage of?"

Ocasio-Cortez added: "Activism is inherently divisive. Today is MLK Day. People called Martin Luther King divisive in his time. We forget he was wildly unpopular when advocating for the Civil Rights Act. I think that what we really need to realize is that social movements are the moral compass--and should be the moral compass--for our politics."

Source: PoliticalWire.com on 2018 Congress NY-14 election , Jan 22, 2019

Democratic socialist uncompromised about what's right & just

Ocasio-Cortez also spoke forcefully about the ideas she believed in. A self-described democratic socialist, she backed Medicare for all, a universal jobs guarantee, tuition-free public college and trade schools, and abolishing ICE. She proved that the moral force of a platform grounded in uncompromised normative principles about what is right and just has the power to transform what's politically and electorally possible.
Source: The Week coverage of 2018 Congress NY-14 election , Jun 27, 2018

Endorsed Endorsed by Bernie Sanders/Our Revolution.

Ocasio-Cortez is endorsed by Bernie Sanders/Our Revolution endorsement list

Endorsements by Bernie Sanders' group, "Our Revolution," implying support of a progressive agenda and "organizing to win." OR's self-description: "Bernie Sanders launched Our Revolution--America's leading grassroots-funded progressive political organizing group--to empower everyday Americans to stand up to the corporate interests that seek to manipulate our government for personal gain."

Source: Ballotpedia 2016-2022 endorsement list 2022-OR on Jan 1, 2022

Certify 2020 Presidential election as fully & fairly counted.

Ocasio-Cortez voted NAY blocking certification of the Electoral vote

Explanation of 1/6/21 Electoral Certification, by Emily Brooks, Washington Examiner:Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Paul Gosar led an objection to counting Electoral College votes from the state of Arizona, the first formal objection to state results in a series of moves that will delay the certification of Joe Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential election over President Trump. Cruz is advocating for an `emergency 10-day audit` of election returns in disputed states. The usually ceremonial joint session of Congress that convenes to count and accept Electoral College votes will be put on hold as the House and Senate separately debate the objection.