On June 26, 2018, a 28-year-old Puerto Rican Bronx native made some remarkable women's history.
In a stunning upset, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became the first woman of color to win in New York's 14th district.
Photo by Scott Heins/Getty Images.
As the first woman of color to even run for the seat, Ocasio-Cortez unseated incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley, marking a new era for progressive politics and the far reach of women of color in American government.
In what some declared a losing battle, Ocasio-Cortez ran a campaign as far to the left as one can imagine in American politics. She boldly called for the abolition of ICE after a horrific immigration debacle at the Texas border and unflinchingly ran on a platform of economic, social, and racial justice for all without accepting any political action committee (PAC) money, a largely unheard of fundraising strategy in politics.
Ocasio-Cortez was warned not to run as many said she'd never have a career in politics again. She was told that going against someone who'd been a Democratic powerhouse for decades — and was expected to take Nancy Pelosi's place as Minority Leader of the House of Representatives — was a losing battle. Many news outlets and pundits refused to even say her name or report on her campaign.
And yet, she kept going. And it worked.
“We meet a machine with a movement. That is what we have done today.” @Ocasio2018 looks up at @NY1 screen and reali… https://t.co/TAHRA2wm8R— Pat Kiernan (@Pat Kiernan)1530063996.0
It's safe to say that Ocasio-Cortez, while always confident in the platforms she was running behind, was as surprised as the pollsters were. But, she sprang into action quickly after.
Thank you, @JoeCrowleyNY, for your support and longstanding service to our community. I look forward to working to… https://t.co/Rd0hnuRLbp— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1530077049.0
Using social media to attract a mass of supporters and canvassers, Ocasio-Cortez spoke in neighborhoods, rallied at various events for underrepresented communities, and ran with endorsements from groups that aren't necessarily the most well-funded or mainstream. She did it on purpose, representing a city that wanted change — and wanted it on its on terms.
It's time for a New York that works for all of us. On June 26th, we can make it happen - but only if we have the… https://t.co/Sfpb13SPJb— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez)1527681672.0
"This race is about people versus money," Ocasio-Cortez says in her campaign video. "We've got people; they've got money. It's time that we acknowledge that not all Democrats are the same."
Regardless of where you stand on the issues, Ocasio-Cortez's win is a beautiful display of the power of sticking to one's convictions in the face of adversity.
Oscasio-Cortez recently went to the Texas border to see what was happening with the current administration's disastrous immigration policy. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images.
Her historic win is inspiration for women and people of color around the nation. Ocasio-Cortez reminds us all that democracy is fueled by those who believe in it. Ocasio-Cortez believed in her community, she believed in those who needed helped most, and she unapologetically carried those beliefs until the last ballot was cast.