Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Ran-and Won-as a Movement Candidate

Saul Bowman
June 28, 2018

"She has a name", said Bloomberg's White House reporter Jennifer Epstein.

The panel discussed how Crowley, 56, was seen as the eventual successor to Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) as Democratic leader. She was also an organizer on Bernie Sanders' 2016 presidential campaign.

Part of the so-called "Resistance" left-wing movement that emerged to oppose Trump but has also clashed with the Democratic Party establishment, Ocasio-Cortez campaigned among other things for abolishing the federal Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

"Before Tuesday's victory catapulted her to the front of the political conversation, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez seemed to find readier audiences with outlets such as Elite Daily, Mic or Refinery29- websites most often associated with millennial and female audiences-than with traditional publications".

But Vahedi, who lived on Ocasio-Cortez's dorm floor freshman year ("Warren Towers, 16B"), was not surprised by the political upset.

She led a boldly progressive campaign, supporting universal healthcare, tuition-free college and criminal justice reform.

None of that had stopped Crowley in the past, but Ocasio-Cortez was convinced that it could — if she met the voters who were angry about it. New York's 14th District is 85 percent Democratic, meaning a Latina millennial calling for the abolition of ICE and the PROMESA board in Puerto Rico, Medicare for All, a federal job guarantee and a Marshall Plan to scale up renewable energy is nearly surely heading to Congress. The pair been working on their latest documentary, entitled "Knock Down the House", for months, focusing on four different women - including Ocasio-Cortez - running for office around the country. "I knew he didn't have a strong presence", she said.

"She's really had her mind and her heart set on improving the lives of people that live in communities like ours", said Raul Fernandez, a BU professor who worked with Ocasio-Cortez when she was a student ambassador in the Howard Thurman Center for Common Ground. "It's about Democrats taking back control of the House of Representatives - and that's what I'm about doing".

Crowley has been in Congress since 1999 and hadn't faced an opponent in a primary election since 2004, when Ocasio-Cortez was just a teenager.

"The biggest hurdle that our communities have is cynicism — saying its a done deal, who cares, theres no point to voting", Ocasio-Cortez told volunteers before one of their canvasses. In districts and states where the Democratic Party holds an overwhelming advantage, the power of ideas can indeed overcome the power of money. "I'm not", said Cleaver, a minister and former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus.

Passing laws that support working families and work to lift Americans out of poverty is "absolutely possible", added Ocasio-Cortez, "but it takes the political courage to do it".

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