- Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old political outsider who beat a 10-term incumbent congressman in New York, worked as a waitress and bartender up until late last year.
- Ocasio-Cortez, who describes herself as coming from a working-class background, took on multiple jobs after graduating from college to help support her mother.
- Economic justice was a major focus on her campaign platform, which advocated for tuition-free college, a federal jobs guarantee, and Medicare for all.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, stunned the Democratic Party and the nation when she ousted Rep. Joe Crowley, a 10-term congressman and the chair of the House Democratic Caucus in New York’s 14th Congressional District.
Ocasio-Cortez’s victory is even more stunning considering that less than a year ago, she was working as a bartender at a restaurant in New York City’s Union Square.
Jeff Stein, Washington Post political reporter, shared a photo of Ocasio working at the bar in November 2017.
This photo is from Nov. 14, 2017. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 28, was then working as a bartender.
Less than a year later, she defeated the likely next Speaker of the House, and will almost certainly be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress pic.twitter.com/JgHjdQWAF6
— Jeff Stein (@JStein_WaPo) June 27, 2018
The website for Flats Fix, the Mexican restaurant and bar where she worked, still features her in a promotional photo on their website.
One year ago, @Ocasio2018 was working at a craft cocktail bar in Manhattan — their website still has an image of her mixing drinks. From the bar, to destroying the Queens Democratic machine, in one year. pic.twitter.com/XvmDYxAXG4
— Dave Weigel (@daveweigel) June 27, 2018
Economic justice was a main component of Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign, with her platform advocating federal job guarantee, free college tuition, and Medicare for all.
She also drew on her life experience growing up in a working-class family in the Bronx to connect with voters.
After graduating from Boston University in 2011, she worked additional jobs waitressing and bartending along with taking a position at non-profit in order to help her mother, who cleaned houses and drove buses. Her father passed away while she was in college.
“Our campaign was focused on just a laser focused message of economic, social and racial dignity for working class Americans, especially those in Queens and the Bronx. We were very clear about our message, very clear about our priorities,” Ocasio told MSNBC’s Mika Brzezinski on Wednesday morning, the day after her victory.
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