Facts about Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Biography
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the former bartender and 28-year-old political rookie who won election to the U.S. Congress from New York’s 14th District in 2018.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez grew up in The Bronx; her father was also born there, and her mother was born in Puerto Rico. When she was five, her family moved from the Parkchester neighborhood of The Bronx to Yorktown Heights, a suburb about 45 miles north of New York City. She graduated from Yorktown High School in 2007 and then from Boston University in 2011, with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations and a minor in Economics.
She returned to the Bronx and worked as a bartender and waitress while also working as an educator at the nonprofit National Hispanic Institute and launching Brook Avenue Press, a publisher of books that shine a positive light on the Bronx. She worked as an organizer for the 2016 presidential campaign of Democrat Bernie Sanders.
In 2018, Ocasio-Cortez decided to run herself, taking on 10-term Congressman Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary. An unabashed liberal and member of the Democratic Socialists of America, she ran on a platform that included universal Medicare, free college tuition and the abolition of U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement (ICE). Though her campaign was considered a long shot, Ocasio-Cortez won the primary handily on June 26, 2018 with 57% of the vote. In the fall she won the general election, defeating Republican Anthony Pappas with a whopping 78% of the vote, and took office in Congress on January 3, 2019.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is the youngest woman ever elected to Congress. She has called for a “Green New Deal,” a major environmental initiative to provide jobs and remake the national energy grid with a focus on climate-friendly renewable energy.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is in a long-term relationship with Riley Roberts, whom she met while both were students at Boston University.