Affiliation(s): 
Biography: 
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is running for Congress to create an America that works for all of us, not just a wealthy few. From an early age, Alexandria grew up with a deep understanding of income inequality. The state of Bronx public schools in the late 80s and early 90s sent her parents on a search for a solution. She ended up attending public school in Yorktown—40 minutes north of her birthplace. As a result, much of her early life was spent in transit between her tight-knit extended family in the Bronx and her daily student life. It was clear to her, even then, that the zip code a child was born in determined much of their destiny. The 40-minute drive represented a vastly different quality of available schooling, economic opportunity, and health outcomes. Alexandria went on to study at Boston University, where she earned degrees in Economics and International Relations. While there, she worked for the late Sen. Kennedy handling foreign affairs and immigration casework for constituent families. After studying, Ocasio-Cortez returned to the Bronx and began to pursue work in the areas that had impacted her own family growing up: education and community organizing. As an Educational Director, she worked with promising high school youth to expand their skill-sets in community leadership and social enterprise. She also piloted projects to help improve skills in childhood literacy in young children and writing for middle-schoolers in the Bronx. NY-14 is one of the most progressive districts in America, but you wouldn’t think it from our current representation, which routinely works to deregulate Wall Street banks, and rules in favor of the luxury developers pricing out our families. Our current incumbent doesn't even live in New York, and resides full-time in Virginia. Alexandria decided that the Bronx and Queens could do better. We can champion improved and expanded Medicare-for-All, a Federal Jobs Guarantee, tuition-free college and criminal justice reform. If any community that can elect a representative to lead on these issues, it’s NY-14. When Alexandria first started this campaign, she knew that in order for us to change our Congress, we had to change how business is done in New York. She had to run a campaign with integrity and turn away from lobbyists. NY-14 has one of the lower voter turnouts in the nation - but that isn’t because voters are uneducated; it’s because after generations of backroom dealing, we haven’t felt that our vote truly mattered. Ocasio2018 is changing that.