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Thursday, June 28, 2018

A Latina became the surprise of the primary in New York

Por Rory

In a kind of current contrary to the election of President Donald Trump, whose treatment of women is questioned since he began his campaign for the gross, more and more women politicians are running for office in the country. And many get it. Proof of this is what happened in New York, when in the Democratic primaries before the legislative elections in November the young Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won. The surprise is multiple. The winner is a millennial, she is 28 years old, she is a Latina of Puerto Rican origin, born in the Bronx, United States, and she surpassed who was outlined as the successor of the leader of the Democratic minority in the House Nancy Pelosi if the Democrats win the Most in November, Congressman Joe Crowley, as published by the newspaper El País.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who is a follower of the leftist senator Bernie Sanders and who less than a year ago, was a waitress in the Bronx, won 57.5% and in November she will face the Republican Anthony Pappas in this progressive district that brings together parts of the Bronx and Queens. Crowley, who until now had been considered a possible candidate to replace Nancy Pelosi as leader of the Democrats, becomes the first big shot of the party to fall in this primary season. The defeat is even more significant if one takes into account that Ocasio-Cortez had almost no campaign funds. She financed her own campaign with little more than 300 thousand dollars, a budget ten times lower than that of her rival. She studied Economics and International Relations at the University of Boston. She has no experience in public office. "It's time for one of us," was her campaign phrase. She worked for Senator Edward Kennedy and left New York a few days ago for Texas to protest against the "zero tolerance" immigration policy launched by Trump, who nevertheless celebrated her victory on Twitter. Among the groups that supported her is the influential MoveOn, which is mobilizing the participation in politics of young people who support a cultural and social change based on equality, sustainability and justice.

"I am eager to work towards recovery of the House of Representatives on a solid foundation of economic, social and racial justice for New Yorkers and working-class Americans," Ocasio-Cortez wrote on Twitter after winning the primaries, a victory that neither even she expected, judging from her surprise reaction to know the results. "The community is ready for a movement of economic and social justice. That is what we are trying to offer," Ocasio-Cortez said in an interview with the AP news agency. Born in the Bronx to a Puerto Rican mother and a father originally from the district who died in 2008, the activist says she knew she could connect with the district she has won, which includes Queens and part of the Bronx. "I live in this community. I got organized in this community. I felt the absence of the current holder. I knew he did not have a strong presence." Trump, at least on social media, seemed equally enthusiastic about Crowley's defeat. Not only Trump has applauded the fall of Crowley, so have the leftist leaders who backed Ocasio-Cortez. "These results also signal the Democratic establishment in Washington: a young, diverse and boldly progressive Resistance Movement will not wait to be anointed by the established powers," said Matt Blizek, of the influential progressive group MoveOn.

Ocasio-Cortez, who participated in the presidential campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders in 2016 and identifies herself as a socialist democrat, fits the profile of the record number of women who have been elected to compete as candidates for the House and the Senate this year, most of them as democrats. In a district where the Census Bureau estimates that 45% of residents were born outside the US, Ocasio-Cortez made immigration and the Latino representation a centerpiece of the campaign. The activist intends to abolish the Immigration and Customs Enforcement and participated in a protest outside a Texas detention center the weekend before the primary. Her victory against prognosis resembles the battle of David against Goliath. Most of New York's institutional support, including state senators and 20 unions, had endorsed Crowley, while Ocasio-Cortez received support from the city's socialist Democrats and several liberal groups, including MoveOn and The Revolution, aligned with Sanders. In terms of money, Crowley raised 3.3 million dollars compared to 312,000 of the Hispanic, as shown by the records of the Federal Electoral Commission. If elected in November as a representative of this heavily Democratic district, Ocasio-Cortez would be one of the youngest members of Congress, as well as the first woman and the first Latina to represent the district.