About Our Campaign

Meet Alexandria

Alexandria is fighting for a country that works for us all, not just a wealthy few.

Early Life

Alexandria was born in The Bronx to working class parents: her father was a small business owner and architect from the South Bronx, and her mother cleaned homes after moving to New York from Arecibo, Puerto Rico. As school violence and dropout rates in The Bronx rose in the early 90’s, her parents put their savings together and purchased a modest home 30 miles north of the city in search of better schools for the family. As a result, much of Alexandria’s adolescence was spent in transit between her tight-knit extended family in The Bronx and school in Yorktown Heights. It struck Alexandria as unfair, even then, how the opportunities available to children and their families were often based on their ZIP code.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez as a baby with her father

Alexandria went on to study Economics and International Relations at Boston University. At the start of her sophomore year, Alexandria's father passed away suddenly from cancer at just 48 years old. Facing huge medical bills, the family risked foreclosure and her mother took another job driving a school bus. The unjust medical debt left a lasting impression on Alexandria, and she sought out an internship in the late Sen. Ted Kennedy’s office. Upon graduating college, Alexandria came back to The Bronx and pursued work in education and community organizing: as an Educational Director for the National Hispanic Institute, 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 literacy skills in young children and middle-schoolers. But as the economy floundered, Alexandria found herself working two jobs and 18-hour shifts in restaurants to help keep her family afloat, while balancing student loan and insurance payments.

Photo of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez looking to the right
After Donald Trump won the presidency in 2016, Alexandria joined many Americans who felt a strong calling to do more in civic life. That December, she traveled to the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota where indigenous people were demonstrating against a dangerous gas pipeline. Alexandria was inspired by the experience and, shortly thereafter, decided to run for Congress. Despite being a political longshot – she received no major endorsements and was outspent nearly 10 to 1 by her opponent – Alexandria won her primary challenge on June 26, 2018, and went on to win the election, becoming the first woman of color to represent NY-14, and the youngest woman in history to serve in Congress.

What We’ve Achieved

As your Representative in Congress, Alexandria has:

Fought inflation, taxed the rich

The Inflation Reduction Act will provide funding for the IRS to go after wealthy tax evaders, establish a 15% minimum tax rate on the wealthiest corporations, and set a 1% tax on stock buybacks used to benefit wealthy shareholders. There are no new taxes on any family making $400,000 or less, and no new taxes on small businesses.

Passed the largest investment to fight climate change ever - $369 billion!

The Inflation Reduction Act will create nearly 9 million new jobs in clean energy, reduce dangerous emissions by 40% by 2030, and lower annual energy bills by $1,000 per household. Working with other House Members, Alexandria also launched the first Green New Deal projects and secured 100 million dollars for more than sixty projects, stretching from Hawaii to Vermont.

Passed first major gun reform legislation in 30 years

The Bipartisan Safer Communities Act expands background check requirements for the sale of firearms to individuals under 21 years of age, prohibits gun ownership to those convicted of abusing a dating partner (closing the ‘boyfriend loophole’), and increases funding for mental health programs and school security updates.

Strengthened Medicare

Medicare will soon have the ability to negotiate some drug prices for the first time. Alexandria also helped to cap insulin prices at $35 per month, and out-of-pocket costs at $2000 per year, for those covered by Medicare.

Provided nearly $7 million in federal funding for Community Projects around The Bronx & Queens

Including a new labor unit and delivery unit at Elmhurst Hospital to improve care for mothers and babies at our Queens public hospital, and a workforce training program for 300 students at SUNY Maritime to prepare for good, union jobs in green energy.

Expanded a free tutoring program statewide

Homework Helpers, our volunteer tutoring program, established a chapter at the University at Buffalo, and provided over 4000 sessions of free homework help to students all throughout NY-14. Become a Homework Helpers Volunteer Tutor here, or sign up for free online homework help here!

Led the Creation of a $2B Pandemic Relief Program to Reimburse Burial Costs of Victims of COVID-19

Alongside Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, Alexandria led the creation of the FEMA Funeral Assistance Program, which distributed funds to over 431,000 families nationwide, including over $107 million to New Yorkers who lost loved ones to COVID-19 in order to cover burial costs.

Fought to simplify the path to citizenship for migrant families and protect honor in immigration

Alexandria introduced 20 bills protecting immigrants in her second term, including:

Led passage of the Puerto Rico Status Act

In the House, alongside Rep. Velazquez and others, Alexandria helped lead negotiations and passage of the Puerto Rico Status Act, which acknowledges the U.S. as a colonizing force for the first time in history and outlines a process for Boricuas to determine their own future.

Helped elect dozens of new progressive officials

Courage to Change PAC supported 60 grassroots campaigns across the country, and helped elected 35 new progressive officials in 2022.

Showed up for the community

Alexandria and her congressional team helped NY-14 residents get back over $1.9 million that they were owed from federal agencies. In total, they opened over 1,800 cases, responded to thousands of calls and met with over 800 walk-ins.

FAQ

How does your Representative serve you?

When you elect a Congressperson, you are choosing someone to represent you in the federal government. Your Representative can help when you need assistance with a federal agency, such as: Social Security; Immigration; the U.S. Postal Service; Veterans Affairs; the Bureau of Federal Prison; and Public Housing. Your Congressperson can also be so much more – from internship and grant opportunities, to art and app competitions, your Congressperson can connect you and your community to resources that only our federal government can provide.

What is Democratic Socialism?

In a moral and wealthy America, no person should ever be too poor to live. Democratic Socialism is about workers having a decent amount of the wealth they are creating. It’s not about government takeover – it’s about how much say workers have in the operations of the businesses they sustain. It’s about dignity.

What is your average campaign contribution?

It fluctuates from time to time, but the average contribution is roughly $16.81.