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:

Successfully fought for the expanded Child Tax Credit

This critical piece of legislation in the American Rescue Plan of 2021 helped lift over 12,000 children – in NY-14 alone – out of poverty, sending families paychecks of $250-300 per child for the last six month of 2021.

Brought financial relief to grieving families during the pandemic

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

Mobilized disaster relief assistance after Hurricane Ida

After Hurricane Ida devastated parts of NY-14, Alexandria and her campaign team knocked on neighborhood doors for six straight weeks to distribute information on critical relief resources and help folks apply for up to $34K in FEMA assistance. Alexandria also successfully pushed FEMA to extend the disaster relief application deadline and to deliver more quickly and effectively for residents.

Kept a toxic power plant out of NY-14

When the NRG Energy Company proposed a fracked-gas power plant in Astoria, Alexandria and her campaign mobilized over 600 volunteers to knock on 3,000 doors and make over 160,000 phone calls as part of a deep canvassing program on the Green New Deal and to inform area residents about the toxic effects of the potential power plant. The effort, alongside action from community organizers and leaders, helped sway Governor Kathy Hocul to stop construction of the plant.

Mobilized a full COVID-19 relief effort and raised over $1.25M for local mutual aid groups

When NY-14 became the epicenter of the pandemic, Alexandria and her campaign organizers distributed 80,000 meals and 100,000 masks to teachers, small businesses, essential workers, and families in need, and made 200,000 community check in calls. Her campaign also raised $1.25 million for local organizations and charities doing COVID-19 relief. When vaccination rates in NY-14 lagged behind the rest of the city, Team AOC launched an outreach campaign in four languages about vaccine safety and accessibility - and successfully lobbied for pop-up vaccination sites in Queens and The Bronx.

As school closures led to an increase in online education, Team AOC launched a virtual tutoring program, Homework Helpers, and provided over 4000 hours of free tutoring to students in the community. In partnership with incoming progressive City Councilmembers, the campaign expanded the program to provide quality, virtual tutors in other parts of The Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.

Continued to grow a movement for a Green New Deal

Alexandria’s first piece of legislation in Congress was The Green New Deal Resolution, which outlines a comprehensive strategy for fighting climate change by creating millions of union jobs and dramatically investing in the strengthening of public infrastructure. The resolution, co-led by Senator Ed Markey, has secured 128 House and Senate co-sponsors. In the three years since the GND was first introduced, lawmakers in both chambers of Congress have introduced more than a dozen pieces of legislation across multiple sectors of the economy that build upon the principles from the resolution.

Demanded corporate accountability on drug prices and climate lobbying

As a result of Alexandria’s lines of questioning in the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Oversight and Reform, she has: pressured Big Pharma into bringing down the price of PrEP to prevent HIV transmission; exposed TransDigm, a defense contractor, into returning $16.1 million in price-gouged profits to the public; and got the CEO of ExxonMobil to admit to meeting with members of Congress to influence climate policy.

Fought for immigrant families

When the first COVID package left out the undocumented community, Alexandria voted against it. Subsequently, thanks to pressure applied by Alexandria and the Hispanic Caucus, the next bill removed the penalty applied to spouses and children of undocumented people. During the Trump era, Alexandria repeatedly used her platform to call for an end to the “Muslim Ban”, family separation, and other cruel policies - traveling to the border in order to expose the devastating conditions inside detention facilities.

Alexandria also introduced the 9/11 Immigrant Worker Freedom Act, which would finally provide a path to citizenship to the 2,000 immigrant workers who worked in clean-up and first responder roles at Ground Zero.

Showed up for our community

Since taking office, Alexandria and her congressional team have helped thousands of constituents with Veterans Affairs, Social Security, immigration visas, and other federal services.They have attended over 800 district events, hosted 37 town halls, and passed legislation in the House to provide nearly $7 million in funding for Community Projects in The Bronx and Queens – including mental health services for a Stand Up to Violence program in Pelham Parkway, capacity building for Chhaya Community Development Corporation in Jackson Heights, a home healthcare training program for Sunnyside Community Services, facilities upgrades for Plaza Del Sol Health Center and Elmhurst Hospital, and development of an offshore wind workforce program at SUNY Maritime in Throggs Neck.

Passed 108 pieces of legislation through the House, 15 of which became law

Alexandria successfully shifted $5 million in funds to treatment for opioid addiction from the DEA; banned funds for the transfer of lethal military equipment to Bolivia; and repealed the Faircloth Amendment in the House, which paves the way for the U.S. to build more public housing for the first time in decades; and supported legislation that secured $6 million for the USPS postal banking pilot program, which will help the 1 in 2 Bronxites who are currently underbanked access basic services like cash checking.

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.