Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, often nicknamed AOC, is a United States Representative from the state of New York. Ocasio-Cortez often finds herself enmeshed in controversy, as she is a part of the progressive “Squad” who push for sweeping economic reform, as well as environmental and social policies that aren’t always popular with Americans. At the same time, AOC has a fan base that defend her ideology. A part of the Millennial generation, Ocasio-Cortez often communicates via Twitter and other social media platforms.
|Celebrated Name:||Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez “AOC”|
|Real Name/Full Name:||Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez|
|Birthdate:||October 13, 1989|
|Birthplace:||The Bronx, NY|
|Height:||5 ft. 4 in.|
|Dating/Boyfriend Name:||Riley Roberts|
|Is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Gay?||No|
|Highest Political Office:||U.S. House of Representatives, 14th Congressional District, NY|
|Colleges Attended:||Boston University|
|Degrees:||Bachelor of Arts, International Relations and Economics|
|Net Worth in 2021:||$200,000|
Biography: Early Life and Family
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born in The Bronx borough of New York City on October 13, 1989. Her parents were Blanca Ocasio-Cortez and Sergio Ocasio-Roman. AOC’s father was of Puerto Rican descent, and her mother immigrated to the United States after being born in Puerto Rico.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ father was an architect before his untimely death. Ms. Ocasio-Cortez’ mother worked cleaning houses, and she also drove a school bus.
Ocasio-Cortez spent the first five years of her life living in the Parkchester neighborhood of The Bronx. When she was six, her family moved to the suburban neighborhood of Parkland Heights. Ocasio-Cortez has one younger brother, Gabriel.
Ocasio-Cortez attended a local public school during her younger years. She would graduate from Yorktown High School in 2007. She earned many accomplishments during her high school years, including a second-place award in the category of microbiology at the International Science and Engineering Fair in 2007. Her research project had to do with the effect of antioxidants on the lifespan of a particular nematode.
During her high school years, AOC was commonly called “Sandy Ocasio.”
She was recognized by the MIT Lincoln Laboratory for her 2007 research project, and the institution named a small asteroid after her. This asteroid is known as 23238 Ocasio-Cortez.
Sandy Ocasio was a part of the National Hispanic Institute’s LDZ (Lorenzo de Zavala) Youth Legislative Session. She would eventually become the Secretary of State for the LDZ group at Boston University. While attending Boston University, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was the recipient of a John F. Lopez Fellowship.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez would enroll in Boston University in the fall of 2007. Unfortunately, her father died of lung cancer during her sophomore year (2008). It was during this time that Ms. Ocasio-Cortez became embroiled in a lengthy legal battle regarding the probate of her father’s estate.
At this time, Ocasio-Cortez say that she learned “first-hand” how court appointed attorneys enriched themselves during the process of probate while families struggled against the bureaucracy of the court system. It took quite some time to settle her father’s estate.
Ocasio-Cortez first entered the world of politics as an intern for Senator Ted Kennedy; she interned for the Senator while she was still in college. She specialized in Kennedy’s foreign affairs and immigration issues. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez relates that because she was the only Spanish-speaking individual in the office, when frantic people would call Kennedy’s office in order to get assistance after a loved one had been picked up by ICE, Ocasio-Cortez was often the person who took those calls. She said, “I was the only Spanish speaker, as basically a kid (of 19 or 20 years old), whenever a frantic call would come into the office because someone is looking for their husband because they have been snatched off the streets by ICE, I was the one that had to pick up that phone. I was the one that had to help that person navigate the system.”
Ocasio-Cortez would graduate from Boston University in 2011 with a Bachelor of Arts; Ms. Ocasio-Cortez possessed a double major – one in Economics and one in International Relations.
AOC may be frequently on social media supporting her agenda, but, when it comes to her personal life, the Representative is typically mum. She lives with her partner, Riley Roberts. Roberts works in the private sector as a web developer. In a lone interview, she related that Roberts “has been supporting her for a long time.”
She has no children as of this writing.
Age, Height and Weight
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is 32 years of age. She is reportedly 5 feet 4 inches in height (some sources have her at 5’3″ or 5’5″). Her weight is an estimated 143 pounds.
AOC has been the target of social media lore in which she has been accused of accumulating a great deal of wealth since her election to Congress. AOC speaks often about her struggle as a bartender and waitress and her mother’s struggle to keep their family home. Because Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is such an outspoken figure, her opponents jumped on this social media rumor that the former-bartender was now a millionaire. However, research shows that Ocasio-Cortez has debt in the form of student loans which lower her net worth.
In total, her net worth is only about $200,000.
Career Outside of Politics
Ocasio-Cortez has often shared that she worked as a bartender after college. She moved back to the Bronx after her 2011 graduation and worked as a bartender and waitress in order to help her mother financially.
At this time, the Ocasio-Cortez family was struggling, and AOC’s family home was near foreclosure.
AOC launched a publishing firm that is no longer in business. The firm was Brook Avenue Press, and the goal of the firm was to publish books that lent a positive light to the neighborhoods of the Bronx borough.
Ocasio-Cortez worked briefly for the National Hispanic Institute.
She also worked as an organizer for the 2016 Bernie Sanders presidential campaign. After the election in November, Ocasio-Cortez began traveling to places where she believed disadvantaged people were being virtually ignored on the public stage. She drive her personal car to Flint, Michigan to visit those affected by the Flint water crisis. She then traveled to North Dakota where she visited the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. At the time, the reservation was a hotbed for protests regarding the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Her visits to Flint and North Dakota drove her to begin working in her own community and would be the impetus for her future in politics. AOC relates that she once believed that no one could get into politics without major donors and financial backing. However, she relates that she saved tips in order to finance her future political campaign.
Career in Politics
After leaving North Dakota in December 2016, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez began planning her own political campaign. In April of 2017, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez was still waiting tables at Flats Fix in New York City’s Union Square.
She challenged Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley of New York; she was the first person to do so since 2004. She has described her campaign as a grassroots type of campaign. She did not take donations from corporations, but she used her own tip money to fund her campaign.
She has said that her campaign posters were inspired by “revolutionary posters and visuals from the past.”
Ms. Ocasio-Cortez and Mr. Crowley had one single debate on June 15 on the political talk show Inside City Hall. However, a formal debate scheduled for three days later never took place – Crowley never showed for the event. However, he sent a former New York City Council member to take his place.
During the primary, AOC received 57.13 percent of the vote, defeating the incumbent who had held the 14th Congressional District seat for ten terms.
AOC garnered a lot of attention from mainstream media outlets such as CNN and The New York Times. Both outlets labeled AOC as more of a rogue candidate that no one believed stood a chance of beating the incumbent politician. The news called the AOC victory “a shocking primary defeat . . .the most significant loss for a Democratic incumbent in more than a decade, and one that will reverberate across the party and the country.”
And reverberate, it did. AOC is a self-proclaimed Democratic Socialist. She is one of two Representatives to do so; her “Squad” colleague Rashida Tlaib also proudly proclaims this title.
AOC would go on to win the general election with a whopping 78 percent of the vote.
She won a second term in 2020. Her Republican opponents in the primary were John Commings and Antoine Tucker.
Aged 29 when she initially took office, AOC is the youngest woman ever to serve in the U.S. Congress. She is currently in her second term; as of yet, no plans for a third term have been announced, but it is likely she will run a third time.
The Green New Deal
Alexandria introduced a sweeping climate change proposal called the “Green New Deal” in 2019. The proposal would call for “meeting 100 percent of the power demand in the United State through clean, renewable, and zero emission energy sources.” AOC wanted to transition away not only from fossil fuels but also nuclear energy.
Under the Green New Deal, all existing buildings would be retrofitted to be energy efficient, and the government would work with farmers to eliminate pollution and the emission of greenhouse gases. However, the proposal would support “family farms.” The transportation system would see a “complete overhaul,” including EV charging stations everywhere. High speed rail would be expanded so that there was no need for travel by plane.
Every American would have a guaranteed job with a “family-sustaining” wage as well as paid leave for medical and family, paid retirement, and paid vacations. All Americans would be entitled to high-quality healthcare.
Stanford University completed a study to determine the feasibility of such a proposal. The university found that reaching the idea of a zero emission energy sector would lead to exorbitant costs for energy; they maintained that nuclear energy should be used as well as methods that capture and store carbon. The university also found that technology isn’t quite ready to foster a society that the Green New Deal proposes. Finally, the Green New Deal would costs trillions of dollars in a nation with nearly $29 trillion in debt.