Compelling Issues

Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez Is Proof Millennials Aren’t Killing Everything

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Yep, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a millennial. And though you may have heard that millennials are killing everything from the music industry to mayonnaise, AOC is a great example that millennials aren’t actually ruining the world, they’re making it better. The activist and politician, who hails from the same Bronx, New York streets that raised Jennifer Lopez, is still “Alex from the Block.” But she’s now walking the blocks of Washington, D.C. as the youngest woman ever (only 29 years old) sworn into Congress. We are excited that she has brought her millennial swagger to D.C. Congress, look out for her!

From Cocktails to Congress

Alexandria warmed many hearts with her testimony about going from working-class beginnings to Washington, D.C.: “This time a year ago, I was bartending while running a long-shot campaign for Congress. That time felt so dark and yet so hopeful at the same time. Our odds were dismal + I was dismissed, but we felt that fighting hard for what’s right – even uphill – was worth it. Keep going.”

Ms. Ocasio-Cortez has had a meteoric rise: she is the first woman of color to organize a successful campaign that bested incumbent Joseph Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district primary race last June. Alexandria, who previously volunteered as a phone-bank caller for Barack Obama‘s 2008 campaign, gives us hope.

Her empowering Twitter and Instagram posts makes us happy-smile right now. Don’t you want that feeling, too?

Love, Life, and Lessons

There’s a lot of love in AOC’s words, and she gives her followers some great teachable moments. It doesn’t matter if you’re one of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s constituents, she could change your life with her energy. Yes, I mean that.

“True love is radical,” she wrote, “because it requires us to see ourselves in all people.”

99 Problems and Finding An Apartment Is One

The Twitterverse appreciated AOC’s confession about lacking funds to get an apartment in Washington, D.C. before receiving her congressional salary last November. The struggle is real.

“[The transition period will be] very unusual, because I can’t really take a salary,” Alexandria, a Boston University graduate with an Economics degree, said to The New York Times. “I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment? Those little things are very real.”

She continued, “We’re kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I’ve really been just kind of squirreling away and then hoping that gets me to January.”

Most millennials can relate to AOC’s struggle, right? Young adults, particularly in NYC, San Francisco, and other famous(ly expensive) cities, deal with crazy-high rents that seemingly never stop rising like summer temperatures. Oh, the agony!

No To Dance-Shaming!

If you are rocking with Alexandria in 2019, then here’s a recent video that will get you seriously excited.

Did the video get you dancing like a Drake song? The history-making millennial was seemingly trying to moonwalk like the late and great Michael Jackson!

We think everyone should refer to AOC by her first name only. If Beyoncé and Janet can do it, why not? Yes, we love the one-name option, especially when Alex is advocating for women. She sent a strong message with her video: dancing women are not scandalous!

“If Republicans thought women dancing in college is scandalous, wait till they find out women dance in Congress, too! 😉,” she wrote on Instagram.

Recently, Republicans “dance-shamed” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez, a self-avowed Democratic socialist, for an old dance video of hers that resurfaced and went viral. But Alexandria responded with only body-positive statements encouraging women to move their bodies. Yeah, she can’t — or won’t — stop her meme-worthy moves!

The Congressional rep’s dance videos are empowering, especially as women speak up with #WhyDidntIReport, fight the gender pay gap, and advocate for other big issues for women.

Sitting Out for Self-Care

Alexandria was honest about prioritizing self-care ahead of the new year. Though some were critical of that decisions, other recognize how important mental health days are and with the work she has ahead of her — taking a quick mental wellness check before diving into what will undoubtedly be a wildly stressful and sometimes toxic environment is her responsibility so she can serve her constituents to the best of her ability.

“I’m taking a few days to take care of myself before what is sure to be an eventful term,” AOC tweeted just before Christmas. “For working people, immigrants, & the poor, self-care is political – not because we want it to be, but bc of the inevitable shaming of someone doing a face mask while financially stressed.”

She continued, “So I’ve decided to take others along with me on IG [Instagram] as I learn what self-care even means and why it’s important.”

Many of us need days to de-stress, and AOC’s self-care social media shoutout is the first step to destigmatizing it. If you want to know why self-care is so important, then check out what Jennifer Guttman, a clinical psychologist based in New York and Connecticut, told The Washington Post. A highlight is that the psychologist mentioned that not taking this time means “[the brain] can’t work as efficiently and effectively as possible.” So basically, screw the haters — taking care of yourself is number-one.

We see a big future for AOC and, if she sticks to her promises, a big future for all of us, as well.