“AOC”, a progressive icon in the American political landscape

PRESIDENTIAL AMERICAN D-16 – On November 3, the Americans will also vote to renew the House of Representatives. Among the 435 deputies campaigning for their re-election, the Latina Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is already, at the age of 31, a leading figure in American political life. Argentinian magazine Anfibia traces his journey from the Bronx to Washington. An article from our special issue America’s Fractures.

In 2007, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez won second prize at the Intel International Science and Technology Fair. At the time, she had not yet completed high school. This science enthusiast had chosen to present the results of the longevity experiments she had conducted in one of New York’s major hospitals.

To reward her, the Lincoln Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) named an asteroid in her honor. It could have been the greatest achievement of his life, but things turned out differently.

Youngest elected to the House of Representatives

There are people who seem born to break records. His was to become, in 2018 [à 29 ans], the youngest female candidate in U.S. history to be elected to the House of Representatives. Two years later, she is one of the most important figures of the new generation of the Democratic Party. [En août dernier], she also took advantage of the Democratic National Convention to talk about the future and the way forward.

You might have bumped into her in New York, behind the Flats Fix bar, near Union Square, not knowing who it was. Because her story is that of a woman who, overnight, stopped preparing cocktails in a Manhattan taco restaurant to take the lead in the most progressive wing of the US Congress.

The most iconic images of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, which are also the first that many of us remember seeing, are arguably those where the 28-year-old watches the television screen of the bar in which she is sits, hand clasped to mouth, eyes wide, unable to cry out for joy upon hearing of his victory. “Can you describe to us how you are feeling?” asks the journalist to Spectrum News. “No, I have no words”, she replies, as if it were the most natural line in the world.

It’s June 2018, and she just won the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th district. But everyone knows that the constituency is largely won by Democrats. Basically, his election to the House of Representatives in the general ballot in November is virtually assured.

A assumed Latin identity

Since then, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has become “AOC” for the almost 330 million inhabitants of the country. Using initials helps to simplify a name that is perhaps a little too long and a little too Latin. It is not that she seeks to hide this fact, far from it. If there is one thing she has promised herself to do, it is never to hide the fact that she is Latina, that her family is Latina and that it is part of her identity.

Even the message she recorded on her professional answering machine is in English and Spanish. She told it to The Intercept :

It is important not to ignore the power of identity. It’s something very powerful. ”

One thing is certain: she does not ignore it. The rest of the story is better known. In January 2019, AOC takes its first steps in Congress. She shares on Instagram her first impressions of Washington, talks about how she is adjusting to her new life and shows off the gift bag she was given on her first day. Since then, she has also appeared regularly on Twitter and Twitch with the poise typical of millennials.

Figures in his effigy

It was at this time that the elected official became one of the icons of democratic progressivism. Her biography and various objects bearing her likeness can be found on the displays of one of the main activist merchandising stores in the American capital, a store that also sells figurines of Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, an icon of the struggle for the gender equality in the United States.

To understand how she got there, however, you have to go back in time, before the evening of June 2018 that saw her win her first victory.

Alex – as his loved ones, team members and campaign staff call him – was born and raised in the Bronx. Fifty-two percent of the people in her riding are Latino or Hispanic. The AOC family is one of them. Her father had family in Puerto Rico, and her island-born mother did not speak English when

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Aldana Vales

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This digital magazine launched in May 2012 publishes long-term reports. “Amphibious” was founded by the Universidad nacional de San Martín, with the support of the Nuevo Periodismo Iberoamericano foundation, created at the initiative of the novelist Gabriel

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