Twenty-nine-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made history in the US midterm elections, becoming the youngest woman elected to Congress.
Cortez has never before held office, and in the June primary had defeated 10-term Congressman Joseph Crowley in the House of Representatives.
She describes herself as an educator, organiser and working-class New Yorker who has worked with expectant mothers, waited tables and led classrooms. She was also a volunteer in Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Presidential campaign. Born to a mother from Puerto Rico and a father from South Bronx, she says she was raised in a place where one’s zip code determines your destiny. “Going into politics wasn’t in the plan. But after 20 years of the same representation, we have to ask: who has New York been changing for?” she asks in a promotional video for her campaign.
Cortez has promised to represent working families and work towards lowering rent, increasing incomes and ensuring healthcare is accessible to more people.