“We’re not just going to talk about why that’s important, we’re going to talk about how we actually organize to resist these changes.”
That was Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said at a town hall meeting Saturday in regards to proposed education cuts.
In two years, she has gone from obscurity to the national face of the political left.
She has amassed influence among progressives through sweeping proposals like the Green New Deal and fiery House speeches that go viral.
Now, she’s facing her first-ever reelection test against a Democratic primary challenger who says the congresswoman cares more about celebrity than her district in the Bronx and Queens.
“We need better leadership," Michelle Caruso-Cabrera said recently. "We need someone who doesn't throw away 25,000 jobs. She voted against health care. She voted against jobs. She’s against jobs. We can’t have someone who’s against jobs.”
Caruso-Cabrera was referring to Ocasio-Cortez’s successful advocacy against Amazon’s planned expansion in Queens.
The former TV journalist was criticizing the congresswoman for being the sole Democrat to vote against a coronavirus relief package in April.
Ocasio-Cortez responded at a recent BronxNet debate.
“The reason I opposed PPP is because it is structured to benefit Wall Street, the wealthy and the rich," she said. "And it is not structured in a way to optimize outcomes for small businesses.”
Toppling Ocasio-Cortez would be a tough feat. She’s a fundraising powerhouse with $3.5 million in her campaign coffers.
She is also one of Bernie Sanders’ highest-profile surrogates and co-chairs his joint climate change task force with Joe Biden.
Her campaign didn’t make her available for an interview.
Caruso-Cabrera’s lawyers took away one Ocasio-Cortez advantage when they got her booted from the Working Families Party line.
The congresswoman fell short in gathering the minimum 15 qualifying signatures.
The Working Families Party says it still backs her for reelection in the 14th District.
Also on the Democratic ballot are community leader Badrun Khan who says the times call for “universal basic income, UBI" and chess champion Sam Sloan, who says Ocasio-Cortez is too radical.
The Republican race to unseat Ocasio-Cortez has winnowed down to John Cummings, a retired NYPD officer.
The primaries are June 23.