By Audrey Roche

The newly elected representative of New York’s 14th congressional district, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, is far from your typical candidate. Here are a couple important things to know about her!

  1. She is the youngest House representative to date at age 29.
  2. During the midterm elections, she won the 14th New York house seat by a ridiculously high margin, accounting for 78% of the vote while running against 3 others, according to New York Times.
  3. She grew up as part of the working class, so she can relate to many struggles facing the working class in her district and beyond.
  4. Although it is not typical for new representatives to have a voice in Congress, she is already getting a lot of media coverage and speaking out against certain policies
  5. There has already been a Twitter dispute over her claims of not having enough money to pay for housing in DC during her transition to Congress due to her working class background. Eddie Scarry, a political writer, posted a picture of her coming out of a meeting in a professional outfit. He claimed that she didn’t look like she was financially struggling, because of her nice clothing. As Ocasio-Cortez pointed out, this was misleading and misinformed. What is a newly elected congresswomen meant to wear to meetings if not business attire?
  6.  She is now claiming that she will be paying her interns 15 or more dollars an hour. Very few members of Congress pay their interns for their work, so this is very progressive.
  7. She is not afraid to challenge the way the democratic side of congress is set up. She spoke out against Amazon’s planned tax breaks for moving its headquarters to New York, even though many other Democrats support it.
  8. Her reputation is not perfect. She as already made some misguided claims about how cutting Pentagon spending may be able to pay for free healthcare in America.
  9. She is a big supporter of getting younger people to run for Congress.

Even if you might not agree with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s policies, I think everyone can agree she has at least one thing right. She is not afraid to challenge the way things are running, even in her own party. The only way to make America better is through change, and the way to do that is to fiercely uphold and speak your own beliefs. If Ocasio-Cortez’s is good at one thing, it is that. She is definitely someone to keep an eye on throughout her time in Congress.