Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez in her own words
Sarrera gisa, ikus ondokoa: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez DTM-ko programarekin
Elkarrizketa: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, In Her Own Words
In an extensive interview, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez discusses the nuts and bolts of her recent victory, why centrist Democrats are vulnerable to left-wing challengers, voter disenfranchisement, the political status of Puerto Rico, and much more.
(…)… many journalists were asking the same exact questions. Multiple reporters at Univision that I had sat down with asked me, “How do you define yourself?” That was the first time that a reporter, especially one at a TV network, asked me that question.
What was your answer?
I said, “I’m an educator, I’m an organizer, and I am an unapologetic champion for working families.” The way that I think of myself is as an organizer. No other network allowed me to tell that story, and that’s fine. Honestly, it’s good. It’s a good thing if the political establishment wants to dismiss my win for superficial reasons. If someone is going to say that my win is due to demographic reasons — frankly, I think it’s a form of intellectual laziness, but let that happen.
Let them not learn the lessons, because the people, the progressive movement, the movement for working families, the movement for economic, social, and racial justice, the movement to empower working-class people, the movement for Puerto Rico, the movement for Ferguson, the movement for criminal justice reform — those people are paying attention. Those people are saying, “How did she actually win?”
You’re asking me this question. DSA wants to know this question. They authentically want to know, because these are the communities that we built a coalition of.
DSA played a very important role, but so did Black Lives Matter of Greater New York, so did Justice Democrats, so did a lot of labor and tenant organizers, Muslim community organizers, young Jewish organizations. We were very deliberate about building a coalition of people that were on the forefront of activism in the progressive movement.
I could not have won without the support of DSA, but our success isn’t entirely thanks to one individual group. If there was, it would probably be Justice Democrats or Brand New Congress, because they’re the ones that convinced me to run in the first place. I would not have chosen to run if they hadn’t nudged me, but our electoral organizing was successful because we built a coalition.
There was this incredibly powerful moment in your televised debate with Crowley when he pledged to support you in the general election if you won the primary. Then he tried to set a trap by asking if you would do the same if he won. Your response was that you’d have to go back to the organized people who backed you, groups like DSA, and ask them — that you couldn’t make that decision on your own.
My candidacy is a movement candidacy. It operates in a very unusual way, because when I first started this race, I thought about how people just do this for themselves. I still can’t believe that someone will wake up and say, “I want to be the congressman or a senator.” They organize their entire campaign around that person’s individual identity. They’ll say, “I’m the best person for this job,” and then they literally try to organize thousands of people around the rallying cry of, “I’m awesome.”
For me, that’s way too much pressure. And I don’t think that that’s what resonates with people. Even when you look at how people rallied around Barack Obama — regardless of how you feel about his politics, it wasn’t just him, it was what he represented to so many people. For me, on that stage, I knew that I represented a movement — a movement that operated with input.
I got a lot of heat from the establishment afterwards, but the only people that were upset about that [comment] were people that already work for the Democratic Party. I got a lot of respect from voters for that. I went to the bodega a week or two after the debate, and my cousin was there with some friends. They watched the debate, and everyone was like, “That was gangster.”
I’ve never seen anything like it.
There is this illusion among Democratic incumbents that New Yorkers love them, that New Yorkers love the Democratic establishment.
I think people start demanding that the establishment change course, when we really need to replace the establishment and be the ones who change the course ourselves.
My opponent, 99 percent of his financing came from corporations, lobbyists, and big-money donations. Less than 1 percent came from small-dollar donations. I had the flip. If you have an incumbent that continues to be overwhelmingly financed by corporations and corporate money, who is saying the same things that they were saying in September 2016, you should be concerned.
If the Trump presidency has not jolted a person into changing their fundamental approach, then they’re not going to change. I do think some folks have. I’m not saying, “burn the whole thing to the ground,” because I do think that there are legitimately some folks that are having a change of heart.
To be honest, this is what Crowley did as well. I received his mailer — he didn’t take me off his mailing list, so I have ten of these mailers in my home with my name on them, and a lot of them have Trump’s face on them. (…)
Puerto Ricoz hitz bi
Puerto Rico, estatu libre asoziatua? Ibarretxe-ren paradigma. Mandanga-ren azken helburua.
Baskongaden konfederazioa Espainiarekin?
Sarrera gisa, ikus ondokoak:
Segida, aurreko elkarrizketan:
Your victory makes me more confident than ever that the Left will one day, in the maybe medium term, be the political majority in this country. But so many of our political institutions are so radically undemocratic, and it seems very likely to me that a conservative minority in the coming years will use institutions like the Supreme Court, like the Senate, to block the popular will.
Political scientist David Faris recently published a book laying out a program of measures that could constitutionally democratize the American system that includes expanding the number of seats on the Supreme Court, and granting Washington DC and Puerto Rico statehood. The future of Puerto Rico should be decided by the people of Puerto Rico, but I would welcome those two Senate seats. And passing federal legislation that would require states to make it easier rather than harder to vote. Do you think that it’s time to begin a discussion about more radical, constitutional measures to democratize the system?
Absolutely. It’s unfortunate what is being called radical nowadays. Enfranchising Americans that already have the constitutional right to vote — radical? Like, really? This is where we’re at? But it is where we’re at. I’m entirely supportive of it. Right now, if you have a deadline for voter registration in a state like mine, that is an artifice. Because with our technology, there’s no reason that that should be the case.
For me, as a Puerto Rican woman, I’m looking towards my elders and trying to have an authentic conversation on the status of Puerto Rico. The very fact that we have literally millions of people who are American citizens that to this day are disenfranchised and denied the right to vote in presidential elections is so foundationally wrong — one of the most premier injustices in our democracy today.
It’s not just Puerto Rico. This is the US Virgin Islands, Guam, every United States territory — which are their colony — of the United States. Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States. The fact that you can be born in the United States as an American citizen and denied the right to vote and denied federal representation — that’s why four thousand people died in Puerto Rico.
I’m not making a stance on statehood, but I guarantee you that if Puerto Rico had votes in a presidential election, if they did have two senators, if they did have representation, four thousand people would not have died. I guarantee you. It’s gross and it’s cynical, but it’s true. If they’re independent, perhaps four thousand people wouldn’t have died. But the fundamental political status of Puerto Ricans and people who are colonized by the United States makes them second-class citizens. It’s not radical to make all US citizens full persons in the eyes of the law. (…)
Ba ote daukate inongo parekorik Puerto Rico-k eta Baskongadek?
Zein, Ibarretxe jauna?
Zein, Arnaldo jauna?
“El duet de mots estat propi evitava de parlar, clarament, d’independència i en substituïa, de fet, la paraula, mentre que l’autodeterminació era reemplaçada per la poètica expressió dret a decidir. Ara hem recuperat el nom de cada cosa i no hi valen, doncs, més subterfugis per embolcallar amb mots equívocs la nostra aspiració col·lectiva. El llenguatge, les paraules, mai no són gratuïtes i constitueixen, en canvi, un factor clau en tot procés emancipador, tant per als propis nacionals, com per a l’estat del qual hom vol separar-se, com per a la comunitat internacional.” (Carod- Rovira, Acte de terminació)