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The youngest person to take office in the U.S. Congress at the age of 29, American politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born on October 13th, 1989, to parents of Puerto Rican descent living in the Bronx, New York City. She spent most of her early young adult life in Yorktown Heights, New York, where she graduated high school in 2007. She went on to study international relations and economics at Boston University, where she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 2011.

After graduation, Ocasio-Cortez moved back to the Bronx to help her mother fight the foreclosure of their home and worked as a bartender and waitress. She also worked for the National Hispanic Institute, an international non-profit organization which is dedicated to assisting future leadership needs of the global Hispanic community—an organization she had already participated in during her high school years.

In 2016, Alexandria took part as an organizer in the presidential campaign of Democratic Party’s candidate, Bernie Sanders, and she traveled around the Midwest, speaking out to the communities in those states affected by the Flint water crisis and the Dakota Access Pipeline. The visits inspired Ocasio-Cortez to work within her own community to effectively run for office and she got recruited by the American political action committee to become a progressive congressional representative.

In April 2017, Alexandria started her campaign, running against Joe Crowley, the Democratic Caucus Chair, and on June 26, 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez became a well-known name across the nation for defeating Crowley—who had had an undisputed ten-term run— by 57.13 % against 42.5 % of the votes in the primary elections. She later won the general elections in November of that same year, defeating Republican Party representative Anthony Pappas, with a staggering 78 % of the votes as opposed to Pappa’s 14 %.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’ win made her the youngest person to enter Congress in the U.S. House of Representatives, and the first female member to be elected from the Democratic Socialists of America party, together with Rashida Tlaib. In 2020, she ran for reelection, as the Serve America Movement nominee, against Republican John Cumming and won. Alexandria, also known as AOC on her social network platforms, in which she is most notably active and constantly engaging with the public, is a strong spokesperson for current pressing issues such as equal access to medical attention for everyone (Medicare), free public universities, workplace democracy and taking down the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (known as ICE.)

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