This week, Kelley Richey and Julia Avery discuss Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the differences between Free Market System and Capitalism, and the importance of upholding personal values.
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An Inspiration – Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (AOC) serves as the Representative for New York’s 14th congressional district. She took office at age 29 and is the youngest woman to ever serve in Congress.
AOC grew up in the Bronx, New York with both parents of Puerto Rican descent. During her sophmore year at Boston University, her father died of lung cancer. After graduating with a degree in International Relations and Economics, she moved back home in the Bronx to help her mom.
In 2011, AOC joined the non profit, National Hispanic Institute as a Social Entrepreneur. She also founded the now defunct, children’s book publishing company, “Brook Avenue Press.” Just 22 at the time, she started the company through a city funded incubator in the Bronx. The company was aimed at “helping develop and identify stories and literature in urban areas” for children.
While balancing work and family, AOC became a member of the Democratic Socialists of America (DSA). In addition, she worked as an organizer for Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Presidential campaign. Through DSA, AOC fights for reform that will strengthen the working class, supports Medicare for all, the Green New Deal, and wants to abolish ICE.
Alexandria was featured in the Netflix documentary called “Knock Down the House”. A powerful documentary about 4 female democrats running for office who were not career politicians. On June 26, 2018, Ocasio-Cortez won the vote over Joe Crowley by almost 15 percentage points. “Time“ called her victory “the biggest upset of the 2018 elections so far.”
Demonstration of Leadership
It’s hard to garner passion for the working class from people who have never been there or truly witnessed it first hand. AOC has fought the odds her whole life and worked her ass off. Her hardships became fuel for passion to make the right changes and stay on path. Because of her experiences, she knows what it is like to just “make it by.” She knows that you can be smart but some make out better simply because they have better opportunities than others.
Bernie Sanders has been a source of AOC’s inspiration. She was inspired by his refusal to accept big corporation money and that he stands up for the working class. People are starting to realize that the GrassRoots movement is the way to go. It is about the voice of the people.
Knows Who’s The Boss
Leaders should understand that they are there for the people. Being a leader doesn’t mean you have unlimited power. You are to be working FOR the people, not the other way around. It appears that government officials often forget this.
Pushes for what is “Right” versus “Normal”
On AOC’s first day of orientation, she participated in a protest outside of Nancy Pelosi’s office. She is not bound by party. She is there to stand for what is right regardless of what is popular among her own party. We don’t see that alot. There are so many conformers that perpetuate the problems. Real leaders push boundaries for what is “right”, not for what is “normal.”
Social Media Presence
While AOC’s social media game is strong, she recently stated that “Social media poses a public health risk to everybody” in an April 2019 interview. She further stated, “I think it has effects on everybody,” she said. “Increased isolation, depression, anxiety, addiction, escapism.”
“I’ve started to kind of impose little rules on myself,” she added. “Like every once in a while, you’ll see me hop on Twitter on the weekends, but for the most part, I take consumption of content — when it comes to consumption and reading — I take the weekends off.”
Kelley’s Top 4 AOC Posts
Add This to Your Reading List
A book that you should add to your reading list is “The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life.” It is written by Anu Partanen. A Finnish journalist, now a naturalized American citizen, asking Americans to draw on elements of the Nordic way of life to nurture a fairer, happier, more secure, and less stressful society for themselves and their children.
Partanen demonstrates how Finland has reached a good economy and is seen as a good model. We tend to think of all the Nordic countries as socialist countries and dependent on their governments. It is important to note that she does not support socialism. That is to say, she states what they have in place and explains why it is better than what we have in the U.S.
America’s “Value on the Family”
America likes to act as if it somehow values family more than other countries. However, the evidence shows that is contrary. So many love to fight over the rights and protection of the fetus. But, as soon as it is born, their tune changes. America’s current value (or lack thereof) of human life and women’s choice over their bodies often eerily resembles the dystopian novel, “The Handmaid’s Tale.”
American government has dropped the ball when it comes to removing the fight out of what should be basic rights. This is evident in the country’s lack of maternity/paternity leave, childcare, basic healthcare, and liveable wages.
If you want to have bragging rights as a country, why not invest in your own people?
Misinformation in the Media
It is getting increasingly difficult to find a single, reliable source for news. Especially in this day and age where Social Media dominates people’s attention; a constant source of misinformation.
The news media frequently skews facts to fit narratives that align with their agenda. In doing so, they have a huge impact on people’s opinions.
It is important to form opinions on fact rather than what you are told to believe. To fight the urge to be impressionable and a follower. Do your research and never accept things at face value. Look inside, identify your core values, and actively work to make decisions based off of them. What do you want your legacy to be? In short, don’t wait until something happens directly to you to take action.