|Profession/Career:||U.S. Representative (politician)|
|YouTube Channel:||Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC)|
|Major/Degree:||Economics and International Relations|
|Full Name:||Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez|
|Date of Birth:||October 13, 1989|
|Place of Birth:||The Bronx, New York|
Who is AOC?
“AOC” is a common nickname for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a politician who serves as a representative in the United States Congress. She was first elected in 2018 to represent New York’s 14th congressional district, which includes parts of the Bronx and Queens in New York City.
Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Party and is associated with the party’s progressive wing. She is also a member of the informal group known as “The Squad,” which consists of herself and other female progressive members of Congress.
Ocasio-Cortez is known for her use of social media to communicate with constituents and the public. She has been involved in a number of policy issues, including healthcare, climate change, and income inequality. Some of her best-known policy proposals include the Green New Deal, a plan to address climate change and economic inequality, and Medicare for All, a plan for universal health care.
AOC’s Net Worth
AOC’s net worth is estimated to be around $200,000.
Prior to her career in politics, she worked in various roles, but these were not substantial sources of wealth.
Early Career: After graduating from Boston University, AOC worked for Senator Ted Kennedy’s office, where she dealt with immigration issues. This would have been a salaried position, but not a particularly high-paying one.
Post-College and Pre-Congress: After returning to the Bronx, AOC worked as a bartender and waitress to help support her family following the death of her father. Again, while this provided income, it’s not a typically high-paying job and is unlikely to have contributed significantly to her overall net worth.
Congressional Career: AOC’s primary source of income since 2018 has been her salary as a U.S. Representative. The annual salary for a member of the U.S. House of Representatives is $174,000. As of 2022, she would have netted a total income of $870,000. Much of this has been used to fund her lifestyle for those five years in Washington, DC, which is notorious for having a high cost of living.
Book Deal: In 2021, it was reported that AOC had signed a book deal, which could potentially provide a significant source of income, depending on the terms of the deal. The details, however, are not publicly available.
Her time in Congress, starting from 2018, is where the majority of her income has come from. It’s also important to note that AOC is known for her advocacy for economic equality and has spoken about her own financial struggles, indicating that she is not personally wealthy. She still has student debt to the tune of around $17,000 left. Her monthly payment on it is roughly $100-$200.
AOC’s Early Life and Childhood
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was born on October 13, 1989, in the Bronx, New York City. Her father, Sergio Ocasio, was an architect of Puerto Rican descent, and her mother, Blanca Ocasio-Cortez (née Cortez), is also of Puerto Rican heritage and worked as a house cleaner and bus driver, among other jobs.
Ocasio-Cortez has often described growing up in a working-class family and the financial struggles they faced. When she was about five years old, her family moved to Yorktown Heights, a suburb in Westchester County, for the quality of the school district. Despite this move, she continued to spend much of her time in the Bronx with her extended family.
Ocasio-Cortez was academically ambitious from a young age. She attended Yorktown High School, where she won second place in the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair with a microbiology research project on the effect of antioxidants on the lifespan of the nematode C. elegans. As a result of her performance, the International Astronomical Union named a small asteroid after her: 23238 Ocasio-Cortez.
After high school, she went on to attend Boston University. While in college, she interned for U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, particularly working on immigration casework. She graduated cum laude from Boston University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and International Relations.
Tragically, her father Sergio died of lung cancer in 2008, during her second year at Boston University. His death led to a long probate process and a foreclosed home, deeply impacting Ocasio-Cortez and shaping her political perspective on issues like healthcare and housing.
After college, she moved back to the Bronx and worked various jobs, such as a bartender and a waitress, to help her mother fight foreclosure of their home. It was during this period that she became more involved in community organizing and activism, setting the stage for her eventual political career.
AOC’s Most Well-Known Initiatives
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has introduced several bills and resolutions in the U.S. House of Representatives. However, the process of passing legislation in the U.S. Congress can be slow and complex, and many of her proposals, particularly the more ambitious and transformative ones, have yet to be passed into law.
Here are two of her most well-known legislative initiatives:
The Green New Deal: This is perhaps the most famous piece of legislation associated with AOC. Introduced as a resolution, not a bill, in February 2019, the Green New Deal is a broad and ambitious set of goals and projects aimed at addressing climate change and economic inequality. It calls for a massive investment in green jobs and infrastructure, with the goal of making the U.S. economy carbon-neutral within a decade. However, as of April 2023, the Green New Deal has not been passed into law.
Just Society Package: In September 2019, AOC introduced a package of six bills collectively known as the Just Society package. The bills aim to combat income inequality and ensure access to safe and affordable housing, among other things.
Awards and Accolades
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has received some recognition for her impact in politics and advocacy work. Here are some of the notable recognitions:
In 2020, she was included in the Time 100, Time magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world.
In 2021, she received the “Spotlight Award” at the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA) annual Noche de Gala.
She has been featured in several publications as an influential figure in American politics, including being on the cover of Time magazine in April 2019.
As a prominent progressive figure in American politics, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been involved in a number of controversies. Some of these include:
Green New Deal: The Green New Deal, a resolution introduced by AOC and Senator Ed Markey in 2019, is a sweeping plan to address climate change and economic inequality. While the proposal has been praised by environmentalists and progressive activists, it has also drawn significant criticism from conservatives and even some moderate Democrats. Critics argue that it is unrealistic, overly expensive, and could lead to job losses in certain industries.
Comments on Israel: AOC has faced controversy over her comments on Israel. She has been critical of the Israeli government’s treatment of Palestinians and has expressed support for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement, which seeks to pressure Israel to change its policies toward Palestinians. These stances have led to accusations of anti-Semitism, which she has denied.
Use of Social Media: AOC is known for her effective use of social media, but she has also faced criticism for her online behavior. For example, she was sued for blocking people on Twitter, with critics arguing that doing so violated the First Amendment (this echoes a similar lawsuit that President Donald Trump faced). She has since unblocked those individuals.
Misstatements: Like many politicians, AOC has been accused of making misstatements or oversimplifications about complex issues. For example, she faced backlash for incorrectly stating that the Pentagon could fund universal healthcare with the amount of accounting errors it had made.
The Squad: AOC is a member of “The Squad,” a group of progressive congresswomen that includes Ilhan Omar, Rashida Tlaib, and Ayanna Pressley. The group has been a frequent target of criticism from conservatives and has been involved in public disputes with more moderate Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.
It’s important to note that controversy can often come with the territory for politicians, especially those who, like AOC, are outspoken and pushing for significant changes. Many of the issues that she has faced controversy over are also the issues that she is most passionate about addressing.
AOC’s Business Ventures and Philanthropy
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has been primarily focused on her career in politics and has not been widely reported as having any major business ventures. She has, however, used her platform for philanthropic efforts, especially in response to immediate needs in her district and across the country.
COVID-19 Relief Efforts: During the COVID-19 pandemic, AOC was active in raising funds for constituents in need and for organizations providing relief services. In April 2020, she raised over $300,000 in one day through an online fundraising effort. The money was split among several organizations providing food and financial assistance in New York City.
Texas Relief Efforts: In response to the severe winter storm that hit Texas in February 2021, AOC organized an effort to raise funds for relief services. She raised over $4 million in just a few days, which was distributed to several non-profits providing food, shelter, and other forms of assistance to Texans affected by the storm.
T-shirt Sales for Charity: AOC has also used sales of merchandise for fundraising. For instance, proceeds from sales of “Green New Deal” T-shirts on her campaign website go toward supporting her campaign and also donating a “significant portion” to twelve different organizations focused on environmental justice.
What Luxury Items Has AOC Been Known to Spend Money On?
Like most people, she makes personal purchases and has been seen wearing designer clothes and accessories on occasion. It’s important to note, however, that items worn by politicians, especially during public appearances or photo shoots, are often borrowed or gifted.
One instance that drew attention was in 2020 when AOC appeared on the cover of Vanity Fair wearing outfits that reportedly included designer pieces. Critics claimed this was inconsistent with her stance on wealth and economic inequality. AOC responded by saying the clothes were borrowed, as is standard for magazine photo shoots, and not purchased by her.
Another occasion was when she was photographed wearing a suit estimated to be worth over $1,000. The controversy was similar to the Vanity Fair instance, with critics claiming a contradiction between her wardrobe and her political stance. It’s common, however, for politicians of all stripes to wear expensive suits and clothing in their professional roles.
In general, these instances have been more about perception and criticism from political opponents than about AOC’s personal spending habits.
AOC Twitch Channel
In 2020, AOC joined Twitch and streamed herself playing Among Us with popular Twitchers such as Pokimane. The stream became part of the top five highest concurrent viewer count streams at the time with 435,000 concurrent viewers.
Since then AOC has streamed a few times. In July 2023, AOC returned to the streaming world by playing with several other popular Twitchers again including Pokimane, to play the popular problem-solving game, Pico Park.
Inspirational Quotes by AOC
“I can’t name a single issue with roots in race that doesn’t have economic implications, and I cannot think of a single economic issue that doesn’t have racial implications. The idea that we have to separate them out and choose one is a con.”
“Our planet is going to hit disaster if we don’t turn this ship around and so it’s basically like, there’s a scientific consensus that the lives of children are going to be very difficult. And it does lead young people to have a legitimate question: Is it okay to still have children?”
“You don’t have to be perfect, but you do have to be 100% committed.”
“Change takes courage.”
“We can be whatever we have the courage to see.”
“I think that politically, this upper middle class is probably more moderate, but that upper middle class doesn’t exist anymore in America, and thanks to the continued deregulation of Wall Street, thanks to the continued gutting of working- and middle-class people, we need stronger champions.”
“In a modern, moral, and wealthy society, no person in America should be too poor to live.”