Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, who became the youngest woman elected to Congress Tuesday, said she cannot afford to rent an apartment in Washington, D.C., until her congressional salary kicks in.
Ocasio-Cortez, 29, made national headlines after she defeated 10-term Rep. Joe Crowley in New York's June primary, and will now represent the state’s 14th Congressional District. She told The New York Times that the transition period from now until she starts her job “will be very unusual, because I can’t really take a salary.”
“I have three months without a salary before I’m a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment? Those little things are very real,” Ocasio-Cortez told The New York Times.
She told the paper she saved up before she left her job as a bartender at a New York City restaurant.
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“We’re kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but I’ve really been just kind of squirreling away and then hoping that gets me to January,” she said.
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After the story gained traction, Ocasio-Cortez tweeted about her apartment situation saying she was “working it out.”
Connecticut also elected its first black congresswoman. Jahana Hayes, a schoolteacher and first-time candidate, defeated Republican Manny Santos, garnering 55 percent of the vote. In her victory speech, Hayes paid homage to Shirley Chisholm of New York, who, 50 years ago this month, became the nations first black woman elected to Congress.
“There are many little ways in which our electoral system isn’t ever designed [nor prepared] for working-class people to lead,” she tweeted. “This is one of them [don’t worry by the way – we’re working it out!]”
She will make $174,000 a year as a member of Congress. A one-room bedroom apartment in Washington, D.C., on average, goes for about $2,170 a month, a report by Zumper stated.
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“I have three months without a salary before Im a member of Congress. So, how do I get an apartment? Those little things are very real,” Ocasio-Cortez said to The New York Times this week. “Were kind of just dealing with the logistics of it day by day, but Ive really been just kind of squirreling away and then hoping that gets me to January.”
Ocasio-Cortez told the Times she was able to save money before leaving her restaurant job and planned for time without a paycheck with her partner. But, she isnt being sworn into Congress until early January 2019 — and has to move from New York to D.C. in that time.
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The 29-year-old Democrat garnered national attention in June when she won a primary against 10-term incumbent Rep. Joseph Crowley in one of the biggest upsets in politics this year.
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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez cant afford an apartment in DC, cant really take a salary until January
She will represent New Yorks 14th Congressional district, which covers parts of the Bronx, where she was born, and Queens.
While some may worry about the politician affording her move, she assured fans shell make the big change just fine after all.
There are many little ways in which our electoral system isn’t even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead.
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“There are many little ways in which our electoral system isnt even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted Thursday, “This is one of them (dont worry btw – were working it out!).”