Alexandria 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.”
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“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.
Ocasio-Cortez, who won New Yorks 14th Congressional District, told the Times that she was working on her move to D.C. but added that the situation she was in was very unusual, because I cant really take a salary. 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.
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.”
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“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!]”
There are many little ways in which our electoral system isnt even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead. This is one of them (dont worry btw – were working it out!), she wrote.
She will make $174,000 a year as a member of Congress, according to NBC Washington. 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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The 2018 midterms will be remembered as an election of firsts that swept in a class of politicians who better represent the diversity of the country than any before it.
That being said, other twentysomethings (and early thirtysomethings, ahem) need not feel bad about her impressive resume, because she is truly just like the rest of us.
More than 200 of the candidates running in congressional and statewide races on Tuesday were black, Latino, Asian American, Native American, LGBTQ or intersectional. More than 80 of those candidates won their elections.
And diversity matters, said Christina Greer, associate professor of political science at Fordham University. Women are the ones that bring up these womens issues. Similarly with people of color, its important having someone at the table to say, Hey, have you thought about how your policy position is going to affect other communities?
An increasingly diverse Congress also affects how kids see their place in government and this country, Greer said. Seeing people who are from families of immigrants, where English is not their first language, where people whose grandfathers are not members of Congress – its helpful for people to see that they, too, can run for office and get elected, that they belong.
Like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, many Americans cant afford an apartment when they move for work
Ayanna Pressley, 44, who was endorsed by former President Barack Obama, became the first black congresswoman elected in Massachusetts after running unopposed in the states 7th Congressional District. As she told her supporters Tuesday night: “None of us ran to make history. We ran to make change … and change is on the way.
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.
The 2018 elections marked the first time voters went to the polls nationwide since Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election. The Womens March that brought out millions of female protesters the day after President Donald Trumps inauguration also fueled so-called Indivisible groups, an anti-Trump resistance, across the nation. Those Indivisible groups supported a new wave of female candidates.
Two races that could elect the first Korean American to Congress in two decades were too close to call as of Thursday morning. In New Jerseys 3rd Congressional District, Republican Rep. Tom MacArthur led Democratic challenger Andy Kim by 1 percentage point.
In Californias 39th Congressional District, Republican Young Kim led Democrat Gil Cisneros by fewer than 3 percentage points in a race that as of Thursday morning had not been called. Kim would be the first Korean-American woman elected to Congress.
Veronica Escobar and Sylvia Garcia made history on Tuesday by becoming the first Latinas to be elected to represent Texas in the House.
New Yorks Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a first-time candidate of Puerto Rican heritage, will, at 29, become the Houses youngest member ever.
One major takeaway from the 2018 midterm elections: Women win
Michelle Luján Grisham made a first in New Mexico, where she was elected as the states first Latina Democratic governor.
More than 600 out candidates in races that ranged from local office to senator ran this year. Of those, nearly 400 of them won their primary, according to the Victory Institute, which tracks LGBTQ political hopefuls. Of the 400, more than 20 ran for the House, the Senate or a governors seat, and of those 20, 10 won.
Jared Polis of Colorado is set to become the first openly gay man elected governor in the U.S. Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon — an out bisexual and the first openly LGBTQ person elected governor in the country — won her re-election.
In the House, seven of the 20 openly LGBTQ candidates won, 12 lost and one race is still too close to call. Democrat Sharice Davids made history by becoming the first openly LGBTQ Kansan elected to Congress. Davids and New Mexicos Debra Haaland are the first two Native American women elected to Congress.