Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez warms hearts once again with touching tribute to her mother on Instagram

AFP news agency / YouTube Alexandria Ocasio Cortez sworn in as 1546798327.jpg...
AFP news agency / YouTube

If anyone is warming hearts lately, it’s newly elected Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, where she represents the 14th District, including Queens and the Bronx. The self-identified Democratic socialist has no problem defending her peers, promising to pay her interns $15 an hour, or asking for Instant Pot recipes on Instagram (a true millennial!).

She’s also openly shared her background; growing up working-class and with a single mother, Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t hide the fact that her mother worked multiple jobs, including cleaning and driving school buses, and that Ocasio-Cortez herself worked as a waitress and bartender as she ran for office.

People from historically low-income, or even working-class, backgrounds rarely get positive representation in the media, much less active roles in the government. A “bootstraps” rhetoric often accompanies these success stories, but Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t take that narrative bait. Instead, she uses her background to illustrate the reality of many, many Americans. In fact, ending income inequality is a major platform she ran on.

While her life experiences make her a relative rarity in the House of Representatives, it’s very much the norm in the United States. In a particularly touching Instagram post, she elaborates on her background, and specifically thanks her mother, who accompanied her to her swearing-in ceremony.

This is the post:

View this post on Instagram

What can I possibly say except thank you? So many people sacrificed so much for this to happen – my mother most of all. . My mamá was born + raised in Puerto Rico. She practically raised her siblings in poverty while her own mother worked nonstop to provide food and shelter. She met my father, a Bronx boy visiting isla family, at a young age. They married + moved to NYC – she didn’t even speak English. My parents started from scratch: new languages, new life, new everything. Then came me, and they moved to start over again so I could have an education. Mami mopped floors, drove school buses, + answered phones. She did whatever she needed to do, for me. When my father died, she was left a single mother of 2, and again she had to start over. After he passed we almost lost our home, so we sold it and started over. & over. & over. . It wasn’t long ago that we felt our lives were over; that there were only so many do-overs until it was just too late, or too much to take, or we were too spiritually spent. I was scrubbing tables + scooping candle wax after restaurant shifts & falling asleep on the subway ride home. I once got pickpocketed, & everything I earned that day was stolen. That day I locked myself in a room and cried deep: I had nothing left to give, or to be. And that’s when I started over. I honestly thought as a 28 year old waitress I was too late; that the train of my fulfilled potential had left the station. . This week I was sworn in as the youngest woman in American history to serve in the United States Congress. I hope that record is broken again soon. As I raised my hand for the oath, my mother held the holy book & looked into @SpeakerPelosi’s eyes. Afterwards, the Speaker said to her “you must be so proud,” and my mother began to cry. . It was not long ago that our family’s hope was so dim it was barely an ember. Darkness taught me transformation cannot solely be an individual pursuit,but also a community trust. We must lean on others to strive on our own. . Thank you all. Whether it was late nights, hard days, pocket change, emotional investment, hard & soft skills, door knocking in the heat or petitioning in the bitter cold – we did this together.

A post shared by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@ocasio2018) on

The caption is as follows:

“What can I possibly say except thank you? So many people sacrificed so much for this to happen – my mother most of all.
.
My mamá was born + raised in Puerto Rico. She practically raised her siblings in poverty while her own mother worked nonstop to provide food and shelter. She met my father, a Bronx boy visiting isla family, at a young age. They married + moved to NYC – she didn’t even speak English. My parents started from scratch: new languages, new life, new everything. Then came me, and they moved to start over again so I could have an education. Mami mopped floors, drove school buses, + answered phones. She did whatever she needed to do, for me. When my father died, she was left a single mother of 2, and again she had to start over. After he passed we almost lost our home, so we sold it and started over. & over. & over.
.
It wasn’t long ago that we felt our lives were over; that there were only so many do-overs until it was just too late, or too much to take, or we were too spiritually spent. I was scrubbing tables + scooping candle wax after restaurant shifts & falling asleep on the subway ride home. I once got pickpocketed, & everything I earned that day was stolen. That day I locked myself in a room and cried deep: I had nothing left to give, or to be. And that’s when I started over. I honestly thought as a 28 year old waitress I was too late; that the train of my fulfilled potential had left the station.
.
This week I was sworn in as the youngest woman in American history to serve in the United States Congress. I hope that record is broken again soon. As I raised my hand for the oath, my mother held the holy book & looked into @SpeakerPelosi’s eyes. Afterwards, the Speaker said to her “you must be so proud,” and my mother began to cry.
.
It was not long ago that our family’s hope was so dim it was barely an ember. Darkness taught me transformation cannot solely be an individual pursuit,but also a community trust. We must lean on others to strive on our own.
.
Thank you all. Whether it was late nights, hard days, pocket change, emotional investment, hard & soft skills, door knocking in the heat or petitioning in the bitter cold – we did this together.”

There is something uniquely refreshing about Ocasio-Cortez’s social media presence. The authenticity she brings to platforms like Instagram and Twitter makes her feel infinitely more accessible and relatable, and it doesn’t end when you close the apps. Is this authenticity exactly what the right is so afraid of?

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