Who is the AOC? Learn more about Democrat Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

With the midterm elections on the horizon, Americans will soon be voting to elect members of Congress.

Members of the US House of Representatives are elected for two-year terms, meaning all 435 seats are up for grabs in this year’s midterm elections. The 2022 midterm elections will be held on November 8, 2022 and there are plenty of house races to watch.

With the midterms approaching, it might be time to brush up on your knowledge of incumbent members of Congress, especially those making headlines. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is one such representative, having been elected with one of the the biggest upheavals mid-terms 2018.

Who is the AOC?

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a United States Congresswoman, representing New York’s 14th congressional district since 2019. Her district includes parts of Queens and the Bronx, where she was born.

Ocasio-Cortez, who is Puerto Rican, is the youngest woman and Latina to serve in Congress. Now 32, Ocasio-Cortez took office at the age of 29. It is often referred to by its initials, AOC. Before taking office, Ocasio-Cortez was a waitress and bartender and worked as a volunteer organizer for Bernie Sanders in 2016.

She won the general election in 2018 with more than 78% of the votes, but his biggest victory was ousting incumbent Joe Crowley in the Deep Blue District Democratic primaries. Crowley had been the representative for the 14th congressional district since 1999 and was a member of the House leadership at the time.

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Why is AOC known?

Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described democratic socialist, is known for her progressive views on health care, income inequality, immigration and the fight against climate change.

It supports a single-payer health care system and criminal justice reform which ends “the oversurveillance and oversurveillance of black and brown communities, and to re-imagine public safety,” its official website says. She is also a supporter of gun reform, having co-sponsored and voted for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act.

Ocasio-Cortez is perhaps best known for her work on the Resolution of the Green New Deal, which she presented with Massachusetts Senator Ed Markey. The Green New Deal sets out a decade of action to fight climate change by changing infrastructure, reducing pollution, and fighting racial and economic injustice.

Ocasio-Cortez and former senator John Kerry (now the president’s special climate envoy) co-chair the Climate Change Unit Task Force.

Ocasio-Cortez is a member of “The Squad,” a group of progressive members of Congress. The first four were women of color elected to Congress in 2018: Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib from Michigan. New York Rep. Jamaal Bowman and Missouri Rep. Cori Bush, both elected in 2020, are now also referred to as members of “The Squad.” The group has has made headlines for the past four years for progressive action in Congress and has been widely publicized racist and islamophobic comments directed at them.

In 2019, former President Donald Trump told representatives of “return” to their country. Three of the “Squad” representatives were born in the United States and Omar, a naturalized American citizen, came to the United States as a Somali refugee more than two decades ago.

Early 2021, an edited photo broadcast on social media depicted “The Squad” apparently wearing swastikas on their robes and masks. USA TODAY determined that the image was an edited version of a published photo of the six representatives.

Ocasio-Cortez faced further attacks from Republican congressmen. Florida Rep Ted Yoho faced Ocasio-Cortez in July 2020, calling her “disgusting” among others. In November 2021, the Chamber censored Representative Paul Gosar for posting a video edited to depict him killing Ocasio-Cortez.

“Others may see someone admired, but my everyday experience here is of someone looked down upon,” Ocasio-Cortez told GQ in September 2022.

Besides her legislative work, Ocasio-Cortez is one of the most well-known representatives. In 2020, CNN reported that she had the most Twitter followers of any member of the House with a following of 7.8 million (she now has 13.4 million followers). She presents herself on social media as she is on Capitol Hill — she went live-streaming playing “Among Us” (“a board game of teamwork and betrayal,” according to creator Innersloth) and her Instagram Stories are a mix of cooking videos, laundry, and answers to questions about politics.

Ocasio-Cortez speaks to abortion rights activists following the announcement of the Dobbs v.  Jackson Women's Health Organization before the United States Supreme Court in June 2022.

Where does the AOC come from?

Ocasio-Cortez was born in the Bronx but moved to Yorktown (about 30 minutes north) because his parents were looking for stronger school systems, his official biography says. Her mother was born and raised in Puerto Rico and her father in the Bronx.

Where did AOC go to college?

Ocasio-Cortez attended Boston University in Massachusetts. She graduated with degrees in economics and international relations. As a student, she interned for the office of the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

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Who is AOC’s fiancé?

Ocasio-Cortez is engaged to a longtime partner Riley Roberts, confirming in May 2022 that the couple got engaged in her family’s hometown of Puerto Rico. The two met over a decade ago when they were students at Boston University. Together they have a French bulldog named Deco.

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