In 2018, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (1989– ) ran an election campaign on a progressive platform with no corporate funding and was elected as a Democrat and the youngest woman ever to the U.S. House of Representatives, representing New York's 14th Congressional District. Often referred to by her initials AOC, her focus as an advocate for social, racial, economic, and environmental justice is to serve working class people rather than corporate interests. A third generation American of Puerto Rican descent, she was born in the Bronx, New York, and raised in Yorktown, New York, and graduated from Boston University, While working in the office of the late Senator Ted Kennedy, she learned firsthand about the heartbreak of family separation at the hands of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency of the federal government. In response to that experience, she organized Latinx youth in the Bronx and across the United states and ultimately worked as an educational director for the National Hispanic Institute, helping Americans, DREAMers, and undocumented youth attain community leadership skills and prepare for college. During the 2016 presidential campaign, she volunteered in the Bronx as an organizer for Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders, where she gained skills in electoral organizing and activism that she used to launch her successful campaign for Congress.
In July 2019, leaders and people from around the United States and the world came to the congresswoman's defense after President Donald Trump tweeted remarks about her and three other congresswomen of color (Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts, and Rashida Tlaib of Michigan), saying they should go back and help the "totally broken and crime infested places from which they came" and "you can't leave fast enough." Of the four Congresswomen, all are U.S. citizens and three were born in the United States. In a responding tweet, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi of California said, "[Trump's] plan to "Make America Great Again" has always been about making America white again. Our diversity is our strength and our unity is our power." Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts tweeted that Trump's comment was "vile" and a "racist and xenophobic attack on Democratic congresswomen. This *is* their country.... they should be treated with respect." Alexandria responded to the president: "You are angry because you can't conceive of an America that includes us. You rely on frightened Americans for your plunder."