Ocasio-Cortez describes herself as an educator, organiser and working-class New Yorker who has worked with expectant mothers, waited tables and led classrooms.

Twenty-nine-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made history in the US midterm elections, becoming the youngest woman elected to Congress.

Born to a Puerto Rican mother and Bronxite father, Cortez defeated Republican Anthony Pappas to win the 14th Congressional district. Cortez’ victory is seen as a step towards inclusion of women of colour in politics.

Cortez has never before held office, and in the June primary had defeated 10-term Congressman Joseph Crowley in the House of Representatives.

She describes herself as an educator, organiser and working-class New Yorker who has worked with expectant mothers, waited tables and led classrooms. She was also a volunteer in Bernie Sanders’ 2016 Presidential campaign. Born to a mother from Puerto Rico and a father from South Bronx, she says she was raised in a place where one’s zip code determines your destiny. “Going into politics wasn’t in the plan. But after 20 years of the same representation, we have to ask: who has New York been changing for?” she asks in a promotional video for her campaign.

Cortez has promised to represent working families and work towards lowering rent, increasing incomes and ensuring healthcare is accessible to more people.

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