CBS News reported Friday that New York congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez recently flew to Los Angeles to fundraise for her campaign across the West Coast.
Instead of meeting with celebrities and renown politicians, i.e. big donors, Ocasio-Cortez got together with local activists and her Los Angeles supporters, visiting neighborhoods like Skid Row, in which many residents are either homeless or live below the poverty line.
A first-time candidate, who defeated 10-term congressman Joe Crowley in the New York City Democratic primary last month, Ocasio-Cortez held a fundraiser in downtown Los Angeles on Thursday, warning democrats not to turn against each other.
Ocasio-Cortez’s victory over Crowley came as quite a surprise, especially for Alexandria herself. She had run a relatively low budget campaign without any large donors. In addition, she had run as a Democratic socialist, an identity and political position that has not always fared well with the more establishment Democratic party.
Speaking before a crowd of West Coast supporters, the New York congressional candidate spoke about the impending dangers of what she called a broken economy, in which gentrified neighborhoods contain plenty of empty high-end apartment complexes yet have a rising homeless population.
Discussing her vision of free healthcare and education for all American citizens, Ocasio-Cortez said, “It is not us who are crazy, not with that man in the White House.”
Ocasio-Cortez was able to fundraise by selling tickets to her event in downtown Los Angeles. Regular tickets were only $27, while student tickets were reduced to $10.
One of her supporters, a 16-year-old high school student by the name of Melainey Jane Foerster told CBS, “She really inspires me, because she’s so young and she’s getting so far.”
Another much older supporter, Jon Pelzer, noted that he was impressed by her success in the New York City primary election. Pelzer, who ran for Congress in California, but did not end up advancing in the primaries, added, “We share all the same values.”
During her speech, Ocasio-Cortez talked about her primary campaign, noting that before she won the primary election, no one had really taken her candidacy or her campaign seriously. Adding that she had also never been a recipient of any endorsements, she proudly proclaimed, “But we won anyway.”
Ocasio-Cortez also encouraged her audience to stand up for their own individual and collective values and beliefs, urging them to “engage in the fights that you know that are right.”