Speaking at the Human Rights: MLK Now 2020 in Harlem’s Riverside Church on Monday, New York City Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke about her belief that billionaires must give up their power in the name of ethics, Breitbart reports.
“If Jeff Bezos wants to be a good person, you turn Amazon into a worker cooperative,” she said.
“You know, like what do I do with all this money that I have created with this unjust system?”
The 30-year-old progressive firebrand noted that billionaires often have control over a “massive system.”
“It means that you own oil supplies. It means that you control textiles. It means that you have a massive labor force under your control,” she continued.
“And to be ethical, if you’re a billionaire today, the thing that you need to do is give up control and power. So I don’t want your money as much as we want your power. The people. Not me.”
Ocasio-Cortez — who is campaigning with Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders — also took aim at the Democratic Party as a whole. She said that the current iteration of the party is not progressive but one that represents centrists and those to the center-right of the political spectrum. The Boston University alumna also lamented the lack of a floor vote on Medicare for All and suggested this failure stems from the political centrism of the party.
Despite her belief that the current Democratic Party is not progressive enough, Ocasio-Cortez claimed that there are some members who have joined her movement to push the party left along with Sanders.
"Poverty is not a law of nature. Homelessness is not dictated by the laws of physics. They’re dictated and created by ourselves. We have decided to accept these things, and we can decide to not accept them anymore." - @AOC pic.twitter.com/SbSdmw6pwV— Union Seminary (@UnionSeminary) January 21, 2020
As The Inquisitr previously reported, Ocasio-Cortez has refused to pay the $250,000 in mandatory dues to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCC), noting that she has not felt welcomed in the party following her win against long-standing Democratic Rep. Joseph Crowley. She also suggested that her mandatory dues are too high, highlighting her age as well as her purported $20,000 in student loan debt.
While Democratic insiders are reportedly angry at Ocasio-Cortez’s decision to take a stand against the Democratic establishment, she noted that she has helped raise more than $300,000 for the party during her tenure. Notably, the freshman congresswoman outperformed House Speaker Nancy Pelosi with her third-quarter fundraising, taking in $1.4 million through her grassroots campaign. Comparatively, Pelosi — known for her consistent fundraising — took in $1.26 million.
Pelosi has clashed with Ocasio-Cortez, as well as fellow progressive congresswomen Ayanna Pressley, Ilhan Omar, and Rashida Tlaib, who are collectively known as The Squad.