Is anyone in the U.S. persuadable? An author talks to AOC and other ‘Persuaders’ about what it takes, how to get people to sign petitions that will do real good.
A conversation with Alexia Ocasio-Cortez. The young progressive Democrat has been elected in 2018 and now sits in the U.S. House of Representatives. Alexia, who is the daughter of immigrants, is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and served as a staff assistant in the Democratic congressional leadership. But now, after winning her first race, she is fighting for the progressive grassroots. The following conversation was edited and condensed.
In the last year or so, the word on the ground has been that millennials are getting politically engaged because of Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Elizabeth Warren. In addition to what they’re saying, is it just a matter of people coming out in protest, and it really is, in the case of AOC, that she’s fighting for her ideals but people are not signing her petitions but she’s winning in the primaries. So what is it that motivates her to talk about these issues and get out there?
Well, first of all, you know, one of the things that has helped me grow as a person personally over the years — I grew up in public housing in the Bronx. Like every other kid, I knew that if you want to get ahead in life, if you want to be on the rise, you have to get out to run or get in a boat. You have to take risks and go out and face whatever the world throws at you. And that’s what I’ve done. And I don’t regret it. I’m really proud of who I am because there are people in every single generation that have the opportunity to be like me, and that’s what’s unique about this generation and what makes me so happy and hopeful about where we’re going.