After upsetting longtime incumbent Democratic candidate Joseph Crowley, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez went on to become the youngest person ever elected to the House of Representatives. As a Democratic Socialist, Ocasio-Cortez brings a number of progressive ideas to Congress ranging from single-payer healthcare to climate change. In fact, in her first week in D.C., she participated in a protest in the office of Nancy Pelosi. However, her success has been marred by scrutiny involving her clothing, how much money she has, and being mistaken as an intern and spouse. Her battle to progress the interests of her constituency has just begun, and is already contentious.
Instructors, click on the link below to download this week’s lecture for use in your classroom. In addition to the resources provided below, the deck contains discussion questions, an in-class activity, an online activity, and assessment questions.
Learning Objective 1: Discuss the role of race, gender and social class in determining the perception of an elected official’s worth and value to the political process.
Learning Objective 2: Explain how the culture of American politics is changing due to the presence of non-traditional politicians in government.
Danielle Kurtzleban, Kenny Malone, “What You Need To Know About The Democratic Socialists Of America” (NPR, Audio/Text)
Rex Sanatus, Alexandria“Ocasio-Cortez visited Nancy Pelosi’s office — to join a protest” (Vice, Text)
Ashley Reese, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says She Keeps Getting Mistaken for an Intern or a Spouse” (The Slot, Text)
Elaine Godfrey, “House Democrats Don’t Know What to Make of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” (The Atlantic, Text)
Emily Stewart, “Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez isn’t rich. There’s no reason to talk about it.” (Vox, Text)
Abigail Hess, “29-year-old Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez makes history as the youngest woman ever elected to Congress” (CNBC, Video/Text)
Chris Cillizza, “Here’s what we learned from Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s first 2 days in Washington” (CNN, Video/Text)