We must treat Climate Change like the serious, existential threat to our planet that it is. That is why Rep. AOC introduced the Green New Deal resolution as her first piece of legislation in 2019. The GND envisions a 10-year national mobilization, akin to FDR’s New Deal, that would put millions to work in good-paying, union jobs repairing the nation’s infrastructure, reducing air and water pollution, and fighting the intertwined economic, social, racial and climate crises crippling the country. For more on the Green New Deal and other work the Congresswoman has done on climate change, please read on below.
The first wave of COVID-19 struck our district harder than nearly anywhere else in the United States. Rep. Ocasio-Cortez has fought relentlessly to get working people the relief and protections they need. She was the sole Democrat to vote against the first relief bill because it gave to many corporate giveaways while doing far too little for small businesses and undocumented families. She then fought for and won improvements to the PPP program to make it easier for small business owners of color to access funds. At the end of 2019, after hearing from community members who were struggling to bear the financial cost of burials, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez successfully pushed for the inclusion of a Funeral Assistance program into the second relief package signed into law. To date, that program has disbursed over a billion dollars to families who lost loved loves to the pandemic.
The criminal justice system in the U.S. is broken, fraught with institutional racism, over-policing, and lack of accountability. Rep. AOC is fighting to end mass incarceration by introducing and supporting legislation that would give formerly incarcerated individuals the right to vote, have equitable career opportunities, and access to resources like housing vouchers and food benefits. Rep. AOC also supports ending the racist war on drugs by legalizing marijuana and expunging all past convictions. She also introduced legislation to end over-policing and over-surveilling of Black and brown communities, and to re-imagine public safety. For more on the Congresswoman’s work on this issue, please read on below.
Rep. AOC serves on the Select Committee on Economic Disparity and Fairness in Growth, which was started in January 2021 to develop solutions to income inequality. Rep. AOC was specifically tasked with addressing generational disparities and increasing worker power in the economy. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Congresswoman introduced monumental legislation to require $15/hour, paid leave, and equity compensation for workers at any corporation receiving federal assistance. She has advocated for raising the poverty line as the current federal definition is completely behind today’s cost of living. She’s also introduced measures to provide a public option to Wall Street Banks through the Public Banking Act. For more on the Congresswoman’s work on this issue, please see below.
Rep. AOC believes that everyone has the right to an affordable, quality education - starting at pre-K and extending through post-secondary education. As a lifelong public school student, she understands the importance of funding our local K-12 schools and public colleges. That is why she has proudly advocated for full federal funding towards educational programs, such as Head-Start and TRIO, which ensure all students have access to affordable pre-k and receive the support they need to apply to and attend college, respectively. She is also a proud sponsor of the Student Debt Cancellation Act, which would forgive outstanding federal and private student loans of all previous and current students in our education system. For more on the Congresswoman’s work on this issue, please see below.
Rep. AOC believes our country’s foreign policy must center human rights above all else. She has introduced policies that would shift how our country engages with our global neighbors, centering diplomacy and humanitarian engagement over military intervention and war. In the latest Defense budget bill, the Congresswoman introduced an amendment that would prohibit Direct Commercial Sales and Foreign Military Sales to any country that has engaged in gross violations of internationally recognized human rights, genocide, or war crimes. She also called on the Departments of Defense and State to produce a report on the status of human rights in Colombia within 180 days, given reports that as many as 63 people were killed in 2021 during demonstrations against anti-working class reforms. For more on the Congresswoman’s work on this issue, please read on below.
Healthcare is a human right, not a privilege. For that reason, Rep. AOC proudly supports Medicare for All, which creates a single-payer system that guarantees healthcare for all, regardless of income or employment status, while curbing the sky-rocketing costs of our broken healthcare system. For too long, healthcare in our country has centered profits over people. No one should be put into crippling debt if they fall ill, and health coverage should not be tied to one’s job. A national healthcare system can also bring down the inaccessibly high costs of prescription drugs. For more on the Congresswoman’s work on healthcare, please read on below.
In Congress, Rep. AOC consistently advocates for New York City's Housing Authority, calling for full funding to meet its maintenance backlog. She has also advocated for solutions to the affordable housing crisis like the repeal of the Faircloth amendment, which prohibits a net increase in the amount of public housing units. Additionally, she introduced the Green New Deal for Public Housing, which invests up to $172 billion over ten years in renovating existing public housing, dramatically improving living conditions for nearly 2 million people living in over 950,000 public housing homes. She has also introduced the Fair Chance at Housing Act, which reforms the screening and eviction processes of federal housing to allow individuals with criminal records. She also introduced the Place to Prosper Act - which would reduce rent increases, make evictions more difficult, and ban source of income discrimination. For homeowners, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez voted for the Homeowner Assistance Fund to prevent mortgage delinquencies and defaults, foreclosures, loss of utilities or home energy services, and displacement of homeowners experiencing financial hardship due to the pandemic. Funds from the HAF may be used for assistance with mortgage payments, homeowner’s insurance, utility payments, and other specified purposes. For more on the Congresswoman’s work on this issue, please read on below.
For too long, undocumented immigrants have been villianized, despite the integral role they play in our communities. The IRS estimates that undocumented people pay over $9 billion in withheld payroll taxes annually. It is beyond time for a path to citizenship for all undocumented people in our country. Rep. AOC is fighting for a just U.S. immigration policy, where refugees are treated with humanity. For more on the Congresswoman’s work on this issue, please read on below.
In order to create more equitable opportunities for small businesses and workers, Rep. AOC has voted for legislation that would increase community workforce training, apprenticeship programs and support for small businesses. She proudly supports the Federal Jobs Guarantee Act, introduced by Representative Pressley, because anyone who is willing and able to work shouldn’t struggle to find employment. The Congresswoman’s Green New Deal would also create millions of good-paying union jobs and help create the most unionized workforce in a generation. For more on the Congresswoman’s work on this issue, please read on below.