Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has made history after her surprising Democratic primary victory in New York's 14th Congressional District.
Cortez, who was born to working class Puerto Rican parents, ousted Joe Crowley’s 10-term incumbent on a democratic, socialist progressive agenda.
At just 28-years of age, Cortez plans to use her position to its full potential: she is pushing to provide Medicare for everyone, she wants to abolish ICE, and ban high assault weapons following a string of fatal school shootings in the country.
Cortez is a product of New York’s vibrant, but poor neighbourhood. She weaved her way through all the layers of society - from working on economic policy and serving as an educational director for high school youth, to working two jobs in order to make ends meet following the death of her father in 2008.
In fact, less than a year before she broke records by becoming the first person of colour to win thew Democratic primary in NY-14, she was working at a bar.
The following photo of Cortez, taken by photographer José A. Alvarado Jr. at FlatsFix in Union Square, is sweeping across social media for all the right reasons:
First brought to light by Washington Post reporter Jeff Stein, the photograph shows Cortez working behind a bar.
The photograph quickly went viral as people pointed to the image as a symbol of Cortez and her dedication to hard work. She received degrees in economics and international relations from Boston University, but moved back home to help her mother with bills.
Lance Elwood on Twitter wrote:
That must be humbling. I wish my kids had that work ethic.
Tiffany Byrd added:
This is what we need: women, minorities, people who have lived paycheck to paycheck. Old, affluent white men have had their chance and everything is awful. Our reps should reflect their electorate and relate to our struggles.
Former Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, whom she campaigned for in 2016, was one of the first to offer his congratulations on her victory:
Democrat candidate for governor of New York, Cynthia Nixon also offered her praise...
You can check out José A. Alvarado Jr's work on his website.