Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made history when she became the youngest woman elected to the US House of Representatives.
The 29-year-old’s astronomical rise from a barista working to make rent, to defeating ten-term representative Joe Crowley in the Democratic primary for New York’s 14th district, was watched closely by the world.
Her grassroots campaign succeeded on a platform of tuition-free college, gun reform, universal Medicare, affordable housing, private prison reform and abolishing ICE.
Younger than most, a woman of colour, and deeply in touch with the needs of working class and middle class Americans, Ocasio-Cortez is a force to be reckoned with, and a threat to the status quo.
Critics have sniped at her clothes and finances in an attempt to discredit her – and she refuses to be cowed.
The latest in a string of denigrations comes after it was revealed by her office that the to-be-congresswoman has less than $7,000 (£5475) in personal savings, and she still has student debts to the tune of $15,000 to $50,000.
In an interview, she told New York Times that she can’t move to Washington until her salary comes in in January – because she can’t afford rent.
Fox News led the charge in attempting to shame and discredit Ocasio-Cortez and picked apart her past by pointing out “expensive” clothing that she has worn in the past.
CNBC later ran a feature with financial experts who said ideally that she should have more than $27,000 in saved for retirement.
In the face of all of the criticism, Ocasio-Cortez had the following to say:
My dad died when I was 18, my mom scrubbed toilets + drove drove schoolbuses, I bartended to help her, and still won a Congressional primary at 28.
I’ll take my family over a fat bank account any day, and my experience makes me a better legislator.
I am the people I work for.
She added this titbit, too: