Today, Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is being sworn in to take her place as the representative for New York’s 14th congressional district. She first took the world by storm in June when she won the Democratic primary in an upset 2018 midterm election primary against incumbent Congressman, Democratic Caucus Chair Joe Crowley. Since then, she has made a name for herself as a progressive candidate — and shown the country what a young woman of color can do. Thankfully, she is not alone.
Yesterday, Ocasio-Cortez shared a powerful image of the history-making women of the 116th Congress.
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Yes, as she proclaims in her Instagram account, these women — and hope for a new generation of history-making candidates — are finally in the building. In the image, taken by photographer Martin Schoeller for Vanity Fair, six women are seen proudly standing (and sitting), ready to take their place in American history. All of them are women of color and all of them are making history today.
Among them, from left to right, are Ocasio-Cortez, who at age 29 will be the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, Ayanna Pressley, Massachusetts’ first black congresswoman, Ilhan Omar, the first hijab-wearing member of the House, Deb Haaland, one of the first indigenous women in Congress, Veronica Escobar, one of the first Hispanic women Texas has ever elected to federal office (along with Sylvia Garcia, not pictured), and Sharice Davids, also one of the first indigenous women in Congress (along with Haaland) as well as the first openly LGBTQ person to represent Kansas in Congress.
“We did not come to play” accompanies the image of the six new Congresswomen from Vanity Fair. Meanwhile, Ocasio-Cortez simply titled the image “Sí, se puede” on her Twitter.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 2, 2019
Vanity Fair calls these women “the new wave,” along with the dozens of others in the Democratic Party who are young, nonwhite, LGBTQ, and mostly female, but we just call them an awesome representation of the real America. With Ocasio-Cortez and the other women in this powerful new photo being sworn in today, it’s impossible not to have hope about what 2019 will bring. As for her part, Ocasio-Cortez maintains the “not here to play” spirit.
“There [are] so many people that know that we’re going into the lion’s den,” Ocasio-Cortez said in November, “even within the party.”
Meanwhile, fans of Ocasio-Cortez are celebrating her impending start in Congress and the powerful image on social media. Comments of support on Instagram include those from the young and old alike, Latina or not, with love pouring in as she starts her first day.
“This is the future for my grandkids. Thanks, Ladies now get in there and kick some behind,” wrote @mrshouse_ on Instagram, with other comments pouring in. “This is what history looks like,” wrote @advofoscar. “This is an awesome pic! So proud to have so many strong females representing this country FINALLY! Give them hell ladies! ????????,” wrote @ashbwright. “oh my gosh. i love all of you and everything you represent!!!,” wrote @mobespierrre. “I dream of the day where this picture isn’t special but rather the norm,” wrote @contactcamacho.
Still, despite the lion’s den direction that she and her fellow congresswomen have anticipated, Ocasio-Cortez has proved she has no plans of backing down on her ideological beliefs.
Tomorrow I will also vote No on the rules package, which is trying to slip in #PAYGO.
PAYGO isn’t only bad economics, as @RoKhanna explains; it’s also a dark political maneuver designed to hamstring progress on healthcare+other leg.
We shouldn’t hinder ourselves from the start. https://t.co/WW3UaBs7vh
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) January 2, 2019
In a recent tweet, the new congressman wrote that she would vote against the House rules package proposed by her party’s leader Nancy Pelosi. Ocasio-Cortez’s resistance to the new guidelines tabled by the Democratic party includes a rule known as PAYGO or “pay as you go.” The rule would require any legislation increasing spending or cuts to be offset by budget cuts to spending or tax increases. PAYGO can only be rejected if it receives a majority vote.
On Twitter, the reaction is just as optimistic — including from other powerful women already in Congress, like Kamala Harris.
Tomorrow is going to be a historic day on Capitol Hill, with over 100 women being sworn in to the 116th Congress — a new record.
The future is bright. ????: Martin Schoeller pic.twitter.com/XTOSr0C4iB
— Kamala Harris (@KamalaHarris) January 2, 2019
It is definitely a historic Congress this year. Not only are there 100 women being sworn in, as Harris pointed out in her tweet, but so much history being made. “The future is bright,” indeed. Thank you for your support, Senator Harris.
Other tweets showed Ocasio-Cortez next to another new fellow Latina to join the 116th Congress, Debbie Mucarsel-Powell of Florida.
— First, they came for immigrants.. (@RWwatchMA) January 3, 2019
Mucarsel-Powell was one of the Latinas who rose to politics in 2018 and made us so very proud. She was elected to represent Florida’s 26th congressional district and the first Ecuadorian-born person to be elected to the U.S. Congress, as well as the first Latina member born in South America.
Some of Ocasio-Cortez’s fans have reacted to the photo by encouraging her to “fight hard.”
Gotta Love your intelligence; To stand up to Speaker Pelosi!
Fight Hard Alexandria, or nothing will get done in the house!
— Ken j Bower (@KenjBower1) January 3, 2019
Her followers are celebrating her start in Congress and congratulating her for already being someone that plans to stand up for what she believes in. She continues to use social media to grow her platform and people are listening.
Meanwhile, other fans simply told her to “go get ’em!”
Godspeed Alexandria! Go get 'em! ????????????
— Mother Smocker (@MotherSmocker) January 3, 2019
This is pretty much how we feel, honestly.
Ocasio’s Spanish-speaking supporters have also taken to Twitter to congratulate her momentous win and the viral photo of the six women making history.
EL CGPJ DEL TS,no ni na, o no¿//La foto viral de Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez y las mujeres congresistas que plantan cara a Trump https://t.co/ndbYg32lYZ
— enrique r guerrero (@enriquerguerrer) January 3, 2019
Sí, se puede! Or, as we usually like to say… SHE SE PUEDE.