Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez inspired me when she spoke at the Saturday, Nov. 9 rally for Bernie Sanders. When she spoke about growing up poor, it connected with my experience: growing up in the early 1970s, one of four children living with our working mom after my parents divorced. As she described canvassing for votes after finishing her waitressing shifts, I remembered working my way through high school and college, bussing tables, bagging groceries, working dormitory food service, then the university main library.
Like Sanders did after her, Ocasio-Cortez implored us to “fight for people you don’t know.” She reminded us to “love your neighbor,” which must take the form of ensuring all of us affordable health care, public education, a living wage, and a sustainable environment. “Solidarity” makes us a living, breathing organism as we are linked together in our daily struggles. None of us is in this alone.
Ocasio-Cortez, Ayanna Presley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Sanders are the faces of my America. I stand with them, and am proud to fight with them. They represent our bright future as a people, but we will have to struggle to make that future real. Join us.