Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old Democratic candidate in the 14th Congressional District, organized a rally on Sunday in Jackson Heights to mobilize supporters amid her Congressional campaign.
Ocasio-Cortez, who is challenging U.S. Rep. and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Joe Crowley (D-Sunnyside, Astoria, College Point, East Elmhurst, Jackson Heights, Corona, Woodside, The Bronx), spoke to around 50 to 60 people in the ample basement of the Community United Methodist Church. She held a similar event the weekend before in the Bronx.
The Bronx native talked about her decision to run, one she acknowledged was worrisome because of the commitment. Nevertheless, she felt inspired from what she saw around the district and the campaign as well.
“We know that our problems are beyond left or right,” she said. “They’re up or down.”
She elaborated about the time she toured the district’s Queens section in her car, visiting neighborhoods such as Jackson Heights and College Point. While visiting Corona during a street festival, she stopped her vehicle and took a phone call from someone asking whether she wanted to go through the campaign.
“I saw all of these families [in these street festivals], and I saw how none of their interests had been represented in NY-14. When I saw that, it wasn’t my decision anymore. It wasn’t about what I am going to do. It was what needs to be done,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Ocasio-Cortez spoke about some of her campaign issues, including expanding renewable energy by 2035, ending the War on Drugs, and reducing incarceration rates.
“The only way we are going to do it is by restoring democracy in Queens,” she said.
Those in attendance were informed of the ways they could help on the campaign. Several people offered their help in fundraising, phone banking, and outreach. In addition, volunteers spoke about the campaign’s importance in the area.
Kimberly Balderas, a volunteer with the campaign, explained methods to inform others in the district about the campaign.
“This campaign stands for so much things to move ourselves forward,” she said.
After the event, several volunteers and supporters planned for future events.
The Democratic primary will occur on June 26.