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Youngest woman set for Congress, takes on climate and Amazon while at “freshman” orientation



WASHINGTON — While she doesn’t actually take office until Jan. 1, a day into orientation in Washington, D.C., Democratic Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York was taking on climate action at the House Democratic Leader’s office, as well as Amazon.

Tuesday, Ocasio-Cortez spoke to about 200 climate-change activists at Pelosi’s office, calling on Democratic leaders to put forward a “Green New Deal.”

Ocasio-Cortez continued on Twitter:

Next, we should define the standards of that committee. To be truly effective, it should: 1. Have a mandate to draft a Green New Deal plan by 2020; 2. Not have officials appointed to it that accept fossil fuel industry contributions.

The 29-year-old Ocasio-Cortez, set to become the youngest member of Congress — think Wisconsin’s Ron Kind but for New York — addressed the group briefly.

If you want to follow what it’s like for a “freshman” member of Congress, Ocasio-Cortez walks you through it on her Instagram story.

In supporting the activists, Ocasio-Cortez admitted, “It’s definitely an unusual thing to do, but these activists have been putting themselves and their bodies on the line, and I felt that their cause was important and needed to be supported.”

If a sit in at Pelosi’s office wasn’t enough, Ocasio-Cortez spoke out about Amazon’s tax incentives for putting a second headquarters in New York — getting a fraction of what Foxconn received in Wisconsin — with a $1.7 billion deal.

Foxconn is getting around $4.5 billion in taxpayer dollars with the promise of hiring up to 13,000, though there were no restrictions on who Foxconn would hire. Amazon is set to hire 54,000 at its new headquarters.

Ocasio-Cortez questioned the tax incentives going to Amazon and more with a series of tweets:

After that tweet, she continued:

Amazon is a billion-dollar company. The idea that it will receive hundreds of millions of dollars in tax breaks at a time when our subway is crumbling and our communities need MORE investment, not less, is extremely concerning to residents here.

When we talk about bringing jobs to the community, we need to dig deep:
– Has the company promised to hire in the existing community?
– What’s the quality of jobs + how many are promised? Are these jobs low-wage or high wage? Are there benefits? Can people collectively bargain?

Displacement is not community development. Investing in luxury condos is not the same thing as investing in people and families.

Shuffling working class people out of a community does not improve their quality of life.

We need to focus on good healthcare, living wages, affordable rent. Corporations that offer none of those things should be met w/ skepticism.

It’s possible to establish economic partnerships w/ real opportunities for working families, instead of a race-to-the-bottom competition.

Lastly, this isn’t just about one company or one headquarters. It’s about cost of living, corps paying their fair share, etc.

It’s not about picking a fight, either. I was elected to advocate for our community’s interests – & they‘ve requested, clearly, to voice their concerns.

The $4.5 billion to Foxconn will come mostly from state government — through tax credits for Foxconn over a 15-year period — but also include costs to local governments near the site in eastern Racine County.

Host of WIZM's La Crosse Talk PM | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point graduate | Hometown: Greenville, Wis | Avid noonball basketball player and sand volleyballer in La Crosse

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