Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reflects on her big primary win that she believes ‘refreshes democracy’ in Queens

Photo by Jenna Bagcal/QNS

After pulling off one of the biggest political upsets in New York City history on Tuesday night, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made sure her voters got their share of the credit.

“Every single person out here this evening changed America tonight,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “The message that we sent the world tonight is that it’s not okay to put donors before your community,” she added in her impassioned victory speech.

Following her victory, QNS caught up with Ocasio-Cortez as she celebrated with a roomful of supporters shouting “AOC,” which are the candidate’s initials. Dozens of volunteers and supporters from both of the boroughs represented by Ocasio-Cortez gathered at Park Billiards Cafe and Sports Bar in the Bronx.

The candidate reflected on what this win meant for the constituency in NY-14.

“I hope what it means is that we have leadership that is committed to grassroots change that is consistently serving and leading the community, that a voice feels connected and in touch, that is always serving the needs of our constituents, and listening to our constituents’ needs as seriously as possible,” Ocasio-Cortez told QNS.com. “I think what it really means is refreshing democracy in New York City, in Queens, in the Bronx, in the state and the country.”

Crowley congratulated Ocasio-Cortez on her victory via Twitter. The 10-term congressman also shared that it “was the honor of a lifetime representing Queens and the Bronx.”

“I want to congratulate @Ocasio2018. I look forward to supporting her and all Democrats this November. The Trump administration is a threat to everything we stand for here in Queens and the Bronx, and if we don’t win back the House this November, we will lose the nation we love,” Crowley said.

Alisha Giampola, a Sunnyside resident and volunteer for Ocasio-Cortez’s campaign, became inspired by the candidate’s grassroots values and decided to become a volunteer. She described the victory as both “expected and unexpected.”

“All of us have so much faith in this campaign, and have been working hard and are so excited to be here today. But to be perfectly honest, just from a human perspective, I think the fact that it’s actually happening is a little bit unbelievable, just because the odds were so great and the mountain felt really hard to climb,” Giampola said.

She shared that what struck her the most about Ocasio-Cortez was how she always spoke about the constituents rather than about herself while campaigning.

“The first thing that impressed me about Alexandria was at the house party that she came to. I didn’t know her at all. I didn’t know her platform yet. She was coming just to speak to us as constituents. When she came to speak to us, the first thing that I noticed was how humble she was and how she always spoke about the campaign as an ‘us’ campaign and not a ‘me’ campaign,” the volunteer said.

During the celebration, Ocasio-Cortez also encouraged her volunteers to focus on the other primaries that were coming up in November.

“We should be electing a caucus of people on these beliefs,” she said.