Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the 28-year-old “democratic socialist” who defeated a 10-term Democratic incumbent in New York’s June primary, made waves with her fellow progressives in San Francisco’s Mission District Tuesday night as she described her plans to provide free Medicare and college for all.
The San Francisco Chronicle noted that Ocasio-Cortez had proposed those policies in her successful campaign in New York’s 14th congressional district, where a Democratic Party primary victory virtually guarantees victory in the general election.
“When they told me that I had to wait my turn — nah,” she reportedly said. “Because we’ve been waiting for all of American history for justice, and we’re not going to wait anymore.”
Ocasio-Cortez also spent the day on Tuesday in the Bay Area meeting with Stockton Mayor Michael Tubbs, who recently proposed paying $1000 stipends to potential murderers to discourage them. She also held a sold-out fundraiser at a women-only clubhouse in the Mission, and a second fundraiser after that. Tickets at the first fundraiser sold for up to $2,700 per person. Admission for the second fundraiser was reportedly $50, and she raised $15,000 there.
“We’ve still got an election to win in November,” her spokesman Corbin Trent said in an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, although the money will likely be unnecessary.
At one point, Oscario-Cortez’s speech in the Mission was reportedly drowned out by anti-Israel chants. She has taken radical anti-Israel positions in the past, and recently told PBS that she opposed the “occupation of Palestine,” but could not explain what she meant.
The Mercury News reported: “Ocasio-Cortez — who has previously struggled to articulate her position on the conflict — thanked them for supporting marginalized communities but avoided discussing specifics.”
She also called for progressives to “reclaim this party,” referring to the Democratic Party, which has been moving to the left.