Democratic-Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez urged Muslim activists in Michigan on Sunday to “expand the electorate” for left-wing candidates so they can “thrown down” for change “as a posse.”
Speaking at a “My Muslim Vote” rally in Dearborn, Michigan, Ocasio-Cortez asked activists to send Michigan Congressional candidates like Rashida Tlaib and Fayrouz Saad with her to Congress and declared, “2018 isn’t the year that we get our first Muslim woman to Congress… it’s that we get our first class of Muslim women.”
“I need you to send them with me because when we roll through as a posse, we can throw down,” Ocasio-Cortez told the crowd. “We can get it done. That’s how we do it in the Bronx. Roll deep, as they say.”
Ocasio-Cortez said the only way to get lasting change is to “expand the electorate” and informed the crowd that her campaign “expanded the electorate by 68%” in the Bronx and Queens to upset Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY) in NY-14’s primary.
She told the crowd that “politics is personal” and urged activists to make it “personal” and reach out to people in their lives and help them “realize the personal importance of fighting for our own dignity… and the dignity of others.” After urging the crowd to activate allies and drag them to the polls, Ocasio-Cortez told them that they also had to “move in an affirmative direction” when it comes to policies because “just fighting against hate is not good enough.”
“When people show up, the world changes,” she said. “We need to show people by example that the world is changing and worth buying into.”
She also told activists to knock on doors and convince people who feel like they have been rejected by the political process that, “They will always tell us that it’s too soon. They will always tell us that we’re not ready. That we’re too this. That we’re too that.”
“We will always be too much something for somebody… So just own it, and accept it. And accept that you are too much for them, and that’s their problem,” Ocasio-Cortez said. “The world is ready for you. The future needs you. And they need us to express ourselves and own ourselves fully, completely, presently as we are because that is what political power is.”
During her Michigan trip over the weekend, Ocasio-Cortez also campaigned for left-wing gubernatorial candidate Abdul El-Sayed.
Unlike many on the right who got elected during the Tea Party wave in 2010 because of working-class grassroots conservatives and rushed to become part of the establishment, Ocasio-Cortez has been using her spotlight and political capital to help other left-wing candidates–like El-Sayed on the stump and Hawaii’s Kaniela Ing on social media–to create a deeper bench of anti-establishment allies on the left.