With the nonstop national media coverage of AOC, you’d be forgiven for forgetting she’ll actually be representing a geographically small congressional district starting January 2019 comprised mostly of Queens and the Bronx.
Already the congresswoman-elect is dominating headlines of centrist and conservative publications, building massive Left-wing support while Neolibs and TradCons alike chide her for being so bold.
And her agressive agenda of a Green New Deal, absolving student debt, Medicare for All, and for housing justice in her district have all been long overdue.
In the age of Trump you’d think Democrats would be united in fighting back hard against Big Pharma, fossil fuels, the private insurance lobby, and Wall Street. Of course, these are Democrats we’re talking about, who just reversed a ban on fossil fuel donations. They love money as much as they love losing slam-dunk elections to reality TV clowns.
Ocasio-Cortez is also just in time to use her celebrity and political power to stand firm against the extremely controversial Amazon ‘deal’, wherein the richest man on earth’s slave-warehousing company will get paid $3 billion dollars in welfare to park a new headquarters just blocks from Alexandria’s 14th congressional district.
This is some ? legislation from @rontkim:’If we have $1.7b to give to Amazon, then that means we have $1.7b to forgive NY student loan debt.’ https://t.co/gPMmQ7QoZz
Grease rat governor Andrew Cuomo and gentrifier-in-chief mayor Bill de Blasio have been utterly laughable in their support of the Amazon scam. “One of the biggest companies on earth next to the biggest public housing development in the United States – the synergy is going to be extraordinary!” de Blasio promised, only to be rigorously dragged on Twitter in the hours that followed.
Not to be outdone, Cuomo embarrassed himself like never before when he half-joked that he would have changed his name to “Amazon Cuomo” if it meant the company’s lengthy PR stunt to make cities grovel before Jeff Bezos had worked in his favor.
Ever since Amazon announced what feels like years ago that they wanted city governments to roll out the red bribery carpet for them, mayors and city councilors have debased themselves in a pathetic attempt to bring an alleged 25,000 new jobs to their respective city.
To be sure though, this would not be 25K new jobs for the existing residents of any city, let alone the Bronx. This would, as Ocasio-Cortez and many others have pointed out, be 25,000 jobs for 25,000 new (mostly white) techie bros. In come the gentry, displacing the current working class, may the cycle of gentrification be unbroken, by and by, O Lord.
NY Politician: We Need to Block $3 Billion Handout for Amazon & Use Money to Forgive Student Debt https://t.co/eJip0CiybX pic.twitter.com/X0HbYkHwpu
The Amazon deal will also see about 1,000 New York teachers and dept. of education staffers evicted from their current offices in Long Island City. Daily News quoted one unnamed official, “It’s a very bad deal. The only people benefiting are the mayor and the governor.”
This is nothing new from Amazon, who’d rather pay for idling ambulances when their employees collapse from heat exhaustion than pay for air conditioning. In Amazon’s cut-throat monopoly, they force suppliers to make undercutting bids that barely make the ‘winner’ any profit of their own.
The same effect will happen to the ‘chosen’ cities Amazon infects. Taxpayers forced to dish out a fat tax subsidy to the mega-corporation will get to watch as austerity kicks in, sucking funds dry for infrastructure and social programs while at the same time property “value” and rents skyrocket.
Even Financial Times highlighted this snowball effect: “…70% of such subsidies fall into the category of property tax breaks and job creation tax credits. The big companies pay less for their real estate, but human capital is undermined, because property taxes often fund schools in the US.”
Excited to release a new app for people who love cities. I call it PLAYcMAKE. First, a photo of a city appears on screen. You swipe left if you want to know how money and power work there and you swipe right if you want to fuck it.
What Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez has done is to build on the framing of social and economic justice that defined Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign in a way that’s re-galvanized the Left and communities used to being shut out of meetings where developers lobby city hall.
What Ocasio-Cortez has done is take the drive and energy that Sanders injected into millennials in 2016 and slam it into overdrive for 2018. Conservative media has gone ballistic, running obsessed coverage trying to pick apart the slightest thing, only looking ever-more desperate in the process. AOC, using her own social media savvy instead of consultants and focus groups, has laid them to waste.
Even die-hard Democratic centrists are furious with Alexandria for successfully doing what boomers have complained millennials wouldn’t for so long: get active, get organized, vote, and actually oppose the destruction the Right has wrought. Apparently they just didn’t want the youth to actually lead the opposition.
@Ocasio2018 is absolutely correct to take on Amazon; subsidies paid by cities to large companies aren’t the way to real growth. See my latest on Amazon, here: https://t.co/FWW60zR3Rb via @financialtimes
What Ocasio-Cortez means for Amazon is bad news for them and good news for the working class. Already we’ve seen how the craven Jeff Bezos folds under public pressure, if only for moments at a time. But with their new NYC headquarters, the focus on their tax scam won’t go away in a single news cycle.
She’s already proven she’s an organizer and a fighter, and isn’t concerned with the fragile sensibilities of board rooms used to pulling the levers of power.
She was elected in two land-slides without a dime of corporate money. It’s hard to see her continued political career – already in high gear at just age 29 – selling out any time soon.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is blazing a path forward with criminal corporations like Amazon, fossil fuel polluters, and Walmart locked in her sights. And not a moment too soon.
Thumbnail graphic: Refinery29