An interview with Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the young democratic socialist who just shocked the establishment

Jeremy Scahill in The Intercept:

MANY TUESDAY NIGHT were asking, “who is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez” after her stunning primary victory over the No. 4 House Democrat Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th District. The New York Times called her a “Democratic dragon slayer.” MSNBC’s Joy Reid admitted on Twitter to “doing an Ocasio-Cortez crash course.” She didn’t have a Wikipedia page until last night. A year ago, she was working as a bartender in Manhattan. She is young. She’s working class. She’s a New Yorker who has been immersed in community-based leadership, organizing, and service work.

Ocasio-Cortez is one of the most progressive, uncompromising candidates to make it to the general election as a Democrat and the fact that she beat an entrenched machine politician has propelled her to instant national recognition. She’s also spoken out on Israel’s crimes against Palestinians, labeling a recent massacre for what it was, putting her at direct odds with much of the institutional Democratic leadership.

After earning her degree from Boston University, Ocasio-Cortez moved back home to the Bronx, and was working long hours as a waitress to support her family in the aftermath of her father’s untimely death. Her dad, like many working-class people, died without a will, and so Ocasio-Cortez and her family found themselves fighting a nasty, cold bureaucracy that featured legal vultures who carved off parts of her father’s estate for profit as she and her family struggled to make ends meet.

More here.