Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Discussed Why She Skipped the Inauguration
Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez missed out on the inauguration earlier this week in order to support an important cause.
On Thursday night, the New York congresswoman appeared on CNN for an interview with Chris Cuomo and discussed the reason she wasn't there for Joe Biden and Kamala Harris's swearing-in ceremony. Instead, she was at Hunts Point Produce Market in the Bronx, just outside her Congressional district, supporting a local Teamsters union whose workers were on strike to demand a $1/hour raise.
"Why? Do you hate Joe Biden?" Cuomo joked.
"No," Ocasio-Cortez laughed, before going on to explain that a majority of the produce in N.Y.C. comes through the Hunts Point Market, and she wanted to make it a point to show up and support them.
"These workers that have been risking their lives every single day this past year in the pandemic, who are loading the trucks, getting this produce, putting food on our tables are struggling to feed their own kids," she said. "They're asking for something very simple in a time when the grocery industry and the delivery industry are experiencing record profits as we all stay home during COVID, and they're asking for a dollar raise — a one dollar raise from a company that enjoys plenty of public tax benefits and giveaways, and it is frankly shocking and embarrassing that there is even a question here in giving these folks a buck an hour raise."
She added, "I am so thrilled for President Biden and Vice President Harris, it's great to drop the 'elect' now and just say that they're our president and vice president, and I think the festivities were phenomenal — we had incredible poetry from Amanda Gorman."
On the day of the inauguration, Ocasio-Cortez also congratulated Biden and Harris on Twitter.
When pressed further by Cuomo about not attending the "show of unity" at the inauguration, Ocasio-Cortez admitted she was also wary of the "very real security concerns" following the attack at the Capitol earlier this month.
"We still don't feel safe around other members of Congress," she said, citing Rep. Andy Harris of Maryland attempting to bring a gun onto the House floor earlier this week.
"The moment you bring a gun onto the House floor in violation of rules, you put everyone around you in danger," she said. "It is irresponsible, it is reckless, but beyond that, it is in violation of rules — you are openly disobeying the rules that we have established as a community, which means that you cannot be trusted to be held accountable to what we have decided as a community."
On Wednesday, Ocasio-Cortez was spotted at a Costco in N.Y.C. stocking up on goods to support Teamsters workers at the picket line.
According to The City, the Hunts Point Market strike was initiated after talks over an hourly raise disintegrated, with union members requesting $1/hour raise and management offering only a 32 cents an hour boost.
The union has encouraged supporters to join them on the picket line, and the N.Y.C. Democratic Socialists of America chapter has compiled a list of ways to help remotely.
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