A year ago, one could meet Alexandria Okaios-Kortes, behind Flats Fix, a small Mexican restaurant near Union Square in New York. From January, she will be able to meet her in Washington after she will represent New York at Congress-the youngest MP, along with Abbie Finkenauer in Iowa, elected after the recent midterm elections in the US.
Yet, 29-year-old Alexandra, a member of the Democratic Party’s left wing, kidnapped her Republican rival, does not have enough money to rent an apartment in Washington.
Alexandria had worked for Bernie Sanders during the US Democrats’ nomination for US presidency and senator Ted Kennedy, and has worked as an educational commander at the National Spanish Institute.
Her campaign was based on an extremely liberal agenda: a federal immigration police service, unpaid universities, guarantees for federal jobs, access to the health system for everyone, control of weapons, end to private prisons, access to housing for all.
In addition to being the youngest woman in the House of Representatives, the 29-year-old is also the first elected to fully represent the demographics of the 14th Region: 70% of color and 50% of immigrants.
But the mere fact of writing history does not mean that it will also have financial gains. She recently revealed she can not pay the rent for an apartment in Washington.
The transitional period to be called for is going to be “very unusual because I can not get a salary,” she explains in an interview with The New York Times.
“I will stay without a salary a quarter before I am formally a member of Congress. So how do I rent an apartment? These fine details are very basic. “
According to the Zillow Real Estate website, an average apartment rent in Washington is $ 2,700 (almost 2,400 euros).
In 2008, Korts lost her father from cancer at just 48 years of age. In order to save her home in the Bronx from seizure, Alexandria did various jobs in restaurants, often up to 18-hour shifts.
“For 80 percent of this campaign, I was working with a paper bag of vegetables that I was hiding behind the bar,” she says, explaining that she was putting a change of clothes and speeches there to help her get ready quickly by shift shifts and perform the duties of the candidate.
Currently, she lives with her partner in a Bronx Parkenster district. The couple tries as much as they can to save.
“We are currently managing the costs of everyday life, but in fact I’m bloody in the hopes of making money until January,” he told the New York Times.
Reasonable rental rates are a key element of the platform’s policy and has been a major issue in its campaign for the Democratic New York election campaign against co-champion Joe Crowley.
“The 14th District of New York is one of the last to represent working-class neighborhoods in Congress. These communities are living a steep rise in the cost of living: over the past three years, the average rent for a three-bedroom apartment in the region has increased by 80%, “she said in Vogue in June. “Our incomes certainly do not increase by 80% to compensate for it, and what is happening is a wave of aggressive economic displacement of the communities that have always lived here.”
Indicative is that, according to a Harvard survey, nearly 40 million Americans do not have enough money to pay for their rent, an increase of 146% since 2001.
According to Okaios-Kortes, her experiences as a member of the working class make her more suitable to represent her voters.
“Many members of the Congress were born rich or grew near a rich environment. How can you legislate for a better life for the working class if you have never been a member of it? Try to live with his anxiety not to have life insurance for three years when you start to hurt your teeth. It is this existential fear. I have this perception. I feel I understand what’s going on in the electorate because I’ve experienced it myself.”