November last year, Boston University graduate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was bar-tending, and only managed to buy her first couch two weeks ago.
On Tuesday, she made history becoming the youngest woman ever to be elected to US Congress.
The Cocktail bar in Manhattan website still has an image of her mixing drinks.
Just a year ago, the political novice had been working as a bartender to help support her family.
She beat other contestants but notably Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley setting a precedent that has shook the Democratic Party.
Her win over Crowley was perceived as a major upset within the Democratic Party, which has seen a schism between establishment and progressive Democrats — as was demonstrated by Hillary Clinton’s and Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaigns in 2016.
Sanders congratulated Ocasio-Cortez shortly after her primary election win. “She took on the entire local Democratic establishment in her district and won a very strong victory,” he said in a statement. “She demonstrated once again what progressive grassroots politics can do.”
Her campaign centered on a progressive platform advocating Medicare for everyone, a universal jobs guarantee, and immigration and criminal-justice reform.
Her competition Crowley who hadn’t had to contest a primary for the past 14 years collected $3 million for his primary election campaign.
“This race is about people versus money,” Ocasio-Cortez said in her campaign video. “We’ve got people. They’ve got money.”
Shuttling between New York’s poorest borough in Bronx, where her extended family lived, and more affluent boroughs was her first experience of income inequality, she told a US publication.
While women of color are surmounting Challenges and making history in the US, their millennial counterparts in Kenya are gyrating to the tunes of Tibim, Tialala.
They depend on Political demigods and godfathers to kick start their political careers while others have been renegaded to on-line mercenaries who engage on endless banters and propaganda.
The politically woke youthful women have chosen to tweet rather than engage in civic education of other women at the grassroots. While their mates are engaged in progressive politics and are beating odds to get elected as Representatives, Kenyan women are dancing for lessos and handouts; threatening to strip if their demigods are challenged while those who are in office are competing over who has the most endowed Toy Boy.
They lack substance and purpose.
Their campaigns message are often an embodiment of mediocrity and fickleness like Manzi wa Nai, Warembo na ABC, A vote for me is a vote for Baba kind of balderdash.
And no, money is not the reason Kenyan women rarely get elected.
An MP in Meru got elected while he had only one sweater.
Ocasio- Cortez ran a low-budget campaign of about $200,000 through small contributions.
Her campaign video was not shot by a high flying PR Company but was homemade: She wrote the script herself and had her family and volunteers help out.
If youthful Kenyan Women could shed the mediocrity of accepting to be second class Citizens condemned to dancing at Political rallies, waiting for nominations and tweeting and get down to mobilizing voters at the grassroots- then they can be the change they seek.
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