As Nancy Pelosi courts Democrats to ensure her position as the next Speaker of the House, she’s finally gotten Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez into her office. Only it’s probably not for the reason Pelosi had hoped.
Ocasio-Cortez, the Democrats' up-and-coming young star who was just elected to the House to represent her New York district, joined a sit-in at Pelosi’s D.C. office Tuesday to protest Democrats’ lack of action against climate change. More than 150 millennial environmental activists reportedly went into Pelosi’s office to demand that the longtime congressional leader back a Green New Deal and to stop taking money from fossil fuel industries.
"This is not about the dynamics of any personalities. This is about uplifting the voice and message about the fact that we need a Green New Deal and get to 100 percent renewables because our lives depend on it,” Ocasio-Cortez, 29, told press at the sit-in, part of her day in Washington for orientation for new members of Congress.
To be fair, climate change was already on Pelosi's priority list, and shortly after the sit-in, she issued a statement saying she would seek to reinstate a committee to address climate change, which had been convened during her previous tenure as Speaker.
The Sunrise Movement said that Pelosi's response did not go far enough, and that she must introduce a plan to decarbonize the U.S. economy.
Last week, Ocasio-Cortez refused to outright endorse Pelosi for Speaker of the House and instead said she would vote for party leadership that holds the most progressive ideals. It would be Pelosi’s second stint as Speaker, after she served in the role from 2007-2011.
“No matter who it is, we need to make sure that we are electing party leadership with strong commitments to putting medicare for all, tuition-free college, and more at the top of the agenda,” Ocasio-Cortez said.
Ocasio-Cortez, a democratic socialist, stunned with a surprise victory over incumbent Democratic Rep. Joe Crowley during the primaries. She became the youngest woman ever elected to Congress last week in the midterms.
Cover: Rep.-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-NY., arrives for orientation for new members of Congress, Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)