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News > U.S.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Youngest US Congress Member, Can't Afford Rent in Washington

  • Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America

    Congresswoman-elect Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America | Photo: Reuters

Published 10 November 2018

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez's struggle to afford housing is shared by millions of households in the United States.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a Democratic Socialist, became the youngest congresswoman to be elected in the United States Tuesday.

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Her campaign focused on issues including poverty, wealth inequality and immigration.

For Ocasio-Cortez, those issues are a reality. The youngest member of Congress won’t be able to afford rent in Washington D.C. until her salary (US$174,000 a year) kicks in in January.

Ocasio-Cortez’s personal struggle highlights a national crisis of wealth disparity in the United States, especially for millennials, and exposes one way in which the political system favors those with financial means, beyond just campaign financing.

“There are many little ways in which our electoral system isn’t even designed (nor prepared) for working-class people to lead,” she tweeted.

Housing affordability is an issue nationwide. More than 38 million households struggle to afford housing, according to a recent Harvard report.

By 2021, the top 1 percent in the U.S. will control 70 percent of the nation’s private wealth, according to a study by the Boston Consulting Group, a global management consulting firm.

Washington D.C. is one of the top 10 most expensive cities in the U.S. Congressional members often must maintain a residence in their congressional district as well as in D.C.

Fox News anchor Ed Henry mocked Ocasio-Cortez’s inability to afford rent, saying her outfits “could pay a month’s rent in the U.S. capital.

“Never bought the clothes and always told my story. But repeating lies until they are believed is your thing,” she said responding to his unfounded claims.

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