Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez campaigned for Sen. Bernie Sanders, and then after he ended his presidential campaign co-chaired a Sanders-Biden “unity taskforce” on climate. (Photo by Joseph Prezioso/AFP via Getty Images)
(CNSNews.com) – Before the virtual Democratic National Convention on Tuesday formally nominated Joe Biden for president, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) in a minute-and-a-half statement, reminded the party what progressives are aiming for.
Ahead of a virtual rollcall of states and territories voicing support for “our next president,” Ocasio-Cortez seconded the nomination of Sen. Bernie Sanders (after his nomination by former United Auto Workers union president Bob King) – a purely symbolic gesture since the democratic socialist senator from Vermont suspended his campaign last April and endorsed Biden.
(Sanders chose to take his delegates to the convention rather than cede them to Biden, after the two agreed that that would be “in the best interest of the party and the effort to defeat Donald Trump in November.”)
Ocasio-Cortez defined the movement Sanders and she represents as one that is “working to establish 21st century social, economic and human rights, including guaranteed healthcare, higher education, living wages and labor rights for all people in the United States.”
“A movement striving to recognize and repair the wounds of racial injustice, colonization, misogyny and homophobia,” she continued. “And to propose and build re-imagined systems of immigration and foreign policy that turn away from the violence and xenophobia of our past.”
Ocasio-Cortez said nothing in her brief statement about the Democratic nominee.
The 30-year-old New York freshman was a surrogate for Sanders, and after he dropped out she agreed to co-chair – with Biden surrogate former Secretary of State John Kerry – a “unity taskforce” on climate, one of six such groups set up to seek common ground on issues of importance to the previously competing camps.
After the taskforces released their recommendations in July, Sanders said that the compromises reached, “if implemented, will make Biden the most progressive president since FDR.”
Ahead of her virtual appearance on Tuesday, a group of young Democratic delegates circulated a petition calling on the DNC to give her a more prominent speaking slot, calling it “unacceptable” that she was being allotted less time than Republican John Kasich, who endorsed Biden on the opening night of the DNC.
“Rep. Ocasio-Cortez must be given enough time to demonstrate respect for her and the constituencies she represents and to allow her to make the case for why and how we must unite to defeat Trump and move America forward,” read the petition, from the Young Democrats Coalition and the Progressive Democrats of America.
“The Young Delegates Coalition, a group of 225 young Sanders, Biden, [Pete] Buttigieg, and [Elizabeth] Warren delegates to the 2020 DNC, and our allies call on Joe Biden and the DNC to have Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez give the keynote address at the Democratic National Convention or, at minimum, have as much time to speak as is given to Republican John Kasich.”
In the event, Ocasio-Cortez spoke for 1:36 seconds, while the former Ohio governor spoke on Monday night for 3:52 seconds.
Ocasio-Cortez full statement to the virtual DNC follows:
Good evening, bienvenidos, and thank you to everyone here today endeavoring towards a better, more just future for our country and our world.
In fidelity and gratitude to a mass people’s movement, working to establish 21st century social, economic and human rights, including guaranteed healthcare, higher education, living wages and labor rights for all people in the United States.
A movement striving to recognize and repair the wounds of racial injustice, colonization, misogyny and homophobia. And to propose and build re-imagined systems of immigration and foreign policy that turn away from the violence and xenophobia of our past.
A movement that realizes the unsustainable brutality of an economy that rewards explosive inequalities of wealth for the few at the expense of long-term stability for the many, and who organized a historic grassroots campaign to reclaim our democracy.
In a time when millions of people in the United States are looking for deep systemic solutions to our crises of mass evictions, unemployment and lack of healthcare, and el espíritu del pueblo and out of a love for all people, I hereby second the nomination of Senator Bernard Sanders of Vermont for president of the United States of America.