Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez faces 3 challengers in NY 14th Congressional District Democratic Primary
New York's primary election is just over a week away and eyes are on the state's 14th Congressional District.
Two years ago a relatively unknown candidate, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, pulled off a stunning upset, and she now represents the Bronx and Queens.
The first term congresswoman says she has used her spotlight to work on environmental justice through the Green New Deal, to fully fund NYCHA and fight for more health care provisions.
"All of these have been profound priorities, in addition to fighting for our immigrant neighbors here that are so wonderful in their contributions as community members," Ocasio-Cortez says.
She says she is thankful for the community who took a chance on her and has done "everything in her power" to honor her commitment. She says it's important that she gets another term to continue her work.
One of her challengers, Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, believes she is a better choice for the district.
"She (Ocasio-Cortez) is about division and polarization," says the former reporter and anchor for CNBC. "I'm about getting people back to work as soon as it is safe. I will open a constituent services office day one, I will be the chief constituent services officer. I will meet directly with people, with my neighbors to ask them what do you need and how can I help."
Caruso-Cabrera had hoped to meet Ocasio-Cortez in a debate on News 12, but the congresswoman declined that request.
Badrun Khan, a community activist, believes in universal basic income, public-option health care and more attainable reforms than some pursued by Ocasio-Cortez.
"AOC is MIA," Khan says. "Her major criticism of her predecessor was that he didn't drink our water, he didn't breathe our air and he didn't educate his children in the district and yet, once she's in office, she does the same thing. Whenever I am in the district, people tell me, trying to meet with her, trying to talk with her, it's impossible."
Ocasio-Cortez says she is in the district at every opportunity, but the actual work as a member of Congress requires her to be in Washington, D.C. for days a week. She says she is proud to be one of the most active members of the New York City delegation.
"I have personally hosted or attended over 200 events in the district alone," Ocasio-Cortez says. "I've hosted over 17 town halls here in the community so if anybody wants to see in person, all are welcome."
Sam Sloan is the fourth candidate on the ballot.
Primary day is June 23, but people can do early voting now or by absentee ballot.