Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez did not come out of nowhere. The 28-year-old Democratic primary winner may have stunned the country last night when she unseated long-time Congressman Joe Crowley, but the Bronx-born daughter of a Puerto Rican immigrant, community organizer, and former Bernie Sanders campaigner did not just emerge from nothing to snap up the nomination and set alight the November race. It’s just that most people ignored her.
Even the New York Times looked past her, forcing the outlet (among others, including CNN, NPR, and Fox News) to pen an explainer about Ocasio-Cortez in the early hours of the morning, long after her big win. “Before Tuesday’s victory catapulted her to the front of the political conversation, Ms. Ocasio-Cortez seemed to find readier audiences with outlets such as Elite Daily, Mic or Refinery29 — websites most often associated with millennial and female audiences — than with traditional publications,” the Times noted, pointing directly at other outlets that did not discount her campaign.
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Other people have also being paying attention to Ocasio-Cortez during her run, including Emmy-nominated filmmakers Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick. The pair been working on their latest documentary, entitled “Knock Down the House,” for months, focusing on four different women — including Ocasio-Cortez — running for office around the country. The filmmakers launched their project via Kickstarter in March, and met its goal within weeks.
Per the film’s Kickstarter page, the doc is centered on new contenders in the political sphere, including “a coal miner’s daughter in West Virginia, a grieving mother in Nevada, a registered nurse in Missouri and a young bartender from New York. … None of these women have experience in politics, but each has had a life-changing experience of injustice. Running on their own, they might never stand a chance. But running together, as part of a rising movement, they’re finding the courage to do something extraordinary.”
While Lears and Blotnick’s documentary met its Kickstarter goal back in March, you can still donate to the project and learn more about it on its official Kickstarter project page. You can also keep up with the project and the filmmakers on their Twitter page.
Earlier this year, Lears and Blotnick released a series of short films about their subjects, including Ocasio-Cortez, via Narratively. You can check out that short, billed as “The 28-Year-Old Latina Challenging New York’s Most Powerful Congressman” below.