Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) fired up the crowds at New York City’s Women’s March on Saturday with a pointed message: We’ve got the power, now it’s time to do something with it.
“Last year we brought the power to the polls, and this year we need to make sure we translate that power into policy,” Ocasio-Cortez said after taking the stage Saturday.
The freshman congresswoman is a rising star in the Democratic Party and won election last year amid a historic landslide for Democrats in the House of Representatives.
“We will pass … an equal rights amendment that ensures that all people regardless of their gender identity will be respected by the laws of this land,” she said.
The representative from New York’s 14th District, the youngest woman ever elected to Congress, stressed equal pay for equal work and parental leave rights for both men and women.
“This is the start of our advocacy,” she said. “Because we just captured the House, and now we’re going to show what we’re going to do with it.”
Ocasio-Cortez appeared at another march location in New York, where she emphasized justice not as some abstract concept but as a notion with real-world applications and ramifications.
“Justice is about the water we drink. Justice is about the air we breathe. Justice is about how easy is it to vote. Justice is about how much ladies get paid,” she said.
“Justice is about making sure that being polite is not the same thing as being quiet. In fact, oftentimes, the most righteous thing you can do is shake the table.”
The first Women’s March was held in January 2017, coinciding with, and largely becoming a protest of, Trump’s inauguration.