Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.), just elected to Congress from New York, joined climate change activists in a protest outside the office of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi(D-Calif.) on Tuesday during the first day of her freshman orientation on Capitol Hill.
A video that circulated on social media showed Ocasio-Cortez (pictured above right) high-fiving the protesters with the Sunrise Movement and Justice Democrats gathered outside Pelosi’s office before addressing them.
“I just want to let you know how proud I am of each and every single one of you for putting yourselves, and your bodies, and everything on the line to make sure that we save our planet, our generation, and our future,” Ocasio-Cortez told them.
“We do not have a choice. We have to get to 100 percent renewable energy … There is no other option,” Ocasio-Cortez added.
“We need to tell her that we’ve got her back in showing and pursuing the most progressive energy agenda that this country has even seen.”
The protest lasted more than an hour — but Pelosi was not in her office during the time period.
“We are inspired by the energy and activism of the many young activists and advocates leading the way on the climate crisis, which threatens the health, economic security and futures of all our communities,” Pelosi said in a statement Tuesday.
“We welcome the presence of these activists, and we strongly urge the Capitol Police to allow them to continue to organize and participate in our democracy,” Pelosi added.
The House minority leader also said she has “recommended to my House Democratic colleagues that we reinstate the select committee to address the climate crisis.”
Deeply inspired by the young activists & advocates leading the way on confronting climate change. The climate crisis threatens the futures of communities nationwide, and I strongly support reinstating the select committee to address the crisis. https://t.co/rjVJYSJraf
— Nancy Pelosi (@NancyPelosi) November 13, 2018
Ocasio-Cortez replied on Twitter, writing, “Thank you, @NancyPelosi. We have 10 years left to plan and implement a Green New Deal before cataclysmic climate disaster. Reinstating the Select Committee is exactly what we need to do.”
Thank you, @NancyPelosi.
We have 10 years left to plan and implement a Green New Deal before cataclysmic climate disaster.
Reinstating the Select Committee is exactly what we need to do. https://t.co/Uy5BnrLZcR
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@Ocasio2018) November 13, 2018
The Sunrise Movement’s Twitter account thanked Ocasio-Cortez for her participation.
“Incredible to have @Ocasio2018 stand in solidarity with hundreds of youth today to collectively voice our generation’s demand that @NancyPelosi and Democratic leadership put forward a plan for a #GreenNewDeal to stop the climate crisis. We got your back AOC. Stay fighting,” the account wrote.
Incredible to have @Ocasio2018 stand in solidarity with hundreds of youth today to collectively voice our generation’s demand that @NancyPelosi and Democratic leadership put forward a plan for a #GreenNewDeal to stop the climate crisis.
We got your back AOC. Stay fighting ✊🏽 pic.twitter.com/qooISA07jz
— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) November 13, 2018
The progressive Ocasio-Cortez became a liberal starlet when she pulled off a stunning upset during the Democratic primary against 10-term incumbent Rep. Joe Crowley (D-N.Y.), the heavily funded chairman of the House Democratic Caucus.
She easily won the general election last week and will be installed in her new role in January.
Ocasio-Cortez, a former campaign organizer for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), is a member of the Democratic Socialists of America and worked as a bartender not too long ago. At age 29, she is the youngest woman elected to Congress.
As for Pelosi, she insists she will once again serve as speaker of the House in 2019 following the Democrats’ retaking of the House on Election Day.
But not every Democrat lawmaker is on board with Pelosi — and some have been calling for a younger, more progressive female speaker of the House.