President Donald Trump dismissed Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) as a “young bartender” in a speech this week, but the New York congresswoman is embracing her previous profession as a way to connect to Americans.
“I’m proud to be a bartender. Ain’t nothing wrong with that,” Ocasio-Cortez said at the Rev. Al Sharpton‘s National Action Network’s annual convention in New York City on Friday (emphasis added):
“There’s nothing wrong with working retail, folding clothes for other people to buy. There’s nothing wrong with preparing the food that your neighbors will eat. There’s nothing wrong with driving the buses that take your family to work. There is nothing wrong with being a working person in the United States of America, and there is everything dignified about it.“
Ocasio-Cortez has never shied away from the fact that she worked as a bartender at a restaurant before being elected to the House of Representatives. At 29 years old, she is the youngest woman to ever serve in Congress.
It was hard for me to leave my restaurant job. When you work long days in a hard job with thoughtful and funny people, it very much becomes a family.
These photos are from just a few months ago. I love these people a lot. My focus is to make life better for folks like these. pic.twitter.com/q8Ai3aQMCf
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) July 13, 2018
In her Friday speech, Ocasio-Cortez didn’t mention Trump’s comment about her and her former job directly, but she seemed to refer to it.
“I, in fact, am encouraged when people remind the country of my past,” she said. “Not because of anything about my story, but because it communicates that if I can work in a restaurant and become a member of the United States Congress, so can you.”
Watch the video below:
"I'm proud to be a bartender," Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tells NAN convention in New York.
— ABC News (@ABC) April 5, 2019
The New York congresswoman went on to say her past position qualifies her to create policies that benefit working-class people.
“What we are fighting for are the policies that are concentrated in working people and communities of color and the historically disenfranchised to make that more possible in America,” she stated. “To make us be a nation that keeps its promise and lives up to the words in our founding charter.”